How They View America

Despite my reservations about the surveys conducted by Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA), their new poll is worth considering. Among countries surveyed, opposition to U.S. naval bases in the Persian Gulf is common and broad:

14 of 20 nations say it is a bad idea, three say it is a good idea, and three are divided. On average across all publics polled, just 22 percent say it is a good idea for the US to have naval bases in the Gulf, while 52 percent say it is a bad idea.

It is not surprising that the countries in which there’s the broadest opposition to an American presence in the Gulf are the states in and around the Middle East. The nays were

led by Egypt (91%) and the Palestinian Territories (90%) and followed by Turkey (77%), Jordan (76%) and Azerbaijan (66%). However, this view is also fairly strong outside the region–in Mexico (74%), Russia (63%), Ukraine (56%), Indonesia (56%) and China (54%).

Obviously, this poll would have a totally different outcome had it surveyed the ruling elites of the Middle Eastern states – and is more a general expression of Arab (and world) anger and discontent with the U.S. than a calculated strategic position. Frankly, an Egyptian or Jordanian would derive very little benefit from the U.S. dismantling its Gulf bases.

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How They View America

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