For the last two decades, Gallup has been asking Americans their views about the U.S. military. Specifically, the question asks whether they think the U.S. military is the best in the world, or if it is only one among many leading military powers.
While the numbers have certainly waxed and waned over the years, the latest reading shows that only 49 percent believe America has the strongest military in the world. Not only is that down 10 percentage points from last year, it’s also the lowest reading on record.
The 10-point drop in the percentage of Americans who believe the U.S. is the No. 1 military power in the world may reflect worries about international terrorism, which the public views as the most critical international threat the nation faces. It may also reflect the discussion of the military and defense in the current presidential election campaign.