Iraq: The great divide

The war in Iraq has been the paramount issue over which Americans and Europeans have differed in recent years. Although there were already divisive issues in the preceding years, it has done more than any other issue to further encumber and poison the Transatlantic relationship.39 Also, due to the many available poll data,40 this war presents a very good case to examine the many considerations that are at play and that, reflected in different poll questions that tap these dimensions, affect degrees of support of or opposition to the international use of military force. For these two reasons, the Iraq case offers a unique opportunity to explore the thesis that a fundamental gap does indeed exist between the two sides of the Atlantic.

In this last section, we shall first look at the evolution of support over time across the Transatlantic aisle and compare the patterns that we observe for the United States and other, primarily European, countries. We shall then present an analysis of the impact of various determinants, again from the perspective of the Transatlantic gap thesis and further explore diverging opinions on both sides of the Atlantic.

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