The Greatest Threat?

What nation is perceived as the greatest threat to the United States?
Recently the Foreign Policy Initiative took a poll of Americans. The question was, “if you had to single out one country, which country do you think presents the most danger to American national security interests today?” The main results are below, and the full results are here.

45% said Iran
8% China
6% Afghanistan

At the same time, Foreign Policy Passport points out that since the turn of the century, and since the scars from the Cold War have healed, Americans have no longer believed that governments are the true threat. Instead, it has become terrorist groups and the individuals who lead them which people believe most threaten security. FP also points out that, “Russia, which Mitt Romney once called ‘America’s number one geopolitical foe,’ mustered a mere 1 percent.” Apparently Americans are much more concerned with future dangers, believed to be coming from China and Iran, and are not as worried about their old enemies. This is certainly legitimate. But should Americans fear about other nations? In a world where the United States is still a military and economic super-power, where it has numerous allies, and where the democratic peace theory remains undisputed, it’s fair that Americans should not fear foreign governments.


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