Why Americans are so cool

Americans and Germans differ in their views of each other and of the world

Three years after the beginning of a turbulent phase in German-American relations, with Donald Trump at the helm of American foreign policy and Germany under the leadership of Angela Merkel, there are still major differences in the public views of the two countries on their bilateral relations and security policy. so a new report from the Pew Research Center.

Germany's overall assessment of relations with the United States has improved somewhat overall, and young people in both countries are more optimistic about the state of bilateral relations in 2019. Nonetheless, views in the two countries continue to differ greatly, particularly with regard to the use of military force, obligations to NATO, and relations with other world powers such as Russia and China.

On the key question of relations between the United States and Germany, the ratings of the publics in both countries differ greatly. Americans are largely satisfied with the current state of bilateral relations. Three quarters say that the German-American relationship is in good shape. This corresponds to an increase in positive sentiment of 7 percentage points since 2017.

Only 34% of Germans say that the relationship is good, and just 2% say that it is very good is. However, that's a more positive rating than 2018, when only 24% of Germans said relationships were going well.

Young people in both countries see the relationship between the USA and Germany as comparatively positive. For example, in the US, 82% of 18-29 year olds say the relationship is good, compared with 73% in the age group 65 and older. In Germany, four in ten young people say relations with the United States are good, compared with just 31% of those over 65.

These are the most important results of a survey by the Pew Research Center of 1,004 adults, which was carried out in the USA from September 17 to 22, 2019, and a survey by the K├Ârber Foundation of 1,000 adults, which was carried out from September 9 to 28, 2019 was carried out in Germany. The analysis also includes results of the Global attitudesSpring 2019 Pew Research Center survey conducted from May 13 to June 18, 2019 of 1,503 adults in the United States and from May 31 to July 25, 2019 of 2,015 adults in Germany.

Other key findings from the report:

Differences in security issues predominate in public opinion in the US and Germany. When asked whether the US's European allies should increase, decrease, or keep their defense spending the same, half of Americans say spending should stay the same. The German public disagrees as to whether current spending on national defense should be increased or remain the same, with around four in ten taking one of these two views.

Americans and Germans also have different views on the US military presence in Germany. People in the USA consider their country's military bases in Germany to be much more important for the security of their country than the Germans: 85% of Americans believe that these bases are important for the security interests of the USA. In contrast, around half of German military bases consider US military bases important for their country's national security, while 45% disagree.

There are big differences between the US and Germany when it comes to which foreign policy partner is considered most important. 36% of Americans see the UK as their most important or second most important foreign policy partner. In contrast, Germany is selected by only 13% as the most important or second most important partner, between Israel with 15% and Mexico with 12%. The Germans clearly see France as their most important foreign policy partner, six out of ten say so. A large proportion also say the US is a key partner (42%), and that represents an increase in that sentiment since 2018, when only 35% named America as a key foreign policy partner.

Americans and Germans also differ in their views about countries and international organizations. This gap is greatest when it comes to opinions about the European Union. While around seven out of ten Germans are in favor of the EU, only around half of Americans agree. A similar gap exists between the German and American perceptions of Russia, although positive opinions about Russia are less widespread in both countries than positive opinions about the United Nations and the EU. There is a greater consensus about the United Nations and NATO, although Germans in particular tend to rate these organizations higher than Americans.

The full report is available in English at: https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2020/03/09/americans-and-germans-differ-in-their-views-of-each-other-and-the -world /

This summary has been translated from English into German.