Sunday, February 21, 2010

American Perceptions of Threat

A recent Gallup Poll shows 60% of Americans think Iran is a "critical" threat to US interests, and that only 23% perceive Russia to be so.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/125996/View-Iran-Critical-Threat-Interests.aspx?CSTS=alert

Although I'm not surprised, it raises for me serious concerns about whether the United States is going to sufficiently keep Russia on its radar. While Iran has the potential to be a major irritant in Israel and exert major influence in Iraq, but Iran's ability to seriously threaten the United States in the long term is ultimately limited.

The politicians that the United States elects will ultimately at least rhetorically follow the broad strokes of public opinion. That should speak for itself.

Given that, will we elect leaders that "know better" than we do, and will keep Russia near the tops of their lists and simply try to play a rhetorical game elsewhere, or will we actually elect leaders that share our priorities on foreign policy? The thought is not terribly reassuring either way.
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