The War on Terror: Ten years of polls on American attitudes
Political Report, September 2011

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9/11 memorial in New York City in 2004.

Article Highlights

  • Ten years of polls on #American attitudes after 9/11

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  • 7 in 10 #Americans believe we will be attacked again

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  • 6 in 10 #Americans believe the war in #Afghanistan was the right move

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Pollsters have asked thousands of questions over the past decade about public reactions to 9/11. In the latest issue of AEI's Political Report, the editors look at how attitudes have changed over the past decade about the War on Terror.

Key findings include:

  • Americans were resilient in the face of the attacks. 71% felt depressed right after the attacks; 24% in late October.
  • Around 7 in 10 believe there will be another attack on American soil, but most say they won't be victims.
  • Amid widespread criticism of government today, around 70% say government is doing well in reducing the threat. They credit the Bush administration with making America safer and believe President Obama will keep us safe.
  • Concern about civil liberties for the average American has risen sharply. But Americans want government to err on the side of protecting them against possible terrorist attacks.
  • Around six in ten believe taking the war to Afghanistan was the right thing to do. Two-thirds or more want to the U.S. reduce troop levels now.


Karlyn Bowman is a senior fellow and Andrew Rugg is a research assistant at AEI.

 

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