Poll: Isolationism Soars Among Americans

Minding (y)our own business has always been good advice.

Americans are turning away from the world, showing a tendency towardisolationism in foreign affairs that has risen to the highest level infour decades, a poll out Thursday found.

Almosthalf, 49 percent, told the polling organization that the United Statesshould “mind its own business” internationally and let other countriesget along the best they can on their own, the Pew Research Center survey found. That’s up from 30 percent who said that in December 2002.

Results of the survey appear to conflict with President Barack Obama’s activist foreign policy, including a newly announced buildup of 30,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan to fight Taliban and al-Qaida extremists.

“IsolationistSentiment Surges to Four-Decade High,” the nonpartisan research centerheadlined its report on the poll about America’s role in the world.

Only32 percent of the poll respondents favored increasing U.S. troops inAfghanistan, while 40 percent favored decreasing them. And fewer thanhalf, or 46 percent, of those polled said it was somewhat or verylikely that Afghanistan would be able to withstand the radicals’ threat.

Forty-one percent of those surveyed said the United States plays a less important and powerful role as a world leader than it did a decade ago, up from 25 percent who said that just before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the report said.