Nearly half of United States and Canadians in a recent Ipsos poll predict war with North Korea is imminent even as they also predict that 2018 will be a better year than 2017.
That’s according to the latest Ipsos Global Advisor survey about expectations for 2018. Nearly 21,000 adults in 28 countries were asked their thoughts about everything from innovation and global economy to the possibility of the impeachment of the current U.S. president. The Global Advisor survey was conducted between November 27- December 8, 2017.
Globally, more feel that war between the U.S. and North Korea is likely (42%) than feel that a terrorist attack will occur on their soil – just 31%. Interestingly, South Korea is the most skeptical. In that nation two thirds of those surveyed saying a U.S.-North Korea war is unlikely. This follows a trend that the countries furthest from North Korea are most likely to believe war is imminent. Western nations are likely to believe war is coming and also that there will be a terrorist attack within their nations. Latin American countries think the terrorist attacks are less likely.
The waning of U.S. leadership
Part of the issue in the U.S. at least is that Americans in general don’t trust Trump’s ability to deal with the conflict. In a September poll with NPR, Ipsos found that 51 percent of Americans “distrust the president’s ability to contain the North Korean government in Pyongyang,” including 40 percent who have “strong concerns.”
NPR talked to a number of respondents to better understand their feelings on the matter. One, in particular, stood out. “I think North Korea is playing him,” said independent James McDaniel of Munford, Tenn., one of the poll respondents. “I think you have a lot of countries that are trying to test President Trump with his lack of experience and leadership. And I think that North Korea is just trying to bait him a little bit.”
Overall the influence and leadership of the U.S. seems to be on the wane. Nearly half predict that China will overtake the U.S. to become the world’s largest economy and that Russia’s influence in world events will continue to grow.
In other bleak news, many around the world and in the U.S. in particular predict further dire events like a global stock market crash (25%), the impeachment of President Trump (33%), and global temperatures will continue to rise (56%).
Despite all of this, there’s still optimism somehow. While 45% said that 2017 was a bad year for themselves and their family, some 80% of Americans believe 2018 will be a better year.