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'Hell No, We Won't Go!'


A survey commissioned by the "Financial Times" and conducted in six countries after Russia's invasion of Georgia shows a striking "contrast between Europeans' rising fears of Russia and their unwillingness to support any action to meet the challenge posed by Moscow militarily."

We've got our own rundown of those and other views -- both inside and outside Russia.

But the "FT"/Harris poll is worth a look; it doesn't do a lot to boost trans-Atlantic morale. Here are the most salient points:


In "old Europe," Russia has emerged as the top perceived threat after a year behind the likes of China, the United States, Iran and Iraq. (Americans still rank Iran and China higher.) The findings suggest that anxiety over Russian aggression is not translating into support for higher military budgets, however, if social spending must be reduced as a result.

More disturbingly, in Germany, Spain, and Italy, more people oppose coming to the defense of NATO's Baltic members in the event of a theoretical Russian attack than support it. Nearly one in three people across the other three countries polled would "strongly or somewhat oppose" it. Article 5, be damned.

There's also a sharp trans-Atlantic divide over which U.S. presidential candidate is better-equipped to protect Europe's interests with respect to Russia. Let's see if you can guess who favors whom.

-- Andy Heil

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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