Public attitudes to military interventionism


This report from UK think tank BFPG looks at the decline in support for UK military interventionism since 2001. 

The evidence gathered in this review provides a meaningful snapshot of the evolving public opinion landscape around military interventionism, and the influence that political events, media coverage, and rising social and political polarisation have played in its formation.

The findings suggest that, in the absence of a perceived direct threat from terrorism on British soil, the UK Government will find it challenging to convince citizens of the validity of British international military activities – particularly the need for ‘boots on the ground’. While the welfare of our armed forces is considered paramount, Britons are also increasingly attuned to the impact of global conflicts on the long-term peace and security of developing nations, and uncomfortable about the role that we may play in exacerbating these. Until the Government can convince the public of our capacity to not just ‘win the war’ but also ‘keep the peace’, it is likely there will be pressure to maintain a lighter touch military footprint in international disputes.

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