If Americans had to name one country as their nation’s top enemy, it would currently be China. In a poll that has been conducted by Gallup on and off since 2005, 45 percent of respondents pointed their finger towards Beijing. Three years ago, the culprit was North Korea (51 percent) but the country has settled into third place this year, with Russia being identified as enemy of the state number two (26 percent).
In 2020, the survey was conducted just after the killing of General Qasem Soleimani and 19 percent of U.S. respondents named Iran as their country's biggest enemy then. That number was down to 4 percent this year.
2017 saw heightened tensions with North Korea over the country's long-range missile capabilities, which caused the number of Americans viewing the country as the biggest threat to spike. In September of that year, President Donald Trump famously threatened to "totally destroy" the country in a speech at the U.N. and nicknamed Kim Jong-un "rocket man" on Twitter. Tensions eased in the coming years after two highly publicized summits between the two leaders in Singapore in June 2018 and Hanoi in February 2019. As a result, the perceived threat emanating from the country decreased again.
Iran and Iraq were most frequently named as the United States' biggest enemies in the late 2000s. Since 2011, the latter has fallen into the single digits.