U.S. prestige falling rapidly among its European allies


September 07, 2006|By CHICAGO TRIBUNE

LONDON -- America's prestige among its traditional European allies is in steep decline and shows no sign of rebounding, according to an annual survey conducted by the German Marshall Fund.

The proportion of Europeans who say they would like for the United States to take a strong leadership role in world affairs has fallen precipitously, from 64 percent in 2002 to 37 percent in the most recent survey. During the same period, European unhappiness with President Bush has risen from 56 percent to 77 percent.

"Europeans have lost confidence in the leadership of the United States," said Ronald Asmus, executive director of the Transatlantic Center, a Brussels, Belgium, think thank sponsored by the nonpartisan German Marshall Fund.

The tipping point was the Iraq war. The generally positive view of U.S. leadership turned sharply negative in 2003.

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