12 August 2017   Leave a comment

The Pew Research Center has been tracking international views of the US for many years and its most recent poll reveals a stunning increase in the percentage of people who regard the US as a major threat.

Some of the increased threat perception occurred in reliable US allies:

“Just in the past year, perceptions of the U.S. as a major threat have increased by at least 8 percentage points among several long-standing American allies, including Australia (13 points) and the UK (11 points). Concern about U.S. power is up 10 points in Canada, Germany and Sweden, and 8 points in France and the Netherlands.”

There is also a striking difference in the threat perceptions of women as opposed to men as the chart below indicates.

At least 24 people have died in post-election violence in Kenya.  The official results gave Uhuru Kenyatta, the current President, 54.3% of the votes, but his opponent, Raila Odinga, called the election a charade.  As of now, the violence does not seem to be as widespread as it was after a contested election in 2007, but the opposition party does not intend to contest the election in courts, believing that there could not be a fair trial.  A lot now depends on whether Kenyatta can take action to alleviate the fears of his opponents.

Russian President Putin expelled 755 people associated with the US diplomatic staff in Russia in retaliation for the new sanctions imposed on his country by the US.  Not all these individuals are Americans–they include support staff at the embassy and consulates who are Russian.  But the expulsion of diplomats is a very serious matter.  Yesterday, President Trump thanked Putin for the expulsions, explaining that the move would “save a lot of money”.  It is impossible to describe what a slap in the face that comment was to the entire State Department.  It is also hard to explain why a person who was entrusted to defend his citizens would thank anyone who just expressed great contempt for them.

 

 

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Posted August 12, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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