Troops Say White Nationalism is Greater Threat to Nation Than ISIS Conflicts

By Kenrya Rankin Oct 25, 2017

While the Trump administration’s policies and comments might signal otherwise, a new poll of service members says that White nationalists pose more of a threat to the nation than ISIS.

The Military Times surveyed 1,131 active duty troops between September 7 and 25. The sample was 86 percent male, with a mean age of 30. Seventy-six percent identified as White, versus 9 percent Black, 8 percent Latinx and 2 percent Asian. The poll was released yesterday (October 24).

A full 30 percent of all respondents said that White nationalism is a significant danger to national security. That’s more than the percentage who said the same of ISIS conflicts in Syria (27 percent), Pakistan (25 percent), Afghanistan (22 percent) and Iraq (17 percent). “U.S. protest movements” and “civil disobedience” barely registered with service members; Military Times did not share the percentages, only saying, "concerns about those issues fell well short of the perceived white nationalist threat."

Upwards of 60 percent of respondents said they support using the National Guard to squash civil unrest stirred up by actions like the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, which happened three weeks before the survey was conducted.

Many service members also said that White supremacists are a problem within the ranks. More than 40 percent of troops of color said they have personally encountered White nationalism in the military; 18 percent of White troops agreed.

Meanwhile, almost 5 percent of respondents left comments asking why Black Lives Matter wasn’t included as a threat, despite the fact that the group’s mission is to create “a world free of anti-Blackness, where every Black person has the social, economic and political power to thrive.”