Every year the annual “Transatlantic Trends” opinion survey provides a fascinating, if often alarming, insight into the state of transatlantic relations. The latest report, organised by the German Marshall Fund, has just been released. It deserves particular attention given the impending fifth anniversary of 9/11. It will not make for happy reading in
The big picture is that European sympathy for the
Behind the big picture there is a wealth of fascinating detail. There are four points that strike me as particularly interesting:
1) The sharpest decline in support for
2) Perhaps the most surprising and counter-intuitive trend is that all this European suspicion of American global leadership will not necessarily translate into opposition to military strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities. Both Americans and Europeans regards military strikes as the worst option available. But on both sides of the Atlantic, lots of people are prepared to contemplate military strikes as a last resort, “if diplomacy fails”: 53 per cent of Americans support military action under those circumstances, as do 45 per cent of Europeans. The French are actually marginally more bellicose than the Americans: 54 per cent of French people would support military strikes as a last resort.
3) Something strange and disturbing is happening in
4) Finally, although anti-Americanism in