According to a comprehensive Gallup poll conducted from June 1-22, 2023, the confidence of Americans in the U.S. military has been on a downward trend over the past two decades. The survey findings indicate that only 60% of respondents expressed 'a great deal' or 'quite a lot' of confidence in the U.S. military, marking the lowest approval rating since 1997.
Interestingly, historically, Republicans have consistently shown the highest approval ratings for the U.S. military. However, even their approval ratings have seen a significant decline, dropping from 91% to 68% over the past three years. Similarly, Independents' confidence has followed a similar trajectory, dwindling from 68% to 55% between the years 2020 and 2023. In contrast, Democrats' confidence in the military initially increased from 2020-2022 following President Biden's assumption of office. However, in a surprising turn, their confidence dramatically dropped by 6 points in 2023.
The overall decrease in confidence among respondents can be attributed to the significant events that unfolded during President Biden's tenure, particularly the tumultuous withdrawal from Afghanistan in August of 2021. This poorly executed withdrawal resulted in the unfortunate loss of thirteen Marines and left numerous American citizens stranded in a foreign country. It is reasonable to believe that this nearly ten-point drop in confidence is directly linked to the aftermath of this disastrous event.
Furthermore, in addition to the aftermath of the Afghan withdrawal, the U.S. military has been confronting unprecedented recruitment crises on a large scale. Media outlets, such as MRCTV, have extensively covered the Army recruitment crisis and its potential ties to the surge in what is often referred to as "woke rhetoric" within the military.
In summary, the Gallup poll, which interviewed a random sample of 1,013 American adults, provides a detailed snapshot of the declining confidence in the U.S. military. The findings shed light on the shifting dynamics across political affiliations and the influential factors, such as impactful events and internal challenges, that have contributed to the erosion of public trust.