Less than half of Americans think government can handle international problems: survey

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A new survey says less than half of Americans trust the government’s ability to deal with international problems — an all-time low.

Gallup said 49 percent of respondents have a “great deal or a fair amount of confidence,” down from the previous low of 51 percent in 2007.

The survey taken Sept. 5-8 coincided with Congress’ debate on whether to authorize a military strike on Syria to punish its government for an Aug. 21 chemical attack on civilians near Damascus, but came before President Obama’s speech to the nation late Tuesday.

Americans confidence in the U.S. government’s ability to handle international problem registered between 57 percent and 66 percent during Mr. Obama’s first term.

“This represents a generally higher level of confidence than Americans expressed during the latter years of the Bush administration, when the U.S. was engaged in protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Gallup said.

The all-time high was 83 percent in October 2001, shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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