The rise of the self-styled Islamic State (IS) has generated strong concerns in nations around the world, and a new survey by the Pew Research Center finds broad global support for American military efforts against the terrorist group.
The survey, released on Tuesday, shows that a median of 62 per cent polled across the world support US military action against IS. The current US campaign against the militants is backed by majorities in the US’s European allies, and endorsed by people in key Middle Eastern nations.
Yet most people worldwide oppose another element of US policy: the harsh interrogation methods used against suspected terrorists in the wake of 9/11 that many consider torture.
At least 50pc say they oppose these practices. Only 35pc believe they were justified. But the policy still enjoys support inside the United States.
Nearly six-in-ten (58pc) Americans say they were justified. And more broadly, Americans are more supportive of using torture than others around the world.
The US is one of only 12 countries where half or more approve of their own government using torture against suspected terrorists.
Overall, ratings for the United States remain mostly positive, with a global median of 69pc expressing a favourable opinion.
President Barack Obama also remains popular in most countries, and his ratings have improved over the last year in 14 nations. The biggest gain is found in India, where 74pc express confidence. That’s up from 48pc a year ago. The sharpest decline occurred in Israel, where confidence in Obama slipped from 71pc in 2014 to 49pc this year.
America’s Asian Pivot: Half or more in Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, India, Australia and South Korea say a greater American military commitment to the region would be a good thing because it could help maintain peace.
Malaysia is the only Asian nation where more than half (54pc) takes the opposite view. The strongest support is found in Vietnam and the Philippines (each at 71pc). Americans are divided – 47pc support the idea, while 43pc oppose it.
Defending Asian Allies: Asked whether the US should use military force to defend an Asian ally that got into a military conflict with China, 56pc of Americans say yes, while 34pc say no. Key allies in the region have faith that Washington would come to their defence.
Fully 73pc of South Koreans, 66pc of Filipinos and 60pc of Japanese believe the US would use force if their country were involved in a military conflict with China.