Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Which is the Greater Threat - Russia or the United States?

In Pew Research Center's most recent Global Attitudes and Trends, Pew looked at how 26 nations around the world viewed threats to the globe. While the authors of the study looked at many threats including climate change, ISIS, cyberattacks, North Korea's nuclear power and the global economy, they also looked at two threats which I found particularly interesting given the seemingly endless growth of diplomatic strains between Russia and the United States.  In this posting, I would like to provide you with data for all 26 nations comparing the percentage of people that feel that American power and influence is a major threat to their nation compared to the percentage of people that feel that Russia's power and influence is a major threat to their nation.

Here is a table showing the percentage of people who feel that the United States is the biggest threat to their nation compared to the percentage of people who feel that Russia is the biggest threat to their nation noting that Americans and Russians were not asked about the threat posed by their own nations:


As you can see, when the results from the United States and Russia are compared, respondents from 17 out of 26 nations believe that the United States is a bigger threat than Russia (albeit, three nations show only a one or two percentage point difference between the two) and 7 nations believe that Russia is a bigger threat than the United States.  When looking at the individual results, it is interesting to see that a very substantial 67 percent of South Koreans believe that the United States is a major threat to their security compared to only 44 percent who believed that Russia was the major threat.  Two-thirds or 66 percent of Japanese believe that the United States is a great threat  compared to only 49 percent that believe Russia to be a great threat to their nation.  Lastly, even though Germany is ground zero for a Russia vs. Europe war, 49 percent of Germans believe that the United States is a major threat compared to only 30 percent who believe that Russia is a major threat to their national security.  Despite what Washington would have us believe about the Russian Bear and Vladimir Putin, these numbers tell us a great deal about the current state of the world and its relationship with the United States.

Here is a bar graph which shows the data in graphic form with nations that feel that the United States is the greater threat on the positive side of the x-axis and nations that feel that Russia is the greater threat on the negative side of the x-axis and the difference between the two results:


I found it particularly interesting that nations like Germany, Japan, Mexico and South Korea which have traditionally been viewed as pro-American overwhelmingly found that the United States was a greater threat to their nation than Russia.  Not surprisingly, only a very small 15 percent of Israelis felt that the United States was a greater threat compared to 28 percent who felt that Russia was a greater threat, however the percentage of Israelis that are concerned about American power is up from only 9 percent in 2013.  

Looking back in time, more people now believe that the United States is a greater threat to their nation than in 2013 and 2017; in 2018, a median of 45 percent of all respondents believed that the United States was a major threat to their nation, up from 38 percent in 2017 and 25 percent in 2013.  Here is a table showing the three year comparisons for all nations:


Once again, it is interesting to observe that nations like France and Germany that have traditionally been viewed as pro-American have seen the highest increase in their assessment of the threat posed by American power.

The growing power and influence wielded by the United States is now rather widely viewed by the world as a far greater threat than the power and influence wielded by Russia, particularly when one looks back to 2013.  Respondents in just over 70 percent of the 26 nations in the study feel that America forms a greater threat to their home nation than the much-vilified Russia, a result that is not terribly surprising given the events of the past two years in Washington.

1 comment:

  1. One of the things we often forget is that many Americans don't really know very much about Russia or the Russian people and most of what they have been told has been filtered through a national security apparatus so entrenched in a cold war mindset they appear paranoid. It is clear the warmongering faction residing within Washington has declared Russia a major threat and sparked massive media coverage to convince us it is true.

    The myth of Russia's strength has been amplified by journalists seeking to routinely curry favor with government sources and others by falsely hyping the official point of view. The fact is Russia's economy is rather small and while over the years they produce and export a lot of weapons their military is not well funded. More on Russia today in the article below.

    http://brucewilds.blogspot.com/2018/09/russia-today-country-not-television.html

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