10 years from now, which will be perceived as the bigger threat to US, Russa or Islamic terrorism

So, ten years from today, which do you think will be perceived by the US public as the bigger threat to the country: Russia or Islamic terrorism? Not which is actually more of threat, but which will be perceived that way by the average Joe?

You can evaluation either as a threat on American soil, a threat to the government as it stands, or a threat to the country’s international interest.

My adult life, Islamic terrorism has been the “boogieman.” The Cold War ended in my childhood, and honestly, I was never really aware of it, despite being a pre-teen at the time. If there was a “big” threat in the 1990s, I was too wrapped up in being a teenager to notice. I didn’t watch/read the news back then.

I do definitely recall some China/hacking accusations (stealing tech, etc.) at some point, but it’s not something I ever heard discussed in real life by real people. Nor did I see much of it in popular culture (tv bad guys, etc. - I think the frame job in Chain Reaction was about it). It was confined to the news in my world. But then, my world was high school then.

But now, North Korea and Russia are getting lots of attention. Some of the NK stuff is very overhyped, but they are increasing their missile capabilities, regardless of how it turns out or what their motivations are. With Russia, of course, there’s all the politics in the news now, plus the invasion of Crimea a few years ago. Will it that conflict of interest come to become a Cold War, part II? I mean, in terms of public perception, actual threat, and influencing fiction, etc.?

So, my question is, which of the two do you think will be bigger in the public mindset of the American people in 2027, even if you think both will be big or both will be small or both will be eclipsed by something else?

I never considered terrorists to be more threatening than a nation. So I don’t know what “the public” will think, but I would consider Russia to be the more valid threat.

Certainly a lot of people agree with you. I’ve seen some who don’t even consider it much threat to the population: usually either with a “we grew up thinking the whole world was going to be nuked” or a “statistically, you’re more likely to die in your bathtub” response.

Also, I just noticed I have typo in the title. Sorry.

Which is perceived as the bigger threat now? Liberals say Russia, conservatives say Islam.

Liberals were for the Russians, before they were against the Russians.

I’m sure the Democrats can beaver on at the McCarthy business until the requisite hate settles at boiling level, and parley that into capturing the White House; after which it remains as useful as the fear of Catholicism in 17th/18th century Europe, long after any strength had receded and most leaders took it cynically enough.
Plus they are wary of too much attacking of Islam, because, diversity. Plus the radical islamists can actually damage America ( well, bits of it ) should they ever get faintly rational leaders; whereas Russia can’t.
Not until that last, but Russians are terrified of nuclear war.

Russia, by far. There will continue to be isolated incidents of self radicalized people such as the Manchester bomber and the Orlando shooter, but Russia is an extremely dangerous nation state, run by an autocrat with KGB experience and has nuclear weapons. Cyber attacks and attempts to meddle in elections will continue. They could also manipulate the financial markets.

Islam; it’s the “wrong” religion so now that Russia isn’t controlled by “godless Communism” it is the Great Evil Americans have to fear and hate.

That’s simply wrong; even ignoring nukes Russia is vastly more powerful than every Islamic terrorist who ever lived combined.

Russia is vaguely rational. They want to succeed as a major, modern, industrialized nation, and that means having an educational system, a health-care system, a system of international trade and finance, and so on. They have goals that mesh in a broad sense with everyone else’s goals.

The wildest and most extreme of religious terrorists would happily burn down the house they live in, if it meant killing a handful of “the other.” This makes them weak, in the end, but it also makes them terribly dangerous.

The Russians, bless 'em, realize that they live in this house too, and are that much less likely to burn it down.

Sure it is, but what can they actually physically ***do *** against America ? Including cyber, financial, spying, and saying bad things on comment pages.
The islamists have very little to lose, and can prod the giant cyclops; the Russians know American strength is unspeakably superior to them in every way — for the present period — and they will be stamped out of existence if they did harm. Even out of reactive blind panic from the American side. They have a lot to lose.

And they already lost a lot in the '90s, and had to grovel before the sour victors; just as the Germans had to in 1945 when the Russians were part of the sour victors. They don’t want to go through it again. The threat of Hillary’s Regime Change was terrifying to them, not just Putin’s gang; which is why wiser presidents will attempt to mollify them and other big states such as China rather than listening to ancestral voices prophesying war.

Islamic terrorism. Russia will no longer be a problem, Comrades.


Given Trump’s victory, I have lost enough faith in the average Joe to believe he would answer this correctly. The average Joe would definitely pick Islamic terrorism as the larger threat. And he would be wrong.

That was a defining characteristic of the 1990s: there was no big bad. Francis Fukuyama announced the “End of History” in 1990 and blew everybody’s mind. Russia in the '90s was run by Boris Yeltsin, who spend the decade getting drunk on the job. When he quit, he left us the gift of Putin. Bin Ladin and al-Qa‘idah only got warmed up toward the end of the '90s. The first half of the '90s the Islamist fundamentalists were either still taking over Afghanistan or else licking their wounds from Afghanistan.

Not a conspiracy theorist, but I believe that Islamic terrorism will ‘die out’ only for the War On Terror to focus on an overblown ‘threat’.

All the Russian power elite care about is increasing their personal wealth.

Yet more to inflame the righteous wrath of the Clintons of this world.

We’ve spent the better part of a century relaying to Russians that, hey, if you nuke us, we’ll nuke you right back. And, despite having nukes, they haven’t nuked us.

AFAICT, Islamic terrorists haven’t had nukes, but have blown themselves up in hopes of killing some of us in the process. If they get their hands on anything of the ‘nightmarish’ variety – and are utterly convinced that we’ll hit back in kind – then their first thought will presumably be “Allahu,” and their second “Akbar.”

Russia is an old and poor country that depends on the price of oil. We are in an oil glut and the price of alternatives seems to get cheaper all the time. Russia has delusions of grandeur and so is a threat to its immediate neighbors, but of no threat to the US at all.
Islamic terrorists will try to keep trying to kill us as long as the Middle East is screwed up and that seems to have no end in sight.

Blowing up a few people, while horrible, and indeed terrifying for many, doesn’t really account for much in a world of 7 billion.
In 2015 toddlers killed more Americans the terrorists did. cite
Subverting governments and invading sovereign countries on the other hand . . .

I’m aware of that. But I asked about public perception/cultural norms/tv plotlines, not about what is actually more dangerous. I explicitly rejected the “which is really more of a threat” question. The idea is about what you think people are feeling threatened by in ten years (and is artificially limited to these two for the poll, though other things may well dominate by then).