US fight against ISIS viewed positively: Poll

WASHINGTON - Countries across the world have a favourable view of the United States and its fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to a Pew Research Centre report.

America's use of torture, though, was widely condemned, with people in the 40 countries surveyed declaring that the practice against suspected terrorists was not justified.

The global median of public perception of the US was 69 per cent favourable and 24 per cent unfavourable.

  • HOW THE WORLD FEELS

  • 69%

    were favourable towards the US

    24%

    were unfavourable towards the US

The US air strikes in Iraq and Syria against ISIS fighters drew 62 per cent support and 24 per cent opposition - numbers in stark contrast to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, which was generally viewed unfavourably abroad.

But the US scored less favourably when people were questioned about what Washington-based Pew called "the harsh interrogation methods used against suspected terrorists in the wake of 9/11 that many consider torture".

A median of 50 per cent of global respondents felt the use of such tactics was not justified, compared with 58 per cent of respondents in the US.

People around the world generally supported President Barack Obama, with a median of 65 per cent having confidence in him.

The Pew report found people in Asia generally supportive of his plan to commit more military resources to the area. Favouring the US "pivot" to Asia were some 71 per cent of people in the Philippines and Vietnam, 58 per cent of Japanese and 50 per cent of South Koreans.

Around 54 per cent of Malaysians polled opposed the greater US military commitment to the region, which a majority of Chinese interpreted as an attempt to try to limit China's growing power.

But the US still received higher ratings than China in Asia.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2015, with the headline 'US fight against ISIS viewed positively: Poll'. Print Edition | Subscribe