People in the US see North Korea, Russia and Iran as a greater enemy than the Islamic State (Isis/Daesh). Recent findings also indicated that Americans saw China as a bigger threat than IS-operated countries, however, it appears that Americans are more divided than ever about who their biggest enemy is.
Survey results published from a Gallup poll noted that 16% of Americans saw North Korea as their "greatest enemy", while 15% cast their vote towards Russia. Not far behind was Iran, gaining 14% of the public vote and China with 12%. A surprising number of people put "other" or "no opinion" as their answer at 11% for each category. Much lower down the list were those who considered IS-stronghold countries as a threat, with only 5% of people listing them as the country's top enemy.
A spokesperson for Gallup said: "North Korea, Iran and China have consistently ranked high on the list of enemies, dating back to 2005. Americans have not as consistently regarded Russia as the greatest US enemy, but that nation led the list last year."
Gallup notes that four years ago half of the American population viewed Russia favourably, with only 2% naming it as the greatest enemy of the US. Recent findings have now indicated that only 30% of the public see Russia in a positive view, with 86% regarding Russia's military power as an important (47%) or critical threat (39%).
In the case of North Korea, a majority of the US population regard its military power as a "critical threat" (58%). Meanwhile a staggering 75% see Iran's development of nuclear weapons as a "critical threat" to the US and the country previously topped the "greatest enemy" list for five years in a row between 2006 and 2012.
Researchers at Gallup said: "With almost three-fourths (73%) of the public thinking all four nations are, at the least, an important threat to the US, the reason no single nation is thought of as the greatest enemy may not be because Americans see so few threats, but because they see so many."
While a majority of Americans do not view IS as their biggest enemy, a Gallup poll conducted on 19 February revealed that four in five Americans view Syria unfavourably. In the "greatest enemy" list, Iraq ranked higher than Syria with 5% of the population referring to it as their greatest enemy. Syria and Afghanistan were close behind with 4% each. A similar number of Americans also considered no country to be their greatest enemy, with 4% choosing "none".