84% of Americans see Islamic State as ‘critical threat’



The Islamic State militant group (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) poses the most serious threat to the United States in the next decade, according to 84 percent of Americans quizzed by Gallup.

Americans place the
threat from international terrorism “in general” at the
same, critical level, according to the latest poll. “In a
winter that has seen acts of unspeakable terrorism, with Obama
seeking authorization for military action against the Islamic
State, Americans are clearly concerned about Islamic militants
and terrorists,”
Gallup said.

Several Islamic State fighters, who led a suicide attack on an
air base where US and coalition forces are training Iraqi forces,
were killed by Iraqi troops on Friday, AP reported. No Iraqi or
US troops were killed or wounded, the Pentagon’s press secretary

Meanwhile some Americans argue that there’s no morally acceptable
way for the US to battle Islamic State militants.

“Of course we have the ability to go ahead and destroy ISIS –
we could turn Iraq and Syria into molten glass. But that’s
something that’s beneath us. That’s something that shows that the
terrorists would have won, because at that point, we would be
Congressman Alan Grayson told RT’s Thom Hartmann
earlier this week.

Apart from ISIS and global terrorism, two other issues are being
perceived as “critical threats” by the majority of
Americans. Seventy-seven percent view the possible development of
nuclear weapons by Iran, which argues its nuclear activities are
peaceful, as a critical threat.

READ MORE: ‘We’d be terrorists’: US could
destroy ISIS only by turning Iraq, Syria into ‘molten glass’ –

Sixty-four percent also view North Korea as a “critical

Surprisingly enough, the conflict in Ukraine, when placed in the
context of other events, is not commonly seen as a looming threat
by the majority of Americans.

Only 49 percent of those polled said the military power of Russia
was a serious menace to Washington, while 44 percent admitted
being on edge over the Ukraine conflict. “The conflict in
Ukraine may not worry Americans as much because they see it as
more of a threat to Europe than to the US,”
Gallup said.

Even before Thursday’s Minsk agreement announcement of the
cease-fire, set to begin Sunday, most Americans (54 percent)
opposed the sending of US military weapons and equipment to
Ukraine to combat the separatists, according to Gallup. Only four
in 10 Americans appeared to support providing “lethal
military assistance. Earlier this week, Obama said that
the US was examining the possibility of supplying “lethal
defensive weapons”
to the Kiev authorities. The idea is
strongly opposed by Russia and the EU, who arge that there can be
no military solution to the Ukrainian crisis.

Hours before the start of “Normandy Four” (Russia,
Germany, France and Ukraine) meeting in Minsk, US Army Europe
commander, Ben Hodges, announced that the US military will train
Kiev troops fighting against militias in southeast Ukraine. The
training, scheduled to kick off in March, will see a battalion of
American troops training three battalions of Ukrainians.

The results were based on telephone interviews with a random
sample of 837 adults, aged 18 and older, across the United

READ MORE: US military to train Kiev troops
fighting in E. Ukraine – US Army commander

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