Survey: Transatlantic Majorities Want to See NATO Engaged in Territorial Defense; Want to Provide Economic and Political Support for Ukraine Even at Risk of Continued Conflict with Russia – But not Arms

www.transatlantictrends.org | #TTrends14

Contact: Anne McGinn (U.S.) amcginn@gmfus.org, +1 202 683 2676
Sarah Halls (Europe) shalls@gmfus.org, +32 484 491 078

~The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) has experts available for print, radio, and television interviews leading up to and during the NATO Summit

WASHINGTON (September 2, 2014) — In advance of the 13th annual survey launch Wednesday, September 10, Transatlantic Trends releases NATO survey results ahead of the 2014 Wales Summit. Read the topline data here. The annual survey examines views on major security issues including the role of NATO and the conflict in Ukraine.

For the first time this year, Transatlantic Trends asked which kinds of missions NATO should be engaged in: territorial defense; out-of-area missions; providing arms or training to help other countries defend themselves; providing arms or training to help other countries like Ukraine defend themselves; and/or attempting to establish stability in places like Afghanistan. Majorities of Americans (59%), Europeans (73%), and Turks (57%) said NATO should be engaged in the territorial defense of Europe; 30% of Americans, 23% of Europeans, and 26% of Turks said the organization should not. (Note: Polling was conducted prior to the downing of flight MH17.)

Read a Transatlantic Take on U.S. and European support for a more traditional NATO role.

When asked if NATO should conduct out-of-area missions, a majority of Europeans (51%) said NATO should not conduct military operations outside of the United States and Europe, whereas a plurality of Americans said it should (49%). Turks were evenly split: 41% said NATO should operate out-of-area missions, 42% said it should not.

Europeans and Americans also disagreed on the question of NATO providing arms or training to help other countries defend themselves. While a majority of Americans (53%) said NATO should provide such assistance, a majority of Europeans (52%) disagreed. Forty-seven percent of Turkish respondents were opposed to NATO providing arms and training to other countries, while 38% said that it should.

The current crisis in Ukraine appeared to have done little to change respondents’ minds: when half the sample was asked if NATO should provide arms and training to countries like Ukraine, 53% of Europeans said no (one percentage point higher than without mention of Ukraine), while 55% of Americans said yes (two percentage points higher than otherwise). Finally, majorities in the United States (53%) and Europe (57%) agreed that NATO should attempt to establish stability in places like Afghanistan.

Turks were less certain. A 43% plurality said that NATO should be engaged in places like Afghanistan, while 37% said that it should not; 20% did not know or refused to answer.

Respondents were also asked whether the European Union (Americans were asked about the United States) should continue to provide economic and political support to Ukraine, even if there was a risk of increasing conflict with Russia. A majority of Americans (57%) and Europeans (58%) agreed, but there was some variation within Europe.

GMF has experts available to discuss Transatlantic Trends NATO survey results, as well as the Wales Summit.

Transatlantic Trends 2014 explores how Americans and Europeans view the transatlantic relationship and a number of growing challenges facing the world. The full survey analyzes approval rates of leaders and governments of the United States, Europe, Turkey, and Russia; the economic impact of the financial crisis and views on EU membership; Western options in the Ukraine crisis; as well as public opinion on mobility, migration, and integration in the United States, Europe, Turkey, and Russia. Transatlantic Trends also weighs in on perceptions of Russia and China, and their roles in world affairs, and Russian opinion on Europe’s eastern neighborhood.

Advance copies of the full Transatlantic Trends 2014 survey will be available beginning September 4 and will be embargoed until Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 2 pm CET, 8 am EST — upon request, and in agreement with the embargo.

The survey results will be e-mailed September 10 and also available online post-embargo at www.transatlantictrends.org.

Transatlantic Trends 2014 is an annual survey of U.S. and European public opinion conducted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) and the Compagnia di San Paolo, with additional support from the Barrow Cadbury Trust, the BBVA Foundation, and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Ten European Union member states were surveyed: France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, as well as the United States, Russia, and Turkey. Polling was conducted by TNS Opinion between June 2 and June 26, 2014.

For the individual country data, methodology, and topline data on the NATO survey, see www.transatlantictrends.org.

 

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