1/02/2006

Military Times Polls - Support for war drops 9% in a year

War down 9% , Bush down 11%. Heh, considering Bush drpped almost 30% among civilians I would clelebrate if I was a Bushis -- law

Military times

...Approval of the president’s Iraq policy fell 9 percentage points from 2004; a bare majority, 54 percent, now say they view his performance on Iraq as favorable. Support for his overall performance fell 11 points, to 60 percent, among active-duty readers
of the Military Times newspapers. ...

The poll also found diminished optimism that U.S. goals in Iraq can be accomplished, and a somewhat smaller drop in support for the decision to go to war in 2003.

The mail survey, conducted Nov. 14 through Dec. 23, is the third annual effort by the Military Times to measure the opinions of the active-duty military on political and morale issues. The results should not be read as representative of the military as a whole; the survey’s respondents are on average older, more experienced, more likely to be officers and more career-oriented than the military population. But the numbers are among the best measures of opinion in a difficult-to-survey population. The professional military seems to be lessening in its certainty about the wisdom of the Iraq intervention and the way it has been handled,” said Richard Kohn, a professor of political science at the University of North Carolina who studies civil-military relations. “This seems to be more and more in keeping with changes in public views, and that’s not surprising.”

The survey mirrors a similar shift in U.S. public opinion over the last year. The CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll, for example, recorded an eight-point drop in public approval for Iraq policy, from 47 percent in November 2004 to 39 percent in December 2005.

The drops in support seen in the Military Times Poll are “real drops, but I see them as reflecting the tone of the country,” said David Segal, a military sociologist at the University of Maryland. “People in the military talk to folks back home. Eventually, the military does catch up [with public opinion].” Other changes from ’04

Opinions on the president and Iraq weren’t the only shifts in the 2005 poll:

• Positive feelings about Congress, civilian and uniformed Pentagon leaders and the media all fell.

• Respondents also were less likely than in the past to believe other segments of the country viewed the military favorably. In 2004, 37 percent said civilians viewed the military very favorably; that fell to 24 percent this year. Last year, 77 percent said politicians saw the military very or somewhat favorably; 63 percent said so this year.

• There was somewhat more support for opening military service to openly homosexual Americans: 59 percent said open homosexuals should not be allowed to serve, down six points from last year.

• Opposition to the draft fell slightly, from 75 percent last year to 68 percent this year.

• Nearly two-thirds said the military is stretched too thin to be effective, though that figure is down substantially from two years ago.

• Job satisfaction and approval of pay, health benefits, training and equipment remain high — though in many cases, the support is less enthusiastic than in past years, based on responses.

• For the first time in the three-year history of the poll, more than half of respondents said they had deployed in support of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.

But few of those shifts appear as significant as those on the president.

Military Times Polls

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