Army Times Poll: Unhappy Troops
Decline in Military’s Staunch Supporters of War
The American military, staunch supporters of President Bush and the Iraq war — has grown increasingly pessimistic about chances for victory, according to the 2006 Military Times Poll, with results published in Army Times. Excerpts from the article are below.
The survey, which polled 6,000 active duty people at random, found that despite growing disaffection with the war in Iraq, members of the U.S. armed forces are content with their jobs. The mail survey, conducted Nov. 13 through Dec. 22, is the fourth annual survey of active-duty military subscribers to the Military Times newspapers.
The poll found that for the first time, more troops disapprove of the president’s handling of the war than approve. The president’s rating is low — barely one-third of service members approve of the way of his handling the war.
Professor David Segal, director of the Center for Research on Military Organization at the University of Maryland, says perhaps this is because the military is seeing more casualties and fatalies and less progress.
In 2004, when the military was feeling most optimistic about the war, 83 percent of poll respondents thought success in Iraq was likely. This year, that number was only 50 percent.
Only 35 percent of the military members polled this year said they approve of the way President Bush is handling the war, while 42 percent said they disapproved. The president’s approval rating among the military is only slightly higher than for the population as a whole.
In this year’s poll only 41 percent of the military said the U.S. should have gone to war in Iraq in the first place, down from 65 percent in 2003.
Read it here.