The results of a Pew Global Attitudes Project poll on United States drone strikes show that “Americans are the clear outliers” on the issue. In 17 of 20 countries surveyed, more than half disapprove of the strikes carried out in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere.
Sixty-two percent of Americans approve of the strikes, while 28 percent disapprove. Most Republicans — 74 percent — approve of the strikes, according to the survey. Britain and India are the only other two countries with less than 50 percent disapproval.
In Germany, 59 percent disapprove of the strikes, while 38 percent approve. In Egypt, a whopping 89 percent disapprove, and 6 percent approve. In Brazil, 76 percent disapprove, and 19 percent approve. And in Japan, 75 percent disapprove of the strikes, compared to 21 percent who approve.
The poll also found a large gender gap on the issue of drone strikes. Double-digit gender gaps were found in 10 nations surveyed, according to the poll. In the U.S., 74 percent of men approve of the strikes. Fifty-one percent of women approve. In Germany, 54 percent of men approve of the strikes, and 24 percent of women disapprove.
The United States’ use of drone strikes has come under new scrutiny after a New York Times report revealed that President Obama keeps an expanding “kill list” of terrorist suspects. The article also revealed that Obama has embraced a method of counting civilian deaths that essentially counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants.
The Pew poll shows that approval of Obama’s policies has declined significantly since he took office. Confidence in Obama in Muslim countries has declined 9 percent since 2009. Muslim countries’ approval of Obama’s international policies has declined 19 percent since 2009.
See the full poll here.
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com