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Stemming terror, nuclear proliferation top Americans' foreign policy goals: Gallup

Editor: zhangrui 丨Xinhua

02-17-2017 06:46 BJT

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Preventing future terror acts and stemming nuclear proliferation top Americans' list of foreign policy goals, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday.

Preventing future acts of international terrorism, at 85 percent, as well as stemming the spread of nuclear weapons, at 84 percent, remain Americans' top foreign policy goals for 2017, with more than four in five rating each of these as "very important," found the Feb. 1-5 poll.

Nearly as many say securing adequate supplies of energy for the U.S., at 80 percent, is a very important foreign policy goal, Gallup found.

This comes at a time when newly-elected U.S. President Donald Trump has said he would destroy terror group Islamic State, as the radicals have conducted attacks and killed innocent victims worldwide over the last couple of years.

Americans have concerns about how the world views the U.S., and less than four in 10 approve of the way Trump is handling foreign affairs.

With majorities of Americans viewing the security of U.S. allies and world cooperation through organizations like the United Nations as very important, actions that threaten these goals could further undermine the trust Americans place in Trump to handle foreign policy, Gallup opined.

Trump broke with diplomatic norms while campaigning for president when he expressed hesitance about maintaining the longstanding North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), even calling it "obsolete." But Secretary of Defense James Mattis met with NATO officials this week to reaffirm America's commitment to the alliance, Gallup noted.

Trump previously criticized involvement with the United Nations as "wasteful" spending and sparred with the organization before taking office. The Trump administration has drafted an executive order to audit and dramatically reduce U.S. contributions to international organizations, although Trump has not yet signed it, Gallup noted.

At the same time, Trump's focus on preventing international terrorism aligns with Americans' greatest priority, as does his commitment to renegotiating trade deals that are more favorable to the U.S. And while Trump has called for an arms race, his administration's measured response to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's recent ballistic missile test could assuage fears of nuclear escalation, Gallup said.

Solid majorities also say promoting favorable trade policies, at 71 percent, defending U.S. allies' security, at 66 percent, and working with organizations like the United Nations to bring about world cooperation, at 63 percent, are very important foreign policy goals, Gallup found. 

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