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Isolationism growing in US, poll says

Associated Press / December 4, 2009

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WASHINGTON - Americans are turning away from the world, showing a tendency toward isolationism in foreign affairs that has risen to the highest level in four decades, a poll out yesterday indicated.

Almost half, 49 percent, told the polling organization that the United States should “mind its own business’’ internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own, the Pew Research Center survey suggested. That’s up from 30 percent who said that in December 2002.

The results of the survey appear to conflict with President Obama’s activist foreign policy, including a newly announced buildup of 30,000 US troops in Afghanistan to fight extremists.

“Isolationist Sentiment Surges to Four-Decade High,’’ the nonpartisan research center headlined its report on the poll about America’s role in the world.

Thirty-two percent of the poll respondents favored increasing the number of US troops in Afghanistan, while 40 percent favored decreasing them. And 46 percent of those polled said it was somewhat or very likely that Afghanistan would be able to withstand the radicals’ threat.