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Loss of Faith: Public's Belief in Effective Solutions Eroding

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Abstract:

This edition of the index, examining two years of data, finds the public doubts U.S. foreign policy is working and is increasingly skeptical about whether anything can turn the situation around. The public shows a growing loss of confidence in many foreign policy strategies, including options that the public has always considered among the most promising, such as controlling immigration and improved intelligence gathering. The loss in faith in many strategies to improve national security applies across the spectrum to strategies generally considered "hawkish" or "dovish," exercising "hard" or "soft" power. The Anxiety Indicator, which tracks the public's overall comfort level with foreign policy, stands at 136, well above the neutral mid-point of 100 and a statistically insignificant 1-point drop from March 2007. Produced with support from the Ford Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in cooperation with Foreign Affairs.