Almost every German surveyed said they trusted Obama (93 percent). . . .
Additionally, a majority of Germans (93 percent) think that Obama will do the “right thing” when it comes to foreign policy — almost 80 percent more than in the Bush years.
The article states that a significant part of Obama’s European popularity comes from his decision to close Guantanamo. It’s too bad the poll didn’t seek a reaction to the prospect of the trusted Obama’s not actually closing Guantanamo as promised.
The article did note that once rhetoric gets compared to actual policies, Obama’s popularity might be at risk — especially if he asks Germany to do something:
Most Germans (63 percent) still do not approve of the deployment of the Bundeswehr, Germany’s armed forces, as part of the ISAF security force in Afghanistan. This could eventually lead to strife in the trans-Atlantic relationship, especially if Washington pushed for more German engagement in Afghanistan — a request that, at the very latest, is expected to come after German federal elections in September.
According to the article, German soldiers are currently stationed “in the relatively secure north of Afghanistan and not in the more dangerous south where the chances are greater of getting caught up in combat situations.” If Obama decides the “right thing” is to ask Germany to provide “more engagement,” trust may start heading south toward Bush-era levels.
It’s a shame, because if Germany would just respond to his call for standing as one, we might prevail in Afghanistan, just as One World did in Berlin. Perhaps Obama can preserve his popularity (and not need as much European help) by redefining the mission as something other than victory.