Friday, June 21, 2024

Poll shows Americans’ trust in US military lowest in two decades, citing poor pull-out from Iraq and Afghanistan

Public confidence in the US military has been constantly in decline over the past five years and it is now at its lowest level in two decades, a recent opinion poll shows. Gallup has linked the decline to the United States' poorly executed withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The poll, which was conducted by Gallup and its results were reported on Monday, was carried out between June 1 and 22.

It showed that only 60 percent of Americans currently express “a great deal” of confidence in the country’s military, which is the lowest figure registered in the past 20 years.

The Gallup report said confidence in the US military “generally held above 70 percent” after the 9/11 attacks and stood there for the next two decades. However, it fell to 69 percent following the United States’ chaotic exit from Afghanistan in 2021, 64 percent in 2022, and 60 percent in 2023.

The figure “was last this low in 1997 and it hasn’t been lower since 1988, when 58 percent were confident,” the Gallup report noted.

“The declines this year were across all party identification groups, with Republicans remaining the most likely to express confidence and independents becoming the least likely,” it added.

Although Gallup linked the decline to the United States’ poorly executed withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, many analysts have also attributed the trust deficit to Washington’s heavy arms supplies to Ukraine, which has been engaged in a war with Russia since last February.

Last month, Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl acknowledged that the United States’ military aid to Ukraine has placed the country’s arms industry under strain.

According to Kahl, Washington has provided nearly $40 billion in military assistance to Kiev since the start of the war.

This year’s confidence index reflected a four-percentage-point decline compared to last year, when an American think tank rated the US military’s level of capability as “weak,” stating it was incapable of winning a single war against archrivals China and Russia, let alone two concurrent ones.

The report prepared by the Washington-based Heritage Foundation only appraised the Marine Corps as “strong,” while giving the Army a “marginal” rating, evaluating the Space Force and Navy as “weak,” and finding the Air Force to be “very weak.”

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