The decade's most triggering comedy
Confidence in the U.S. military by Americans of all political affiliations has fallen to just 60%, tying the lowest number since 1997, Gallup found. The last time confidence was below 60% was in 1988, when just 58% had confidence in the military. The data was collected from June 1-22.
“At 60%, confidence in the military was last this low in 1997, and it hasn’t been lower since 1988, when 58% were confident. From the late 1970s to the early 1980s — during the Cold War and amid threats to U.S. power, including the Iran hostage crisis — between 50% and 58% of Americans were confident in the military,” Gallup reported.
The fall in confidence in the military has been especially pronounced among Republicans, who have historically been the most likely to be supportive of the military. Republican confidence in the military has dropped by 23 points since 2020, when 91% expressed confidence in the military.
While Gallup noted that Democrats’ confidence rose after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, it has since declined. The group with the lowest amount of confidence was independents, whose confidence level sits at just 55%.
The drop in confidence came after a bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan, where the U.S. had a military presence for over 20 years. Thirteen American service members were killed in a suicide bombing during the final days of the withdrawal as the Taliban quickly took power.
Some have placed the decline in confidence on a politicized Department of Defense.
“Americans’ confidence in the U.S. military is the lowest in 2 decades! Our ‘leaders’ have tarnished the military’s history and legacy by putting woke indoctrination before patriotism & foreign conflict before American interests,” said the Center for Renewing America, a conservative policy organization.
The military has also been struggling with recruiting, with the Army missing its recruitment goals in fiscal year 2022 and announcing earlier this year that it would likely miss its goals again in fiscal year 2023 when it had hoped to recruit 452,000 soldiers.
Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said that they might have to “do some thinning out” across the Army because the military was losing service members faster than they were gaining them.
“If we don’t turn our recruiting situation around, I can’t guarantee you that the Army won’t have to make some substantial potential force structure reductions,” Wormuth said.