I just about jumped out of my skin when I saw this:
Morbid curiosity compelled me to click the link and now I’m terrified.
For the second year in a row, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute commissioned a survey to better understand Americans’ views on a broad scope of national defense issues. They polled more than a thousand U.S. adults from Oct. 24 to Oct. 30.
The survey reveals a number of opinions that Americans hold regarding national security and many of the results are encouraging. For instance, many respondents prefer active U.S. leadership in the world to trumpoid isolationism:
Americans are not isolationists. They want America to be more engaged in the world, not less. They want America to lead, not react. They want a strong U.S. military presence overseas, not retrenchment. They believe America should act to defend freedom, prevent human rights abuses, and stand against the actions of undemocratic regimes. And they believe America should eliminate threats and prevent attacks before they materialize.
Another positive result: most Americans think the U.S. should support pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong:
A new survey shows that a majority of Americans believe the United States should support pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, despite President Donald Trump's suggestion last Friday that he may veto legislation to placate China and secure a trade deal.
The survey, sponsored by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, found clear majorities of Americans disagree with key aspects of Trump's foreign policy, including his decision to not protect Syrian Kurdish partner forces and to remove sanctions on Turkey for its offensive against them.
According to the survey, 68% of Americans said they would be in favor of the U.S. showing support for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, even it angers China, while only 14% of Americans supported the Chinese government.
However, the survey also revealed the deeply troubling trend in the tweet: 46% of armed services households polled now see Russia as an ally, as opposed to 28% of the general populace. And that 28% is a substantial increase over the 19% from the previous survey.
The numbers worry Defense Dept. officials, especially since other polls also show increased support for Russia. They’re also aware of other attempts to create support for Russia, particularly among military service members:
U.S. defense and security officials have told VOA that Russia has been targeting U.S. military personnel, specifically, with a ramped-up influence campaign, as far back as 2017 in preparation for the November 2018 midterm elections.
Russia’s goal, they said, was not so much to swing the result of the elections but to seed U.S. military personnel with the right type of disinformation so that they would be predisposed to view Russia and its actions in a more favorable way in the future.
The article also mentions trump’s influence on public opinion:
“The new polls reveal a significant change among Republican voters who historically have been opposed to Russia,” he said. “More and more Republicans have changed their views on Russia because of President Trump’s positive statements about Russia and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.”
The executive summary (PDF) also notes:
Perceptions of threat also differ appreciably by party. Forty-one percent of Republicans identify China as the greatest threat to the U.S., whereas only 15% of Democrats see things similarly. Thirty-eight percent of Democrats see Russia as the greatest threat, whereas only 15% of Republicans see things similarly. Independents see China as slightly more of a threat than Russia, by a 24% to 20% count.
Given the menacing (at least to some) specter of the bear, what are the biggest concerns Americans have about Russia? Roughly one-quarter say it is sponsoring cyber-attacks on the U.S. (24%), while 21% say it is aiding Iran and other rogue regimes, and 20% say it is interference in our elections. Bringing up the rear, only 16% fear a Russian thermo-nuclear attack and a mere 11% are worried about the Russians invading one of the former Soviet republics.
Only 15% of Republicans consider Russia our greatest threat! What happened to the Red Menace? I guess the tag has been transferred to China.
But it’s equally alarming that only 11% worry about Russia invading a former Soviet republic. Aren’t any of the respondents paying any attention at all to what Russia’s doing to Ukraine? (Actually, fewer than half of Ukrainians polled think that Russia is trying to re-annex Ukraine, which is gobsmacking!)
Anyway, now that I’ve shared my fear, I invite you to review the rest of the results (PDF), or this slide deck for a more graphical representation.