Public Confidence in US Military Lowest in 25 Years: Poll

Public confidence in the US military has reached its lowest point in more than two decades amid the country’s continuing support for Ukraine, a recent survey has found.

American research firm Gallup conducted the poll from June 1 to 22, a few weeks after Washington announced a new $1.2-billion security assistance package for Kyiv to boost its air defense capabilities.

Among the 1,013 Americans that participated in the survey, only 60 percent reported “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the US armed forces.

The figures were significantly lower than the 74 percent the military scored in 2018.

“At 60%, confidence in the military was last this low in 1997,” according to Gallup, referring to a 1981 all-time low in the wake of the Iran hostage crisis.

Despite the steady downward trend, the US military remains one of America’s most trusted institutions.

Most Dramatic Plummet

Gallup recorded the greatest plummet in US military confidence among Republicans, where the research firm measured a 20-percent decline over just three years.

From 91 percent in 2020, Republican confidence in the armed forces dropped to 68 percent.

Democrats and Independents also tallied 62 percent and 55 percent, respectively.

According to the Reagan Institute, both Republicans and Democrats view perceived politicization as a major factor in their declining trust in the military.

CAMP STANLEY, Republic of Korea – Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division assault and exploit the underground facility at Camp Stanley during Warrior Strike IX on December 15, 2017. Warrior Strike IX is a regularly scheduled combined training exercise between the U.S. Army and the Republic of Korea Army. Warrior Strike IX is a 4-day training event taking place at multiple locations throughout South Korea. (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Isaiah Scott)
Soldiers facilitate underground facility operation. Photo: Pfc. Isaiah Scott/US Army

Other Possible Factors

Several defense outlets have cited possible factors why public confidence in the US military has dropped to a two-decade low. speculated that the armed forces have been struggling to find a “public identity” after withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.

The US military is also suffering from a dangerously depleted ammunition supply as it continues to lag behind in manufacturing 155-millimeter artillery shells.

“Now that the US has completely withdrawn from both Iraq and Afghanistan, the two most significant military legacies of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the US, confidence in the military has continued to decline among the public,” Gallup noted.

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