Fewer Americans believe US military is world's strongest

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Fewer Americans now believe the U.S. has the world's strongest military, according to a Gallup poll release Monday morning.

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Approximately half of Americans — 49 percent — believe the U.S. is the top military power in the world, a sharp decline from 59 percent last year. The latest reading is the lowest Gallup has recorded on the question in the last two decades. 

The results may reflect growing concerns over the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in the western world.

Two-thirds of respondents said they believe it is important for the U.S. to have the strongest military in the world. But only 37 percent believe the government should increase defense spending.

Gallup polled 1,021 random adults during the first week of February for the survey.