Obama Has His Own New and Old Europe

The New York Times is carrying a story on a new poll from Transatlantic Trends, which shows a split in support for Barack Obama between West and East Europe (some people are missing his predecessor’s more aggressive stance toward Russia).

During the closing years of the Bush administration, the trans-Atlantic relationship, including European support for the United States-led NATO military alliance, had reached a low in opinion polls. After Mr. Obama’s first half year in office, he has “nearly reversed the collapse in public support for theUnited States,” the report says.

About 77 percent of respondents in the European Union and Turkey supported Mr. Obama’s handling of international affairs — a quadrupling of support compared with opinions of the Bush administration.

But in Eastern Europe, more than 60 percent of respondents said they were skeptical about Mr. Obama’s foreign policy, especially regarding Russia, Iran, Afghanistan and the Middle East. And just over half of the respondents in that part of Europe said they saw the United States in a positive light, compared with 63 percent of West Europeans.