A CNN/ORC poll released yesterday, found that 68 percent of Americans, view the Islamic State(IS) as a very serious threat, compared to 39 percent for Iran, 32 percent for North Korea, 25 percent for Russia and 18 percent for China.
And what is especially alarming about the poll's findings, is that the two top threats picked by Americans, do not possess nuclear weapons. The IS, thank God, does not possess a nuclear weapon, neither does Iran.
Hence, with regards to the IS, the sheer violence and brutality of its publicized be-headings, along with its sudden growth and expansion as a non-state, along with its mystical and incomprehensible lure of many western and Arab youths, might account for the terror group's high fear among Americans.
While the percentage of Americans finding of Iran as a threat could be more easily understood, given the history of the Islamic Revolution in that country, and its holding of American hostages in the late 1970s, along with present nuclear negotiations, and an added Israeli effort to brand Iran as a threat; on the other hand, the mere 25 percent viewing Russia as a serious threat, is perhaps the most surprising of all and a cause of concern.
Russia has a large nuclear arsenal and Vladimir Putin has proudly confessed he considered uncorking his nuclear weapons at the height of his invasion of Crimea, Ukraine. Moreover, from the Nordic states, to the Baltic states, and to western Europe, many nations have identified Putin's Russia as a threat, yet Americans appear to view the nuclear-weapon free Iran and the IS, as greater threats than Russia.
Concern over North Korea is expected, and that about 32 percent of Americans view the country as a serious threat, is a fair assessment. China's 18 percent also appears a fair assessment.
Yet, taken together - the IS, Iran, North Korea, Russia and China, all represent a sum of serious potential threats to global security. And there are other actors - to wit: Bashar al Assad, etal, that given their contributions to global instability, represent as much, and at times, a greater threat, to the security of the world including America.