War & Peace
Global Poll: US Biggest Threat to World Peace in 2013
The United States is the biggest threat to world peace, according to the results of a newly-released international survey.
Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) and Gallup asked 66,806 people in 68 different nations, “Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?”
Fully 24 percent of respondents said the United States poses the biggest threat to world peace. Pakistan was named as the next-biggest threat– a distant second– at 8 percent. Six percent said China was the greatest threat to peace; 5 percent named Afghanistan, Iran, Israel and North Korea.
Some of the strongest anti-American sentiment predictably came from nations considered US rivals. A majority of Russians (54 percent) and nearly half (49 percent) of Chinese picked the United States as the greatest threat to world peace. Middle Eastern and Muslim nations were also predictably anti-American. Fully 37 percent of Algerians, 34 percent of Indonesians and 25 percent of Malaysians chose the United States as the biggest threat. Israel topped the United States as the greatest threat in Lebanon (41 percent Israel, 23 percent US), Tunisia (Israel 38 percent, US 27 percent), Iraq (Israel 24 percent, US 21 percent) and Morocco (Israel 45 percent, US 17 percent).
Such sentiment is to be expected in many parts of the world. But even people in US allies such as NATO powers Turkey and Greece (45 percent) and Pakistan (44 percent) named the United States as the nation most likely to threaten peace on earth. Public opinion in nations considered America’s best friends was also decidedly anti-US. Germans chose the US as the biggest threat, edging out Iran by 17 to 16 percent. For British respondents, there was a tie between the US and Iran, at 15 percent each. America fared relatively well in France, where Syria (14 percent), and Iran (13 percent) came in far ahead of the US (3 percent) as the biggest threat. Only 1 percent of Poles said the US was the greatest threat to peace. Further east, a surprising 33 percent of Ukrainians named the US, with just 5 percent choosing Russia.
Closer to home, 46 percent of Argentinians, 37 percent of Mexicans and 26 percent of Brazilians said the US was the nation which most threatened world peace. So did 17 percent of Canadians.
Americans themselves chose Iran (20 percent), Afghanistan (14 percent), North Korea (13 percent) and, interestingly, the United States itself (13 percent) as the greatest threats to world peace.
Many of the nations surrounding China chose it as the biggest threat to peace: Vietnam (54 percent), Japan (38 percent) and the Philippines (22 percent).
“The new poll results are very bad news for the United States as they show increasingly that around the world, people view America as the greatest threat to global peace,” said Patrick Basham of the Cato Institute, a Washington, DC-based libertarian think-tank. “America has intervened obviously in certain parts of the world recently, particularly in the Middle East, and many of those interventions have been ill-advised and have been very unpopular around the globe,” Basham recently told PressTV. He added that the CIA’s drone assassination program and the Edward Snowden revelations regarding the National Security Agency’s (NSA) global surveillance practices have also diminished America’s global standing.
As bad as the results of the most recent survey may be for the US, the situation has actually improved significantly in the past decade. As the United States was about to invade and occupy Iraq in the spring of 2003, Time magazine asked more than 700,000 Europeans which nation they thought represented the biggest threat to world peace. Nearly 88 percent said the United States. Only 6.5 percent chose Iraq. Less than 6 percent picked North Korea.
Interestingly, although regarded as the world’s biggest threat to peace, the United States is also the country that those surveyed by WIN/Gallup most wanted to live in. Asked, “If there were no barriers, which country would you like to live in?” Nine percent said the US. Seven percent answered Australia and Canada. Six percent picked Switzerland.
Tagged anti-americanism, China threat to peace, Israel threat to peace, Pakistan threat to peace, Patrick Basham, threats to world peace, U.S. biggest threat to world peace, United States, WIN/Gallup poll, world opinion poll, world peace