The Foreign Service Journal, November 2020

16 NOVEMBER 2020 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL TALKING POINTS Pew Survey: U.S. Credibility Plummets Globally T he public image of the United States has plummeted, in part over concerns about the country’s handling of the coronavirus. This is the main finding from the U.S. Global Image and Anti-Americanism survey of 14 nations released by the Pew Research Center on Sept. 15. All of the countries surveyed are wealthy democracies. “In several countries, the share of the public with a favorable view of the U.S. is as low as it has been at any point since the Center began polling on this topic nearly two decades ago,” according to Pew. For example, only 41 percent of people polled in the United Kingdom viewed the United States favorably, the lowest percentage of any Pew survey there. (The U.K.’s favorability rating for the United States has reached as high as 83 percent, in 2000, according to Pew.) In France, only 31 percent of those polled have a favorable view of the United States. Combined, only 15 percent of those polled in the 13 countries think the United States has done a good job han- dling the coronavirus. According to the survey, respondents had less confidence in President Donald Trump “to do the right thing regarding world affairs” compared to other world leaders. A median of 76 percent across the nations polled have confidence in German Chancellor Angela Merkel, com- pared to 64 percent for French President Emmanuel Macron, 48 percent for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 23 percent for Russian President Vladimir Putin, 19 percent for Chinese President Xi Jinping and 16 percent for President Trump. Chicago Council: Americans Want World Engagement S olid majorities of Americans continue to support U.S. security alliances and free trade “as the best ways to maintain safety and prosperity,” according to the survey released Sept. 17 by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Most Ameri- cans also believe that globalization is good for the United States, the survey found. At the same time, Democrats and Republicans are divided on which foreign policy issues matter most. “Generally speaking, Democrats prefer an inter- nationalist approach: cooperating with other countries, amplifying U.S. participa- tion in international organizations and agreements, and providing aid to other nations,” the council found. “In contrast, Republicans prefer a nationalist approach: putting U.S. interests above those of other countries, creating economic self-sufficiency, and taking a unilateral approach to diplomacy and global engagement.” The council found that 58 percent of Republicans prefer “to be self-sufficient as a nation so we don’t need to depend on others,” while 18 percent of Demo- crats feel that way. Sixty-eight percent of Americans believe that “it will be best for the future of the country if we take an active part in world affairs,” compared to 30 percent who think it’s better if the United States stays out of world affairs. The council reports that Democrats and Republicans “are worlds apart” on what are the most important foreign policy issues facing the nation. Eighty- seven percent of Democrats see the pandemic as a critical threat, while 75 percent cite global warming as a crucial challenge. And seven in 10 Democrats are worried about foreign interference in U.S. elections. Republicans, on the other hand, are more worried about traditional secu- rity challenges, such as China’s rise as a global power (67 percent), international terrorism (62 percent) and Iran’s nuclear program (61 percent). State Expands Diversity Fellowships T he State Department announced Sept. 1 that it will increase annual intake for both Pickering and Rangel Fellowships by 50 percent—from 30 to 45 fellows per program per year. The change will take effect in 2021. In a Sept. 1 press statement announc- ing the increase, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the State Department “is committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce.” The department, he Contemporary Quote I am very worried that the cracks in the firewall are going to just destroy the whole image of USAGM [U.S. Agency for Global Media]. Our reputation for telling the truth has been a core element of our strength as a nation. Now, it is in danger, putting at risk not only our national values, but also our national security. —Ambassador (ret.) Ryan Crocker, a former board member for the U.S. Agency for Global Media, speaking before a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, “Oversight of the U.S. Agency for Global Media and U.S. International Broadcasting Efforts,” Sept. 24.