HomeMain SliderFor Americans, Preventing Another 9/11 Is A Foreign Policy Priority

For Americans, Preventing Another 9/11 Is A Foreign Policy Priority

For Americans, Preventing Another 9/11 Is A Foreign Policy Priority

For Americans, Preventing Another 9/11 Is A Foreign Policy Priority

WASHINGTON, DC (IANS) – Preventing terrorist strikes in the US was cited as the top foreign policy priority by most Americans in a recent opinion poll, and not promoting democracy and human rights around the world, which have been the goals of successive presidencies and administrations.

Stopping the inflow of illegal drugs and preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction were the second and third on the list of top priorities.

Limiting the influence of Russia and China and fighting climate change came in the middle, with strengthening the United Nations, and promoting human rights making up the bottom part of the list with promoting democracy being absolutely the last.

The findings present an opportunity for Indian policymakers for a more robust and effective engagement with Americans on cooperation against terrorism, which is a top foreign policy objective for India as well.

While the two sides have extensive and in-depth engagement in combating terrorism, Indians have felt disappointed by what they view as a lack of adequate response to the growing resurgence in Khalistan militancy by activists based in the US.

Pew Research Center surveyed 3,600 Americans in the first week of April for this poll.

With memories of the devastating September 11, 2001, attacks seared into their minds, most Americans — 73 per cent — said preventing terrorist attacks should be a top foreign policy priority for the US. In all 2,996 people were killed in these attacks, including 35 of Indian descent.

The second foreign policy priority cited by American respondents in the survey was stopping the inflow of illegal drugs at 64 percent, followed by preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction (63 percent), maintaining US military might (54 percent), and stopping the spread of infectious diseases such as Covid-19 (52 percent).

Limiting the power and influence of arch-enemy Russia and arch-rival China came in next at 50 percent and 49 percent, respectively. North Korea and Iran were a lesser priority at 38 percent and 37 pe cent, respectively, but they were counted among foreign policy priorities.

Dealing with climate change, 44 percent, came in between perceived threats from Russia and China on one hand, and North Korea and Iran on the other. The issue of global warming has not become a bipartisan issue, with Democrats more concerned about it than Republicans, some of whom, such as former President Donald Trump, have dismissed it as a hoax played by China to slow down the US.

It was Trump again who pulled the US out of the Paris Accord on climate change, which has since been rejoined by the US under President Joe Biden.

Only 26 per cent said the US foreign policy should accord priority to defending human rights around the world which is a far cry from the time, money and effort expended by policymakers in Washington DC.

The State Department produces annual country reports on human rights, for instance. The other part of global policing by the US that received a significant thumbs-down from the respondents was the promotion of democracy around the world. Only 18 per cent of the respondents said it should be a foreign policy priority.

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  • “Preventing terrorist strikes in the US was cited as the top foreign policy priority by most Americans in a recent opinion poll, and not promoting democracy and human rights around the world, which have been the goals of successive presidencies and administrations.”

    I hope cyber attacks will also be treated as “terrorist strikes”. I expect that the issue of cyber attacks will become more serious going forward if it is not nipped in the bud. I also think that promoting democracy and human rights around the world is a global issue and should be addressed by the United Nations, not any one particular country, not even USA. Democratic countries like USA, UK, EU countries, and India can assist in this project, but no one country should take a lead.

    “Limiting the influence of Russia and China and fighting climate change came in the middle, with strengthening the United Nations, and promoting human rights making up the bottom part of the list with promoting democracy being absolutely the last.”

    Strengthening the United Nations should be one of the top priorities because an effective United Nations can help us address a lot of global issues like climate change, rogue countries, human rights, and democracy.

    “While the two sides have extensive and in-depth engagement in combating terrorism, Indians have felt disappointed by what they view as a lack of adequate response to the growing resurgence in Khalistan militancy by activists based in the US.”

    The problem is that the Khalistan militants are considered a terrorist group in India but not in foreign countries like USA and Canada. Why not act on issues on which there is a mutual agreement?

    April 29, 2024

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