Special Report

Ten Countries That Hate America Most

10. Serbia
> Pct. disapprove of U.S. leadership: 57% (tied for 9th highest)
> GDP per capita: $10,409
> Life expectancy: 73.9 years

Serbia is one of the countries that were once part of former Yugoslavia. Just over five years ago, when Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, the United States was among the first major countries to recognize it. This angered many Serbians, leading to the withdrawal of the Serbian ambassador from the U.S. While the Yugoslav wars created significant discord and violence in the region, in recent years matters have improved. So much so that in March, Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic claimed that Serbs had been misled in believing that Kosovo should be a part of Serbia. With the possible growing acceptance of Kosovo’s independence, approval for U.S. leadership also has risen. Some 20% of Serbs approved of U.S. leadership in 2012, up from just 8% in 2011, when the nation was ranked as one of the worst on Gallup’s financial well-being index. According to Jon Clifton of Gallup, this was at least partly due to U.S. support for Serbia’s European Union membership.

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9. Greece
> Pct. disapprove of U.S. leadership: 57% (tied for 9th highest)
> GDP per capita: $26,258
> Life expectancy: 80.4 years

At 163.3% of gross domestic product, Greece had more government debt than any other country in the world other than Japan, according to the IMF. Since the onset of the Greek debt crisis, the country’s approval of American leadership has declined rapidly. From 2009 to 2012, as the crisis deepened, the percentage of residents surveyed by Gallup who approved of U.S. leadership declined from 41% to 24%. Many Greeks are also critical of Germany and its chancellor, Angela Merkel, frequently viewed in Greece as representing austerity and international intervention in Greek affairs. The nation ranked as the 11th most corrupt nation on Gallup’s corruption index, as well as second-lowest on Gallup’s financial well-being index, in 2011.

8. Yemen
> Pct. disapprove of U.S. leadership: 59%
> GDP per capita: $2,307
> Life expectancy: 65.5 years

Just 18% of Yemenis surveyed approved of the U.S. leadership, while 59% disapproved of the leadership. Throughout President Obama’s administration, Yemenis’ approval of U.S. leadership has remained below 20%. Relations between the United States and Yemen has been volatile in recent years. They became notably tense in 2008 when rioters attacked the U.S. embassy. In 2012, protesters once again stormed the U.S. embassy compound in Yemen’s capital Sana’a. Four protesters were killed in the process. As Yemen has worked to combat terrorism in its country, officials argue that the United States has not been helping government forces fight opponents.

7. Iraq
> Pct. disapprove of U.S. leadership: 60%
> GDP per capita: $4,225
> Life expectancy: 68.5 years

After peaking at 36% in 2010, the percentage of Iraqis approving of U.S. leadership fell to a recent low of 22%. From March 2003, when American soldiers first entered Iraq and ousted Saddam Hussein, through December 2011, the U.S. had a significant military presence in the country. According to a recent Gallup poll, 42% of Iraqis surveyed stated security had improved since the U.S. withdrawal. However, nearly 46% of those surveyed said corruption had gotten worse in that time. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Iraq also ranked as one of the nations with the highest access to small arms and light weapons. The nation was ranked among the worst on Gallup’s social and financial well-being indices in 2011.

6. Iran
> Pct. disapprove of U.S. leadership: 61%
> GDP per capita: $13,184
> Life expectancy: 72.8 years

As many as 61% of Iranians have a negative view of U.S. leadership, while just 12% have a positive view. Although the approval percentage is one of the lowest in the world, it is a slight improvement from 2011, when only 9% of Iranians indicated support of U.S. leadership. The United States has not had a diplomatic presence in Iran since the hostage crisis that followed the country’s Islamic Revolution of the late 1970s. The U.S. State Department also advises citizens to be weary of traveling there. The travel warning notes that Americans have been subject to harassment and arrest while in Iran. Much of the current tension between U.S. and Iranian officials is over Iran’s development of nuclear energy. While Iran argues that its development is intended for peaceful purposes, the United States is concerned the country is trying to develop a nuclear weapon.

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