Americans Believe U.S. Prestige is Declining for the First Time in 40 Years

A majority also wants the country to "mind its own business"

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For the past 40 years, a majority of Americans saw the U.S. as a constantly rising power on the world stage. This year, they’ve changed their minds.

The BBC reports that 53% of Americans saw the U.S. as a “less important and powerful” actor in international affairs in 2013, a first in the 40-year history of the Pew survey.

Also remarkably, a narrow majority (52%) wanted the U.S. to “mind its own business internationally” — another first.

Wide margins of Americans disapproved of the Obama administration’s handling of Iran, Syria, China and Afghanistan. One notable exception was counter-terrorism, which had majority approval.