Poll: More people view NATO favorably

Poll: More people view NATO favorably
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Over 6 in 10 U.S. adults view NATO favorably, according to a new poll.

Sixty-two percent see the military alliance favorably in the Pew Research Center survey released Tuesday, while 23 percent consider it unfavorably. The survey, conducted among 1,505 U.S. adults between Feb. 16 and March 15, had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Pollsters found strong support for the U.S. defending a NATO partner during a “serious military conflict” with Russia. Sixty-two percent said that the U.S. military should defend a NATO ally against Russia, while 31 percent oppose that idea.

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President Trump said last month that NATO is “no longer obsolete” during a joint press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

“I complained about that a long time ago, and they made a change and now they do fight terrorism,” he said. “I said it was obsolete. It is no longer obsolete.”

Trump fiercely criticized NATO during his 2016 election campaign, telling ABC News in March that he considered the group “obsolete.”

“NATO was done at a time you had the Soviet Union, which was obviously larger — much larger than Russia is today,” he said, adding the alliance should be “readjusted to take care of terrorism.”

NATO was created in 1949 and has since grown from its 12 founding members to 28 countries within its ranks. The organization was initially intended to provide mutual defense against the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies. The group has since expanded its focus to counterterrorism and cybersecurity.