According to recent polling data from Gallup, American confidence in the military has reached its lowest point in decades.
According to Gallup research, confidence in the U.S. military among Americans of all political stripes has dipped to only 60%, matching the lowest level seen since 1997. Only 58% of people had faith in the military in 1988, the previous time trust fell below 60%. Data was gathered between June 1 and 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.
Republicans, who have historically been the group most likely to support the military, have seen the biggest decline in confidence in the armed forces. Since 2020, when 91% of Republicans expressed confidence in the military, such confidence has decreased by 23 percentage points.
After President Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to Gallup, Democrats’ trust increased, but it has subsequently dropped. Independents had the lowest degree of confidence, with a confidence level of only 55%.
After a botched exit from Afghanistan, where the United States had a military presence for more than 20 years, confidence fell. In the closing days of the retreat, a suicide attack claimed the lives of thirteen American service members as the Taliban soon assumed power.
A politicized Department of Defense has been blamed by some for the fall in confidence.
“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 Army announced earlier this year that it will likely miss its goals once more in the fiscal year 2023 when it had wanted to recruit 452,000 soldiers. The military has also had difficulty recruiting new members. The Army missed its recruitment goals in the fiscal year 2022.
According to Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, the Army may need to “do some thinning out” as a result of the military’s rapid loss of service members.
“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.