Nearly half of the US military and their family members considered Russia an ally
The results of the survey demonstrated, rather, the point of view of the families of American military personnel than themselves
A survey of the US military about its attitude towards Russia caused a sensation. Almost half of the respondents consider the Russians to be US allies. Washington is sounding the alarm, the American press and experts unanimously blame the “Russian propaganda”, which has already penetrated the holy of holies – the Pentagon. Once again, Trump went for positive reviews about Russia. What really became the reason for the unexpectedly warm attitude of the Yankees to the Russians?
Nearly half (46%) of the US military and their family members surveyed by sociologists said they considered Russia an ally of the United States. A sensational conclusion was made following the results of the annual Reagan National Defense Research in October, Voice of America reported. This is a record for the last 10 years.
The overall result of the survey is slightly less impressive, but also very interesting: 28% of respondents, military and civilians, said that Russia was in fact an ally of the United States. “Belief in this lie has grown – last year 19% gave such an answer,” commenting on the results of the survey, the American military-analytical portal Defense One lamented. This publication called the “astounding discovery” the results of a survey, which was attended by more than a thousand Americans. Note that the discovery was not made by the structure most tolerant of Russia – the study was commissioned by the Ronald Reagan Foundation.
However, 71% called Russia a threat to America, and 25% called it the main threat. But a much larger number of respondents (60%) identified China as the main threat, not Russia. “Russian attempts to weaken the West through an endless information campaign may have begun to bear fruit. The American troops were under attack, ”Voice of America noted with concern.
A publication funded by the US administration notes: US authorities are increasingly concerned about growing pro-Russian sympathies – given that other polls have revealed similar trends. For example, according to a survey conducted by the reputable Pew research center last September, 35% of Americans would like the United States to work more with Russia. “From the side of Russia there are attempts to flood the media environment with disinformation in order to sow doubt and confusion,” Pentagon spokeswoman Carla Gleason told Voice of America. According to her, the US Department of Defense “is actively working to expose and counteract Russian misinformation when possible.”
However, judging by the results of a survey conducted by the Reagan Foundation, “countering misinformation” is not possible even among the US military itself. And according to the publications of the American press, President Donald Trump was again “to blame” for this. The same Voice of America believes that the positive reviews of Russia appear to be “due to Republicans who have responded to President Trump’s positive responses.” It seems that there is no exact data on the party preferences of the American military – but there is an opinion that the sergeant mainly votes for the Republicans, and the opinions of the officer corps are divided approximately in half. A survey conducted last year by the Military Times revealed that the level of approval and disapproval of Trump’s policies among the military is approximately equal: 44% are for, 43% are against.
“The results of the survey demonstrated, rather, the point of view of the families of American military personnel than themselves,” said Gregory Copley, American military expert, chairman of the Association for International Strategic Studies, to the newspaper VZGLYAD. We add that perhaps the opinion of the older generation really played a role here. Judging by some exit polls held after the 2016 presidential election, retirees for the most part voted for Donald Trump (61%), while the relative majority of the active military (50%) said they voted for Hillary Clinton.
According to Gregory Copley, “it is obvious that with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia and the Russian people are no longer perceived by the United States as enemies.” “Unless the American press and the political establishment equate the Soviet Union and Russia,” the American expert added.
It is understandable that the survey participants (even those who consider Russia a threat) still put the Chinese threat in the forefront, the source said. “China in October 2018 announced the start of a trade war with the United States. This is a huge challenge for the United States, ”Copley recalled. “In addition, the United States is concerned that Russia has certain strategic ties with China,” the American expert noted. – At the same time, the Kremlin continues to be in a state of confrontation with NATO, supporting China.
Andrei Kortunov, director general of the Russian Council on Foreign Affairs (RIAC), believes that the survey reflects real sentiments among the US military – and these sentiments are markedly different from those of the State Department or intelligence community. “It seems to me that the military, to a greater extent than civilians, understands: the next conflict with Russia will be a global catastrophe. They understand that if something happens, then the responsibility will rest with them – they will have to rake up all the mistakes of diplomats and scouts, ”Kortunov told the newspaper VZGLYAD. “Perhaps this explains the demonstration of unwillingness to perceive Russia as an enemy.”
The factor of Trump’s positive reviews about Russia could also play a role, the source believes. “I think the US military understands that the president is betting on them now. Therefore, they follow not so much foreign policy actions as President Trump’s foreign policy rhetoric. And they follow to a greater extent than people from the State Department or from the intelligence community, ”the expert said.
According to Kortunov, the fact that in Syria, where both the Russian and the US military are present, there were no incidents between the military personnel of the two countries, not to mention some serious clashes. “Initially, many said that at some stage a clash is inevitable. However, even when, according to Trump’s instructions, in 2017 and 2018, they attacked Iranian positions in Syria and Syrian infrastructure, even then Russian military facilities were not affected in any way, ”the general director of the INF. Russian air defense systems deployed in Syria did not, in turn, cause any damage to the Americans, Kortunov added. Such clashes are unlikely, including thanks to the “special channel to prevent conflicts with Russians,” as high-ranking retirees recently announced, including the ex-commander of special operations, Lieutenant General Michael Nagata.
“Of course, it is here, of course, not allied relations, but at least a high level of coordination of mutual exchange of information,” Kortunov notes. From this, according to the interlocutor, the assurance that “in a number of situations Russian and American positions do not diverge too much” can flow. Recall that when the United States took credit for eliminating the leader of the Islamic State * al-Baghdadi, Donald Trump expressed gratitude to Moscow for help, and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo claimed that he had contacted Russian representatives before the operation.
For his part, the Russian ambassador to the United States, former deputy secretary of defense Anatoly Antonov, noted in May this year: he deliberately does not use the word “cooperation” in relation to the Russian and American military (because such cooperation is prohibited by the Pentagon by Congress), but local cooperation in Syria is coming, and it is quite successful. Effectively operates a memorandum to prevent conflicts in the air, quoted Antonov RIA “Novosti”. It can be assumed that real examples of interaction between the US military and the Russian are stronger than propaganda hype – and this has affected the change in their attitude towards Russia.