(RepublicanJournal.org) – Americans are known around the world for respecting our military. We ask a lot of them, and they always deliver. But can they keep delivering in the future? It seems we’re not so sure.
In June, Gallup conducted a poll that, among other things, asked respondents how much confidence they have in the US military. The results make grim reading. Just 60% of Americans have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in our armed forces, down from over 80% in 2010.
Republicans are still the most likely to believe in our troops, but even among Conservatives, support has fallen to 68% — before the bungled 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan, more than 90% of them were confident the US military could get the job done. Meanwhile, just 62% of Democrats feel the same way, and independents are now less confident than Liberals, with an alarming 55% of them feeling confident.
So why has public faith in our military collapsed? There’s no doubt the debacle in Afghanistan did a lot of damage; confidence has been dwindling ever since the Biden administration pulled out and left our allies in the lurch. Since then, the armed forces have gotten caught up in the culture wars that are tearing the US apart. According to experts like Michael O’Hanlon at the Brookings Institute, Liberals believe the military contains political extremists and criminals. On the other hand, Conservatives fear senior commanders are destroying the fighting abilities of the forces by embracing woke policies, by getting involved in the abortion debate and stripping military bases like Fort Bragg of their legendary names.
Whatever’s causing the slump in support, it’s a worry. Public confidence in the US military is the lowest it’s been since 1997; since then, it’s been buoyed up by the war against Islamist terrorism. However, the high-profile campaigns of that war in Iraq and Afghanistan are over now — and with Iraq in turmoil and Afghanistan back under Taliban control, there isn’t a lot to show for them. The problem is that as Americans’ confidence in our armed forces fades, it gets harder for the military to recruit the people it needs to fight the next war.
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