Mapping America’s Friends, Foes, & Frenemies

Subject to change…

Map created by reddit user ShilohShay


The map above shows which countries Americans consider their allies and friends and those they consider unfriendly or even their enemy.

The data is based off a YouGov poll conducted between January 28 – February 1, 2017, which asked 7,150 adults living in the United States the question:

“Do you consider the countries listed below to be a friend or an enemy of the United States?”


Reddit user ShilohShay explains that:

For the purpose of extrapolating more interesting data from the poll, I only added a country to “Don’t Know” in this map if 50% or more of Americans picked that option. Otherwise I went with the plurality opinion.

Top 10 US Allies were:

  1. Canada
  2. Australia
  3. UK
  4. France
  5. Italy
  6. Ireland
  7. Israel
  8. Norway
  9. Sweden
  10. Germany

Top 10 US Enemies were:

  1. North Korea
  2. Iran
  3. Syria
  4. Iraq
  5. Afghanistan
  6. Russia
  7. Libya
  8. Somalia
  9. Pakistan
  10. Palestine

While many of the enemies are the ones you’d expect, only 11% of Americans consider China their enemy and just 9% consider Cuba their enemy.

What NATO Must Do To Remain A True Alliance

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis met with defense ministers from other NATO member countries in Brussels on Feb. 15. The meeting was closed to the public, but some of Mattis’s comments were released to the media. “America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to this alliance, each of your capitals needs to show its support for our common defense.” He added, “America cannot care more for your children’s security than you do.”

The previous US administration criticized NATO at times but in such a way that the complaint was never taken seriously. The new administration cannot afford for this demand to not be taken seriously.From a US strategic view, the status quo is unacceptable.

Is NATO Still An Alliance?

NATO was created to be a defense alliance. Defense requires military forces. Alliance means deploying those forces to protect or support an ally. Alliances usually involve countries with varying power and capabilities, some weak and some strong. This is to be expected. But sharing the burden is also expected in an alliance. Each partner gives what it can for the greater good.

By all these measures, NATO is not currently a coherent alliance. It is instead a collection of states disproportionately dependent on the US for security guarantees. This arrangement is significantly less valuable to the US than an alliance.

The world is more unstable today than at any point since the Soviet Union’s fall. The US is still the only global power, but it is not all-powerful. The US must have the support of its allies to meet challenges such as Russia and China, as well as in the ongoing war with radical Islamism. Other NATO members also must have the support of the US.

Mattis has called attention to an unpleasant truth: NATO military capabilities are not adequate to meet all the challenges facing NATO members. This lack of capability can be attributed to three factors: the disproportionate level of NATO members’ defense spending, the decline in NATO members’ defense spending over the last seven years, and the unequal sharing of the alliance’s burdens relative to individual members’ resources.

Uneven Defense Expenditures

The chart above starts at the simplest level. Not all NATO members spend a similar amount on defense. NATO estimates that alliance members’ defense expenditures totaled $918.3 billion in 2016. More than 70% of that spending came from the United States. The US spends 2.5 times more on defense than all other NATO member states combined.

NATO is not currently a traditional military alliance. It is a list of 27 countries the US has agreed to defend.

Decline in Defense Spending

The data in the table above are taken directly from NATO’s own figures and show the problem from a different angle. Defense expenditures as a percentage of each individual ally’s GDP (including the US) have been decreasing steadily. Some claim this decline only began after the 2008 financial crisis. This is not true.

Only eight countries increased spending as a percent of GDP from 2005 to 2008. As the chart above shows, these increases were small. In 2006, NATO states agreed at a summit in Riga that all members should spend 2% of GDP on defense. In that year, six countries met that threshold: Bulgaria, France, Greece, Turkey, the UK, and the US. In 2016, only five countries met this threshold: Estonia, Greece, Poland, the UK, and the US.

