A survey released Thursday reveals that while the majority of NATO members are content to rely on the American military for defense, they may not be willing to reciprocate and assist the United States.
According to The Charles Koch Institute, the survey was conducted by YouGov and released by both the Charles Koch Institute and RealClearPolitics. The survey polled citizens of the United States, Turkey, France, the United Kingdom and Germany in honor of NATO‘s 70th-anniversary on April 4.
The survey also found NATO members are unsure that military intervention in Afghanistan has been successful. (RELATED: Joe Biden Tells Europe That America Is ‘An Embarrassment’)
“People in key European NATO countries seem to want the military benefits of the alliance but aren’t so excited about meeting its most important obligations,” said Vice President of Research and Policy at the Charles Koch Institute, William Ruger. “While they are happy to have the U.S. come to their defense, a striking number of respondents thought it would be bad to be asked to assist the U.S. if it were attacked.”
51 percent of German respondents, 59 percent of French respondents, 66 percent of respondents in the United Kingdom and almost 50 percent of those in Turkey said they believed it was a good thing to be allied with the United States.
However, 51 percent of German respondents and 57 percent of Turkish respondents believe it would be bad if they were asked to assist the United States, and only 27 percent of German respondents, 42 percent of French respondents, and 45 percent United Kingdom respondents said it would be good if they were called upon to assist the United States.
Survey findings also demonstrate that European countries recognize that they should do more to maintain their own defense and that the respondents were unsure that NATO has been successful in Afghanistan.
“This poll shows us that while Americans and Europeans are somewhat favorable when it comes to NATO in the abstract – even if they’re not convinced of its benefits – the more they hear about the costs and possibility of intervention, the less sanguine they are,” said David Craig, editor of RealClearDefense. “Germany, in particular, doesn’t share in the concept of mutual defense, echoing public comments regarding defense spending and their perception that Russia does not pose a direct threat.”
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