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Is America the Biggest Threat to World Peace?

Studies have shown that to be true, but why is this the case?

A+map+of+the+nations+who+took+part+in+the+survey.++The+flag+represents+the+nation+that+the+citizens+of+the+country+said+was+the+biggest+threat+to+world+peace.
A map of the nations who took part in the survey.  The flag represents the nation that the citizens of the country said was the biggest threat to world peace.

A map of the nations who took part in the survey. The flag represents the nation that the citizens of the country said was the biggest threat to world peace.

Photo via Twitter @AmazingMaps

Photo via Twitter @AmazingMaps

A map of the nations who took part in the survey. The flag represents the nation that the citizens of the country said was the biggest threat to world peace.

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Who is the biggest threat to world peace?

Who is the biggest threat to world peace?

In 2013, the Worldwide Independent Network and Gallup International did a survey asking 66,000 people from various countries around the world which country is the biggest threat to world peace.  The results that WIN/Gallup came across were quite shocking.

According to people interviewed in 36 nations, the biggest threat to world peace today is the United States of America.  This may come across as a shock to many Americans, and left many wondering why the nation associated with democracy, liberty, and freedom would be viewed by others as a threat to global stability and calm.

What made the results even more shocking were the countries that stated that the United States was going to be the destroyer of world peace.  Our stereotypical American “enemies” like China and Russia both said that America was a threat to global stability.  However, alongside them in saying that America is the biggest threat to world peace was Australia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, and Sweden; countries that are considered American allies.  What drew such a diverse set of respondents to say that the United States was number one on their list of possible disturbers of global peace?

Ukrainians protesting against Viktor Yanukovych.

Ukrainians protesting against Viktor Yanukovych.

This survey was done in 2013, which was a time of great chaos, especially with the rise of ISIS drawing in American airstrikes and the American reaction to conflicts in both the Middle East and Ukraine.  In the United States domestically, the country had been undergoing a government shutdown caused by polarization in the Madhouse on the Potomac.  These issues, along with the general American reaction to the international events of the time, may have caused individuals from across the planet to view the United States with ire.

However, one has to also look at the gap in responses and wonder if there are deeper, underlying problems to the view of America abroad as well.  24% of respondents worldwide said that the United States is the biggest threat to world peace, which does not seem like much until you find out that Pakistan took second place with a meager 8% of respondents, followed by China with 6%, and a tie with 4% for Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, and North Korea.  What drives the surprise index even higher is that amongst American respondents to the survey, the United States ranked in third place, tied with North Korea, for being the biggest threat to world peace.  What caused such negative reaction worldwide, and is there a fundamental issue with American policy both here and abroad?

Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

According to Noam Chomsky, the Institute Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “(The United States) is a rogue state, indifferent to international law and conventions, entitled to resort to violence at will,” and he proves himself through the Clinton Doctrine of international affairs.  The Clinton Doctrine says that the United States is free to use military power for any purpose that advances the United States, which could be at the detriment of other nations.  What makes this even more dangerous is the fact that the United States is (at current) the sole superpower of the world, allowing them to make decisions without the help or input of others.

However, how dangerous is the fact that the United States can do this?  One thing we have to remember about the United States is the fact that we are a representative democracy, and every voter and every representative has their own opinion.  Due to these multifarious and differing opinions, it could be said that the chance of the United States doing something very rogue is very small.  On the other hand, it could also be said that because we are one nation led by one President who can make decisions on his own, the United States has a very real possibility of going rogue if the wrong person gets into office.

So, now it is up to you.  Does the data given by this survey actually reflect the threat the United States is to world peace, or are these numbers really overblown and dulled by the fact that the United States is a democracy?

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