Special Report

What the People of Other NATO Countries Think About America

In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO countries rallied to punish Vladimir Putin’s regime with sanctions and arms shipments to Ukraine. No doubt the brutality of Russia’s campaign galvanized the European countries to stop a war so close to their borders. But one factor was the leadership of the U.S. and President Joe Biden in bringing the allies together. And that might not have happened if the NATO countries did not have a positive perception of the U.S. even before the war in Ukraine began.

To determine what every NATO nation thinks about America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a Gallup poll measuring the approval rating of U.S. leadership among the residents of the 27 other countries in the alliance. The survey was taken in February 2022, just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In 16 of the 27 NATO countries listed, more people approve than disapprove of U.S. leadership. Every country’s perception improved from 2020 to 2021, except one – Lithuania. In that Baltic country, the U.S.’s approval rating dipped by 6 percentage points. Lithuania is among the many NATO countries that were once allied with the Soviet Union. Here are the 14 former Soviet and Soviet-aligned Republics that joined NATO after the Cold War

Portugal and the Netherlands recorded the highest increases in approval ratings of U.S. leadership at 52 percentage points and 45 percentage points, respectively. Those countries already now have a high opinion of the U.S., with more than 60% giving the U.S. a good grade.

Even the notoriously snobbish French gave the U.S. high marks, albeit probably grudgingly. The percentage of Frenchmen approving of the U.S. rose 18 points, but the country’s overall approval rating of U.S. leadership remains a rather low 36%. Another key NATO ally, Germany, has a much improved perception of the U.S. Between 2020 and 2021, the country’s approval rating rose by 36 percentage points to 42%.

Meanwhile, a majority of Americans support the NATO alliance. A Gallup poll released in February found 65% are in favor of either maintaining (18%) or increasing (47%) U.S. commitment. Only 33% favored decreasing the U.S. role in the organization or exiting altogether. Still only  48% said the alliance is doing a good job regarding the Russia/Ukraine conflict.

Considering how public opinion can sway political decisions in every country, the rising perception of U.S. leadership bodes well for NATO’s unity and ability to counter Russia. (See the countries with the largest militaries.)

Click here to see what every NATO nation thinks about America

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