A new Military Times poll finds that nearly one in four U.S. service members say they have witnessed examples of white nationalism in the ranks, and they view this as a greater national security threat than Syria and Iraq.
The poll, released Monday, was conducted about a month after white supremacists held a violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. When it comes to national security, 30 percent of respondents said white nationalists pose a significant threat to the U.S., more than Syria (27 percent), Pakistan (25 percent), Afghanistan (22 percent), and Iraq (17 percent).
Close to 5 percent commented that they thought the Black Lives Matter movement should have been included among the options for threats to national security, and some were bothered that the poll even mentioned white supremacists. "White nationalism is not a terrorist organization," one anonymous Navy commander wrote, while an anonymous Air Force staff sergeant asked, "You do realize white nationalists and racists are two totally different types of people?"
This voluntary survey was conducted online between Sept. 7 and 25, with 1,131 active-duty service members responding, and it has a margin of error of about ±3 percent. Of the respondents, 86 percent were male, 14 percent were female, 76 percent identified as white, 9 percent as black, 8 percent as Hispanic, 2 percent as Asian, and 5 percent as other ethnicities. Catherine Garcia