Overall confidence in U.S. foreign policy has declined, with casualties in Iraq remaining the public's top concern. But the consequences of U.S. energy dependency is now a close second.

Released jointly by Public Agenda and Foreign Affairs, these findings are highlights of the Public Agenda Confidence in U.S. Foreign Policy Index. The Index is designed to explore the public's long-term judgments and beliefs about America's role in the world. The Index is supported with funding from the Ford Foundation.

Facts, Figures & Analysis

The Tipping Points
In the May/June issue of Foreign Affairs, Public Agenda Chairman Dan Yankelovich analyzes the data of the Confidence in U.S. Foreign Policy Index, saying, "The public's confidence in U.S. foreign policy has drifted downward since the first survey."

Increasing Concern on Energy Dependence
The portion of those who "worry a lot" about oil independence has increased from 42 percent to 55 percent — putting it at the top of our "worry scale" of 18 foreign policy issues.

Democracy, Disaster and Priorities

Most of the public ranks promoting democracy in other countries as the least important of U.S. foreign policy goals.

Do you think that the U.S. can effectively help other countries become democratic, or is democracy something that countries only come to on their own when they're ready for it?

What Worries Americans Most

Less Urgency on Relations with Muslim World
The intensity of American's concern with the Muslim world seems to have declined since the last survey, with fewer saying they worry "a lot" about this issue. Still, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) give a "C" or worse on our relations with the Muslim world.

Illegal Immigration and Jobs
The public believes that the government can do something about immigration but doubt that anyone can stop outsourcing.

The Whole Truth?
Fifty percent of the public does not think that the government has been truthful about why we invaded Iraq.

Failing on Global Warming
More than half of poll participants believe that international cooperation can prevent global warming.

Do you think it's realistic or unrealistic that international cooperation can prevent global warming?



About the Public Agenda

Public Agenda is a nonprofit organization dedicated to nonpartisan public policy research founded in 1975 by former U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Daniel Yankelovich, the social scientist and author. This second edition of the study was based on interviews with a national random sample of 1,000 adults over the age of 18 between January 10 and January 22, 2006. It covered more than 25 different issues in more than 110 different survey questions. The margin of error for the overall sample is plus or minus four percentage points.

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