Over half of Americans think the US should help the Baltics if they were attacked

Fifty-two per cent of Americans agree that the United States should help defend the Baltics if Russia were to attack them, according to a Chicago Council survey.

This is the first time a majority of the US public would support using US troops to defend a Baltic NATO member.

Also, according to the survey, 53% of Americans think the US should work to limit Russia’s international influence rather than cooperate, which is a reversal from 2016, when 58% of those surveyed preferred cooperation to containing.

“The percentage describing Russian military power as a critical threat has increased (42%, 23% when last asked in 2002), and for the first time in Chicago Council surveys, a majority of the public would support using US troops to defend a Baltic NATO member if attacked (52%),” the Chicago Council said.

“Americans already believed that Russia was working to try to undermine American international power and influence (rather than undertaking friendly cooperation), according to 2016 Chicago Council Survey results. That majority has increased slightly this year (74%, up from 71% in 2016). Two in ten continue to believe that Russia is undertaking friendly cooperation and engagement with the United States (22%, 24% in 2016).”

Also, a growing minority of Americans favour sending US troops if Russia invades the rest of Ukraine (from 31% in 2015 to 39% in 2017).

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan membership organisation that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues.

The organisation’s 2017 survey was conducted by GfK Custom Research using a nationwide online research panel among a weighted national sample of 2,020 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia.


Cover: A US Black Hawk helicopter on display in Tallinn during Barack Obama visit on 4 September 2014 (Estonian Defence Forces.) Please consider making a donation for the continuous improvement of our publication.

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