US public opinion on foreign policy pivots to Europe and unites on support for Ukraine

News and research before you hear about it on CNBC and others. Claim your one week free trial for StreetInsider Premium here.


Although Americans are far from the physical struggle in Ukraine, they have felt its economic pinch. Despite this, the war united Americans’ view of the world today. How the United States should respond to international conflicts, the American military presence in Europe and Asia, and the threats the country faces are all unifying topics between the parties, although often for different reasons.


  • Nearly three-quarters of Americans support continued economic (71%) and military (72%) aid to Ukraine, and 58% are willing to continue supporting the country “for as long as it takes,” even if American households will have to pay higher prices for gasoline and food.
  • Americans of all political persuasions agree that Europe is now the most important region for American security (50%), up from 15% two years ago.
  • Eighty-one percent of Americans say the United States should maintain (62%) or increase (19%) its commitment to NATO, the highest level of support since Chicago Council surveys began Surveys in 1974.
  • Americans support the maintenance of American military bases in Germany (68%), Poland (62%) and the Baltic countries (65%) at levels not seen for 20 years.

Lasting support to help Ukraine

Despite the high price associated with aid to Ukraine, solid majorities of the American public remain supportive of US economic aid (71%) and military transfers (72%) to Ukraine. Indeed, 58% are ready to continue to support the country “as long as it takes”, even if American households will have to pay higher prices for gasoline and food. While a majority remains opposed to sending US troops to fight on Ukrainian soil, a substantial minority of Americans (38%) would support it despite repeated promises from President Joe Biden and NATO leaders not to not send their troops to fight in Ukraine.

General agreement on emphasis on European security

The invasion refocused public attention on Europe, with Americans of all political backgrounds now claiming that Europe is the most important region of the world to US security (50%). This represents a notable change from previous surveys, when their security concerns focused squarely on the Middle East. American commitment to NATO and support for US military bases in Europe are now at their highest level in nearly 50 years of Council polls. In addition, majorities support the accession of new members to NATO, Sweden (76%) and Finland (76%), and would also support the accession of Ukraine (73%) and Georgia ( 67%).

The public regards the invasion of Russia as setting a precedent

While Americans say Europe is currently the most important region for American security, they see the potential for other countries to emulate Russia and provoke additional conflict elsewhere. Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) expect other countries to follow Russia’s lead in launching territorial wars, and three in four (76%) believe China will consider the invasion of Ukraine by Russia as a precedent, encouraging it to invade Taiwan. .

If Beijing invades, Americans want to help Taiwan

If Beijing were to invade Taiwan, the Americans would prefer to help Taipei along the lines of current American aid to Ukraine. The majority say that if China were to invade Taiwan, they would support imposing economic and diplomatic sanctions against China (76%), sending additional arms and military equipment to Taiwan (65%) and even l use of the US Navy to prevent China from imposing a blockade. around Taiwan (62%). Four in 10 (40%) say they would support sending US troops on the ground to help Taiwan defend itself.

Partisan agreement does not extend to foreign policy priorities

Despite bipartisan agreement on how the United States should approach the war in Ukraine and the threat against Taiwan, there remain deep partisan differences on foreign policy in general. As in previous polls, Republicans favor a more one-sided and security-driven approach to foreign policy and are reluctant to engage abroad for reasons other than US security or economic interests. Democrats, on the other hand, tend to think that internationally coordinated solutions to global problems should be at the center of American foreign policy.

These partisan differences are even more marked when it comes to the vision of the main objective of American policy abroad and the most effective means of achieving American objectives. Republicans emphasize the physical security of the country and the use of military power to deter and respond to threats. Democrats take a broader view of American security and the role of the United States in leading multilateral efforts to address these issues.


The Chicago Council’s 2022 survey, a project of the Lester Crown Center on US Foreign Policy, is the latest in a series of high-profile surveys of American attitudes toward US foreign policy dating back to 1974. he survey was conducted from July 15 to August. 1, 2022, from a nationally representative sample of 3,106 adults. For more details, including survey methodology, please read the full survey report.


Founded in 1922, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing knowledge and engagement in global affairs. Our in-depth analysis and expert-led research influences policy conversations and informs the information we share with our growing community. Through accessible content and open dialogue about diverse, fact-based perspectives, we empower more people to help shape our global future.

Learn more at and follow @ChicagoCouncil.

  • Responses to the Ukrainian War

  • American reactions to an invasion of Taiwan

Taylor Barton
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
[email protected]

Source: Chicago World Affairs Council