Americans' Trust In The Military Has Dropped: Poll

Public confidence in the U.S. military has declined to the lowest level in two decades, according to a recent survey by the Gallup Poll.

Americans are now less likely to express “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the U.S. military, with a noticeable decline that has persisted for the past five years.

The latest numbers are from a Gallup poll conducted in June. The poll also found that trust in many American public institutions dropped.

Americans’ confidence in the military is confined to among 60 percent of the respondents, the poll shows. The last time it reached such a low level in 1997, and it hasn’t been lower since 1988.

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 percent of Americans were confident in the military.

Confidence generally improved during Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s. It then surged after the Gulf War victory to a record-high of 85 percent in 1991 and again after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Confidence generally held above 70 percent for the next two decades, until dipping to 69 percent in 2021 and declining further since then, following the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

The news about the shift in sentiments towards the U.S. military was addressed by the Pentagon.

Admitting that Americans’ trust in the military has dropped, Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said DOD officials will do all they can to communicate to the American people about the positive good of the U.S. military.

When asked about the poll during a news conference, Gen. Ryder said the American people need to understand that “the U.S. military continues to be the best fighting organization in the history of the world.”

No DOD official takes the public’s trust for granted, Ryder said.

“We will continue to stay engaged with the public that we serve, and that our fellow citizens can have the facts when it comes to the military,” he told reporters. “So, we’re going to work hard and continue to maintain that trust.”

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