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Survey: Public Trust In Military Declining

Survey: Public Trust In Military Declining

“The most common response was military leadership becoming overly politicized, with 62% of respondents picking it.”

One of the most surprising developments of the last year or so is the inability of the U.S. Military to meet recruitment goals. As it turns out, this may be the symptom of a much worse problem.

As the military has become more politicized, Americans’ trust in the institution has eroded. This is not good.

Mike Brest reports at the Washington Examiner:

Political polarization saps confidence in US military, survey says

American confidence in the armed services has dropped sharply over the last five years, and a new study from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute said political polarization in the military is a top contributing factor.

The Reagan National Defense Survey, which was released this week, found that 48% of respondents said they had a great deal of trust and confidence in the military. That’s up slightly from 45% last year but a significant decrease from the 70% of people who answered that way in 2018.

This year’s survey was the first time the group asked respondents why they lacked confidence in the military. Three of the eight options were on the military’s different types of leadership. The most common response was military leadership becoming overly politicized, with 62% of respondents picking it. Over half also palmed the performance and competence of the president, the military’s civilian leadership, uniformed military officers, and the military’s ability to win a potential future war.

There was a strong partisan divide within some of the choices respondents identified as their reason for their lack of confidence in the military. Fifty percent of respondents said the “so-called ‘woke’ practices,” though “there is a sizable partisan disparity on this, with far more Republicans that Democrats blaming ‘wokeness,’” according to the summary of the survey.

You can see the survey here.

Legal Insurrection’s Critical Race Training Database has been following these developments. Professor Jacobson wrote an extensive post on the topic of wokeness in the military.

Defense One notes some other details from the survey:

57 percent of those surveyed said the U.S. “must continue to stand with Ukraine and oppose Russian aggression.” But 33 percent said that “America has enough problems at home and cannot afford to spend more on the conflict.” More Democrats favored continued support for Ukraine (73 percent) than Republicans (51 percent). Some 76 percent of respondents said they view Ukraine as an ally, up from 49 percent one year ago. And 82 percent view Russia as an enemy, up from 65 percent last year. Recall: in 2019, one in four surveyed viewed Russia as an ally of the United States.

Some 77 percent of those surveyed said they were concerned that Russia might use a nuclear weapon, while 74 percent said they were concerned the war in Ukraine might spill over into Eastern Europe and force the U.S. to get involved. And some 70 percent said they were concerned that the war in Ukraine is distracting U.S. policymakers “from the threat posed” by China.

This was discussed on FOX News yesterday. Watch the segment below:


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The Gentle Grizzly | December 3, 2022 at 4:17 pm

Quota appointments and affirmative action promotion were biggies when I got out in 1981. Being black and female helped far more than competence.

    Putting on the Ritz rather than putting on the hits.

    I never really wanted to be one of those old, retired soldiers, sitting on my front porch, watching the world go by and saying “Back in my day…”

    These days, I find myself remembering how it was, back during my time in the Army, between 1978 and 1999. You may find this chuckle-worthy, but we actually trained to fight and win wars. We didn’t spend a lot of time worrying about whose feelings might get hurt along the way.

    Back in my day, the primary combat mission of the military was to degrade or destroy our enemy’s will and ability to resist so the U.S. could impose its will on the enemy. We did that by destroying things like military equipment, military and economic infrastructure, killing the enemy’s military, and where unavoidable, civilians. We accepted that sometimes collateral damage was unavoidable, regardless of the steps taken to minimize that damage.

    We also didn’t spend our time making sure we were using preferred pronouns or not hurting people’s feelings. The military has better uses for its limited resources than treating people’s mental disorders, otherwise enabling their delusions, or providing elective, self-mutilation surgery. There is no animosity involved, but there is no place for the distraction from the mission that treating their disorder or accommodating their self-deception would require.

    Don’t get me wrong: If a man wants to play dress-up and pretend to be a woman or vice versa, I don’t really care. But they have no business demanding that I or anyone else enable their delusions. And there are more important things for the military to concentrate on than pandering to them.

    Hopefully, someday the military will return to training to fight and win and abandon the nuttiness they’re currently afflicted with.

Subotai Bahadur | December 3, 2022 at 4:23 pm

Reasons for lack of trust:

1) As noted the politicization of not only the horrendously huge military civilian bureaucracy, but also the uniformed forces. Political submission to the Leftist State over the Constitution is necessary to advance in either. Competence in defending the country lessens your chances of advancement.

2) The constant and increasing demonstrations of lack of competence in military operations as demonstrated over the last couple of years.

3) The constant degradation of military competence in favor of cutting all objective standards for politically correct reasons.

4) The knowledge that if we allow our military age children to join the military today, that it is THEY who will die because of 1-3 and their deaths will be for anything except country and Constitution.

5) Just as Federal law enforcement now is governed by Leftist politics and not laws or the Constitution; there is a very reasonable fear that the military will be used against the American people for the same goals.

My children are well beyond military age. My grandchildren are way below military age. But I would have neither serve in a military where they may be killed for nothing, or used to oppress their fellow Americans.

Will that do as a start for a list of reasons?

