The World Feels the Trump Touch

According to Pew Research, the share of voters who say that the United States provides “too much” support to Ukraine more than quadrupled between March 2022 and December 2023, going from 7 to 31 percent. Among Republicans, the share grew from 9 to 48 percent.

The Gallup Poll found even more opposition to American aid for Ukraine, among both Republican and independent voters. The share of Republicans agreeing that the “United States is doing too much to help Ukraine” rose, between August 2022 and October 2023, from 43 to 62 percent, and among independents from 28 to 44 percent.

Both polls reflect the rapid increase of isolationism in the American electorate.

I asked a range of foreign policy experts to explain what’s driving the shift.

Gordon Adams, a professor of international relations at American University in Washington, D.C. and a fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, attributes the growing reluctance to support foreign engagement to the history of the last several decades. In an email, Adams made the case that

A combination of “bad decisions and inept execution,” in Adams’s view, has

Because of these developments, Adams continued,

The world’s most capable military, Adams wrote, “is the only remaining tool the president has and he can no longer deploy and use it effectively — it is unpopular at home to do so and unwelcome abroad (especially in the Middle East) as a force of stability.”

Some experts in foreign policy argue that declining support for American involvement in world affairs comes at a particularly bad time.

Charles Kupchan, a professor of international affairs at Georgetown, emailed me his answer to my queries:

“Because such transitions in the distribution of power are usually accompanied by instability and war,” Kupchan argued,

Amid growing tensions with China, Kupchan writes in an article in The Atlantic in June, the United States “must factor in its own political weakness.” In the post-WWII cold war with the Soviet Union, “the West was, for the most part, politically healthy. Ideological moderation and centrism prevailed in liberal democracies on both sides of the Atlantic, buttressed by broadly shared prosperity.”

We are having trouble retrieving the article content.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.

Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.

Thank you for your patience while we verify access.

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Want all of The Times? Subscribe.

Back to top button