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Support for participation of one's country in the military action by the United States

Given the reluctance, at least initially, mentioned above, it is not surprising that in the beginning there was only, in a few countries, outright majority support not only for the US actions as such but also for actually participating militarily in actions that would be undertaken against the terrorists. Of the 37 countries polled in September 2001, again apart from India and Israel (the latter for obvious reasons), only in member states of NATO (but not in Greece) could majorities in favor of participation be found at the time.26

Moreover, support for taking part with the US in the war in Afghanistan declined considerably across the board by December 2001, when the poll by Gallup International was held again, now in 60+ countries. To the (limited) extent that the Americans were dependent on the goodwill and concrete support of their allies, the picture had now become even more critical. In almost all countries there was now a considerable gap between support in principle and support for actually taking part in the military struggle. This is shown in the last column of Table 5.7. Support had diminished considerably in most countries since September 2001. By December, only in one-fifth of the countries included in the poll majorities existed who supported participation in the US action. These included a number of West European allies.

The clear distinction between NATO members and almost all other countries shown in Table 5.8 may be misleading, however, if looked at in more detail. The figures suggest more support among America's closest allies than actually existed. For instance, one other poll among the 15 EU members, in which the question was phrased rather differently ('Do you think it an appropriate measure to send [NATIONALITY] troops to fight with the US forces?') showed that among the NATO members concerned only in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom could clear majorities in favor or fighting alongside the

Table 5.5 Agreement with the US military action in Afghanistan (in %)

Agree

Disagree

Don't know/No answer

Albania

83

11

6

Austria

36

43

21

Belgium

52

34

14

Bosnia

22

60

18

Bulgaria

34

41

26

Croatia

40

45

16

Czech Republic

69

23

9

Denmark

66

19

15

Estonia

52

41

7

Finland

52

23

25

France

73

20

7

Germany

65

28

7

Greece

9

81

10

Ireland

48

34

18

Italy

60

31

9

Latvia

40

33

26

Lithuania

54

33

12

Luxembourg

61

31

9

Macedonia

28

58

14

Netherlands

75

17

9

Norway

55

35

11

Poland

61

28

11

Portugal

59

29

12

Romania

53

29

18

Slovak Republic

53

37

10

Spain

34

49

17

Sweden

53

29

19

Switzerland

47

37

16

Ukraine

26

60

14

United Kingdom (ex NI)

68

20

12

Source: Gallup International, November-December 2001.

Format of the question:

'Do you personally agree or disagree with the United States military action in Afghanistan?'

Americans be found, but not in Belgium, Denmark, Portugal or Spain, let alone Greece.27

 
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