In 2014, some NATO countries reaffirmed their commitment to increase spending to requisite levels by 2024. But NATO member states had already agreed to those spending levels in 2006. “Reaffirming a commitment” is code for not having fulfilled a previous promise and insisting this time will be different. Promises lose their worth when they have been broken in the past. A decade is a long enough time to wait for an ally to live up to a promise. And 18 years is an unreasonable amount of time.

The US cannot fight wars and defend NATO’s varied interests with promises. The US cannot honor commitments unconditionally. Its power has limits. The US faces a broad array of challenges in different parts of the world, and this makes having dependable allies a crucial part of US strategy.

Relative Defense Spending

Not all NATO members are created equal. For example, Croatia is never going to spend an equal amount on defense as the United States. But even when factoring in the size of the US, it spends significantly more on defense than other members. As the chart above shows, the US accounts for about 50% of NATO members’ total GDP and 32% of their total population—and yet the US makes up about 72% of defense spending.

There is only one country that spends a proportionate share on defense based on its share of overall GDP and population: the United Kingdom. The US contributes far more than its share. Every other NATO country spends less relative to its economic activity or its population. Western European countries (excluding the UK) account for 31% of NATO members’ GDP and 33%  of their population, and yet they contribute 16%  to NATO members’ total defense spending.

Eastern European countries, which account for 4.2% of NATO members’ GDP and 12.7% of their population, are much poorer and smaller than Western European countries. Eastern Europe contributes 2.7% to defense spending. In effect, Eastern Europe contributes closer to its share than its far wealthier and stronger neighbors to the west.

On one hand, this makes sense. Eastern Europe faces more immediate threats than Western Europe. Eastern Europeans still have fresh memories of Soviet domination, which means Russian aggressiveness poses a very real threat there. On the other hand, it demonstrates that some NATO members that can contribute more are not pulling their weight.

Clear Eyes

After Mattis’s closed-door meeting with defense ministers, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference, “This is not the US telling Europe to increase defense spending. This is 28 allies, heads of states and governments sitting around the same table in 2014, and looking into each other’s eyes and agreeing that we shall increase defense spending.”

The NATO secretary general’s analysis is wrong. This is the US telling Europe to increase its defense spending. There will be a tangible change in NATO member states’ behavior, or there will be a tangible change in US support for NATO. If the second scenario takes shape, NATO will be replaced by a greater emphasis on important bilateral relationships.

The US has asked for help and hasn’t gotten it. The US is now demanding help. NATO member states face a serious choice over whether to give the US this help. The US wants NATO meetings to be gatherings of officials from 28 allies sitting around a table, each clear-eyed about the alliance’s goals, and bearing a proportional share of the cost of achieving those goals. For the US, that is a measure of success. It is not a description of reality.

* * *

Economic trends, social upheaval, stock market cycles, and more are all connected to powerful geopolitical currents that most of us aren’t even aware exist. Global-intelligence guru George Friedman gives you an in-depth view of these hidden forces in This Week in Geopolitics. Get it free in your inbox every Monday.

Gee, will ALL the democrat crybabies have bagheads on their arms at the Presidential address to congress tomorrow?

17-year-old Muslim baghead Samia Abdul-Qadir (right) was invited by U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), after the Naperville North High School junior participated in Foster’s recent community discussion at the Islamic Center of Naperville on the local effects of the president’s attempts to ban travel from several Muslim-majority countries.

Chicago Tribune  Abdul-Qadir told the 150 people in attendance about how a fencing teammate once told her she “looked like a terrorist” because she was wearing a hijab. (You DO) “It pierced my heart,” she said. (GOOD, take it off)

Each member of Congress is allowed to invite someone to the president’s annual address, which is called the State of the Union after the president completes his first year in office.

Abdul-Qadir said in a statement from Foster’s office: “I don’t think it makes America any safer to single out a group of people because of their religious beliefs. It goes against this country’s core values.” (Islam is what goes against this country’s core values. Read the quran)

US Rep. Bill Foster (below) addressed the problems he sees in President Trump’s ban on travel from seven Muslim nations during a meeting at the Islamic Center of Naperville. Foster considers it “religious bigotry.” (That’s funny, everyone else considers it “terrorism bigotry.”)

History has not looked kindly on us when we’ve prevented people fleeing violence from seeking refuge in this country,” he said in a statement. (That was before the Muslim invasion) “Samia’s courage and conviction have stood out as a bright spot amidst an atmosphere of fear and hate.” (All the fear and hate is the result of Muslims coming into the country)

MUSLIM Jihadi Terrorist Attacks in US More Than Double in one year; Tactics & Targeting Expanding.

Intel Center  The number of jihadi terrorist attacks in the US is now at the highest it has ever been and is continuing to rise based on attacks tracked in the IntelCenter Database (ICD). The current rate of attack in 2016 is at one attack every 37 days. In 2016 there have been nine attacks as of 28 Nov., which more than doubles the previous record of four attacks in 2015. Seventy-one percent of attacks in the US since 2002 have occurred in the past four years.

Small arms and bladed weapons were the most common tactics, which was driven by a significant increase in inspired attacks. The rise in inspired attacks also resulted in a shift with 62% of attacks occurring in areas not previously thought to be at significant risk from terrorism. Military/Police and recreational sectors were the most frequently targeted with a more detailed breakout putting police personnel, military facilities and civilians the most at risk. New York had the most attacks during the period, however, the attacks were spread out over a total of 14 states.

The dramatic rise of attacks is expected to continue to climb throughout 2017 with both inspired and directed attacks occurring. In the new environment, inspired attacks are expected to remain the greatest in volume with the largest geographical spread with directed attacks being less frequent and favoring high-profile targets in traditional locations such as New York City and Washington, DC. However, it is incorrect to presume that inspired attacks are confined to lower casualty counts. As both the Nice and Orlando attacks in 2016 demonstrated, a well-executed low-tech inspired attack can result in far more casualties than some sophisticated directed attacks.

Bladed weapons, small arms and vehicular assaults are expected to be the most common inspired tactics with VBIEDs and other more sophisticated tactics largely remaining within the toolbox of directed plotters. Police and military personnel are expected to remain the most at risk group for inspired attacks.

An analysis of the 21 attacks that occurred from 2002 to 28 Nov. 2016 revealed the following:

• New York had the greatest number of attacks at 14% (3) with California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio and Texas tied at 9% (2). Arkansas, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia each had 5% (1).

• The most commonly used tactic was Small Arms at 38% (8) followed by Bladed Weapons at 24% (5) and IED at 19% (4). Vehicular Assault came in next at 9% (2) followed by Suicide Bombing and VBIED at 5% (1). Bladed Weapons and Vehicular Assault are expected to continue to rise as the fastest growing method of attack based on current US and global trends.

• A total of 86 people were killed and 446 injured. The average number of people killed per attack is four and the average number injured is 22.

• The most targeted sector is Military/Police at 29% (6) followed by Recreation at 19% (4). Aviation, Civilians and Education came in next at 10% (3) with Shopping, Government, Rail, Restuarant and Political all coming in at 5% (1).

• A more granular look at targeting showed that Police Personnel, Military Facilities and Civilians were the most targeted at 14% (3). Sporting Event and Educational Facility came in next at 10% (2) with the remainder of attacks tied at 5% (1) for Civilian Airliner, Airport, Government Facility, Landmark, Large Gathering, Nightclub, Restaurant and Train Station.

• If you look at just 2002 – 2014, only 25% of attacks occurred in areas not previously thought to be at significant risk of terrorism. However, from 2015 – 28 Nov. 2016, the number leaps to 85%. This concerning development represents a significant shift in where terrorist attacks are occurring.

Historically, significant attacks by jihadi groups were almost always focused in high-profile areas. This meant the focus of counterterrorism efforts could be concentrated in major cities where there were typically more resources available. While the threat of attacks in smaller cities and towns, could not be ruled out, there was a much lower risk of such attacks occurring. This is no longer the case. The recent wave of inspired and supported attacks has made a reality what many in counterterrorism feared and talked about for decades.