Subotai Bahadur

E Howard Hunt | December 3, 2022 at 4:27 pm

How about the military’s recent phony campaign to convince an all too eager and gullible public that our airspace is being frequented by UFOs not of this world? Supposedly rogue aviators and others coming forward with the release of grainy film. The brass couldn’t care less about further dumbing down the public and causing mass anxiety in order to further some nefarious, convoluted benefit this charade is in aid of.

We have been played (suckered) by our media and our politicians to such an extent that we have sold our birthright for a mess of potage.
How many billions have we given to the Ukraine? for what?
because we’ve been convinced by the above that unless we support Zelenskyy, Putin will take over all of Europe.
Good! if he’s truly that dumb, let him have all the bickering chickens in the coop – I don’t think he’d waste his time or resources.

How many top officers resigned over the shameful televised Afghanistan defeat? Not long ago, some would have. On this trajectory and when the day comes to turn on the American people, what will the military do? Revolt against an unlawful order or split between senior officers and junior officers? Then what of the enlisted members. Which side?

    paracelsus in reply to Whitewall. | December 3, 2022 at 5:52 pm

    That’s why we now have armed IRS agents and Dept. of Agriculture agents with automatic rifles. “If you wanted or if you think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons. The point is that there has always been the ability to limit — rationally limit the type of weapon that can be owned and who can own it.”

      henrybowman in reply to paracelsus. | December 3, 2022 at 7:52 pm

      “The point is that there has always been the ability to limit — rationally limit the type of weapon that can be owned and who can own it.”

      Gaslighting bullshit.

      As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms…

      “Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American…. [T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.”


Can’t say I’m impressed by the military vaccine mandates, esp. in the wake of other institutions backing off, courts striking down mandates, and the medical evidence that they do harm. “Because we said so” demonstrates incredible incompetence and insecurity.

Has Gen. Milley Vanilli been tried and executed for treason against the USA when he colluded with the ChiComs in 2020 to subvert Commander in Chief Trump?

Lack of trust has a remedy.

    JimWoo in reply to LB1901. | December 4, 2022 at 10:57 am

    This #1. At least fired and inprison. Why would any young person join knowing the top guy said he would warn potential enemy of attack? Why would he even say that?

None of the folks at my local VFW are encouraging anyone to join right now. All of us are telling young people not to do it when we are asked about joining. Small sample size and anecdotal but I would be surprised if it was different elsewhere. The guys I stay in touch with across the Country tell me the same.

AntiPostmodernist | December 3, 2022 at 7:31 pm

Title needs correction: “Survey: Public Trust In Miliatary Declining”.

Paul In Sweden | December 3, 2022 at 7:54 pm

Public Trust In Military Declining? No, as far as I am concerned it is gone. The US military is now a place to warehouse Democrat activists that cannot pass the military physical and must have different standards and benefits. The military just as the legal system and society is two-tiered.

A corrupt fool and his bullsht-t medals.

In the year between the time my son went to Afghanistan and he returned, he saw with stark drama the difference in how things were conducted at his National Guard base. He walked away from seventeen years in the Regular Army and Guard because of disgust with what he saw, refusing to stay for another three to qualify for retirement. If it was that bad ~4 years ago, I don’t want to think about what it looks like now.

The ruling Communists know exactly what they are doing. Drive out the patriotic Americans and staff the military with Marxist malcontents who are ready to fire on conservative Americans.

To them, Tiananmen Square 1989 was a model.

How many trillions has the Pentagon failed to account? How many of the last 10 audits have they passed?

It is time to reorganize our military. I see the need for a large standing air force and navy. I don’t see the need for a large standing army other than the more specialized roles.

    CommoChief in reply to Dathurtz. | December 4, 2022 at 10:11 am

    Agreed. Increase the Navy with additional subs and destroyers to forward deploy. Get the Army down to 8 Divisions. Each Division with 3 CBT BDE + a HQ BN, Artillery BN, Sustainment BN and an Aviation CO. Each BDE 4x CBT BN +a HQ BN, Artillery BN and Support BN.

    Add a couple separate Regiments. Ranger Regiment, an Airborne Regiment in Europe and one in Alaska. Keep the Aviation BDE and Sustainment BDE. Marines are about the right size. Get rid of the Corp HQ and that saves a ton of money. Deploy as a Div with an 3 Star or 4 star and staff from the various Theater CMD for C2. Gut the Pentagon. Trim the # of GO down to correspond to the number of commands available.

      CommoChief, where is the Air Force in that? Or are you one of those that believe that the Air Force should be dissolved and its roles returned to the Army? Yes, I have seen people advocating that since the Constitution only mentions the Army and Navy.

      I am not trying to be antagonistic but rather just asking.

        JimWoo in reply to BillB52. | December 4, 2022 at 11:08 am

        I would think with my limited knowledge or experience with military matters that if anything we should shut down the Army
        Are we going to invade anyone? For boots on the ground we have the USMC.
        With drone technology and it’s capabilities, will we ever require a army type force to invade/occupy another country…unless it is flyover country.

    As we’ve learned, our federal government is completely corrupt. It’s likely that TRILLIONS of dollars have found their way to democrat politicians, GOPe politicians and foreign actors (who launder it back to corrupt American politicians).

    As George Carlin rightly stated: “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.”

    We have Donald Trump to thank for exposing it all and leading other patriots like Elon Musk to do the same.

I have ALLOT to say about this but it would involve allot of bad words.