Fear doesn't necessarily drive calls for aggressive military responses

March 25, 2016, 7:30 PM GMT+0

Even people scared of how the world is going are split on whether military strength or good diplomacy is a better way to preserve peace

This past Tuesday three suicide bombers blew themselves up at an airport and a subway station in Brussels, killing 31 people. The attacks have driven home both the determination of the Islamic State to launch attacks in the west and the ease with which terrorists in Islamic State networks can kill Europeans. With the ongoing civil wars in Syria and Yemen, as well as the rumbling on of Ukraine's bloody divisions, the cause of world peace appears more precarious than it has for some time.

YouGov/HuffPost research shows, however, that despite the growing vulnerability of Western populations to terrorism, Americans narrowly tend to say that good diplomacy (43%) not military strength (39%) is a better guarantee of peace. This is particularly true of people who are not especially scared with how the world is going, but even people who are scared by global developments only narrowly tend to opt for military strength (46%) rather than diplomacy (40%).

When it comes to terrorism specifically, however, most Americans think that the United States would be safer if it proactively confronted terrorists and their supporters instead trying to minimize terrorism by staying out of other countries' business. Democrats only narrowly favor isolation (46%) over confrontation (40%) while Republicans overwhelmingly (69% to 16%) favor confrontation.

Full poll results can be found here and topline results and margin of error here.