The Left Hand Don’t Know What The Right Hand’s Doin’

The left hand — Barely half of all Americans believe the U.S. is the world’s No. 1 military power, according to a February Gallup poll.*

The right hand — Here’s a graph the top seven military spenders in the world. Guess which country is the big blue bar on the left:

(Photo from Wikipedia)

*Gallup, I should note, worded the poll question — “Do you think the U.S. is No. 1 in the world militarily, or that it is only one of several leading military powers?” — in a way that biases the answers.

While our military spending accounts for 43 percent of all military spending in the world, I can understand how someone would look at that question and be tempted to respond that the U.S. is “one of several leading military powers.” We did fight our last two wars — Iraq and Afghanistan — with the assistance of military coalitions.

But I do think there are important policy implications here. With defense spending cuts on the way in Washington, perception of the state of U.S. military might could be just as important as reality.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: