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When It Comes to Military Strategy, Voters Put American Interests Ahead of World Peace

Most U.S. voters believe the country’s military strategy should focus on defending the United States and its interests, but a sizable number thinks the strategy should concentrate on keeping the world peaceful instead. Either way, voters see economic challenges as a much bigger threat to the United States than challenges on the military front.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 55% of U.S. Likely Voters believe military strategy should be focused narrowly on defending America and its interests. Thirty-four percent (34%) say the military’s strategy should be the maintenance of worldwide stability and peace. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

But then 60% of Americans think it is more important for the United States to be allies with any country that best protects our own national security than it is to be allies only with countries that have freely elected governments.

Still, an overwhelming majority of all voters (82%) believes that economic challenges pose the biggest threat to the United States. Only eight percent (8%) see military challenges as the biggest threat.

Though most Americans expect the current unrest in Egypt to spread to other Middle Eastern countries and think that's bad for the United States, most believe we should stay out of the situation. Eighty-one percent (81%) of voters worry, however, that the crisis in Egypt will significantly increase the price of gasoline at the pump.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on January 27, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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