Confidence In US Military Plummets To 20-Year Low

In a startling turn of events, confidence in the U.S. military has taken a steep nosedive, hitting its lowest point in over two decades, according to new data released by Gallup. A mere 60% of respondents have indicated that they have either a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the military, comparable to levels last seen in 1997 and before that, in 1988. Notably, Gallup’s analysis directly correlates the dwindling confidence and the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Traditionally, Republicans have demonstrated more confidence in the U.S. military than their Democrat counterparts. Although this trend persists, the rate has significantly reduced from 91% in 2020 to 68% in 2023. Democrats stand at 62%, whereas Independents are at 55%.

Interestingly, a more extensive Gallup poll has identified a trend of declining belief in institutions in recent years, including the presidency and the Supreme Court. Last year, public confidence diminished in 11 out of 16 institutions, demonstrating broad skepticism, most dramatically in Congress with a mere 8% approval rating.

These facts illuminate an undeniable reality: our nation’s faith in our military, once a pillar of American pride and patriotism, has eroded. It is a bellwether of a broader crisis of confidence in our national institutions. To many, the very foundations of our nation appear shaky, and this is particularly palpable among our citizens on the right.

When considering the sentiments expressed by Kurt Schlichter in his recent op-ed on the matter, the reasons behind the trend become clear. He articulates a shared concern: “If you choose to join this military, you’re putting your lives in the hands of people who, at the highest level, don’t care about you at best and hate you at worst and are grossly corrupt and grossly incompetent.

Indeed, the perception that the top brass has become disconnected from the boots on the ground, leading to what Schlichter calls “squandering institutional trust,” has undoubtedly played a role in diminishing public faith. And as Schlichter trenchantly concludes, “There are consequences for squandering institutional trust for short-term advantage, and one of them is that no one will want to die for you.”

This paints a bleak picture of a military in crisis and a nation questioning its faith in its leaders and institutions. For the brave men and women considering military service, these troubling times call for clear-eyed leadership and a return to the military values of honor, duty, and integrity. Only by re-establishing these fundamentals can the U.S. military restore the trust and confidence of the American people.

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