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Monday, January 16, 2017

64 percent of Americans surveyed predicted a coming major war

A new YouGov survey of 9,000 people in nine countries found that popular opinion saw world peace as unlikely in the near future. Many fear a worldwide conflict is looming.

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YouGov is an international internet-based market research firm, with headquarters in the U.K. However, it has operations in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. The entire survey document can be found here
Some 64 percent of Americans predicted a coming war while only 15 percent thought world peace likely. In the U.K. negative views were almost as prevalent with 61 percent predicting a coming war, but 19 percent thinking peace is likely. Scandinavian countries such as Sweden, Finland and Norway were less likely to see the world on the brink of war. 49 per cent of Danes predicted world peace as compared to just 39 percent who predicted war.
Anthony Well, director of political and social research for YouGov suggested that though fear of the future was highest in the United States and France, it was for different reasons. France was most fearful of another major terrorist attack in the year ahead of any country. Finns were even of the opinion that a terrorist attack was more unlikely than likely during the next year, the only group to do so. Only 26 percent predicted a major terrorist strike while 63 percent said there would not be. 81 percent of the French surveyed thought that a major terror attack would happen as compared to just 11 percent who thought there would be none.
The British were the most fearful of Russia with some 71 percent feeling threatened. This was much higher than in other countries such as Finland and Germany who are much closer geographically to Russia. Well suggested that American fears about the future could be related to uncertainty surrounding the incoming Trump administration. Americans were less likely to consider Russia a military threat than EU countries at 59 percent, the lowest percentage among those surveyed.
The actual YouGov report gives somewhat different numbers on some issues from those in the Independent used above. Respondents were asked to predict the likelihood of war on a range of zero to 10. A vote of zero to four was regarded as predicting that peace was likely. A vote of five was regarded as neutral, and a vote of six to 10 was seen as predicting war. On that basis, 15 percent of Americans predicted peace, 21 percent were neutral, and 64 percent predicted war. For the U.K., 19 percent predicted peace, 19 percent were neutral, and 61 percent thought there would be war. For Denmark only 39 percent predicted peace whereas 45 percent predicted war. 15 percent were neutral.
A recent U.S. National Council study also paints a gloomy picture for the future with extreme income disparities and negative impacts from global warming.


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