Survey: Western Europeans doubt USA’s reliability as a security guarantor

According to a recent survey, many citizens in Germany and other large Western European countries doubt the reliability of the USA as a security partner. In the survey published on Wednesday by the New York-based Institute for Global Affairs, only a total of six percent of respondents in Germany, France and Great Britain rated the United States as a “very reliable” guarantor of European security in the next ten years.

In contrast, 36 percent called the United States “somewhat unreliable” in this regard and ten percent even called it “very unreliable.” On the other hand, 46 percent in the three European countries rated the United States as a “somewhat reliable” security partner.

These survey results could have been fueled by “doubts about the future of transatlantic security cooperation” in the event of former US President Donald Trump returning to the White House, explained the institute, which is part of the political consulting firm Eurasia. Trump is a sharp critic of NATO and accuses Germany in particular of spending too little money on defense.

Trump caused a stir among Western allies in February when he announced that he would not come to the aid of NATO countries that did not spend enough on defense if they were attacked. He would then even encourage Russia to do “whatever they want” with them. Trump wants to run again in the presidential election in November against incumbent Joe Biden, to whom he lost in 2020.

In the survey now published, however, Biden did not fare well in the three European countries. When asked which head of state was currently setting “the most positive example of leadership for the world,” only 13 percent in Germany named the US president, while in France and Great Britain just nine percent each named him.

French President Emmanuel Macron fared much better on this question. He was named by 33 percent in Germany, but only 25 percent in France and 16 percent in Great Britain.

For the survey, a total of 3,360 adult citizens in the three European countries and the USA were interviewed by the opinion research institute YouGov in the first half of April.