posted on Jan, 2 2006 @ 08:32 PM
Troops sound off
Military Times Poll finds high morale, but less support for Bush, war effort
January 3, 2006
By Gordon Trowbridge
Times staff writer
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.”
Support for President Bush and for the war in Iraq has slipped significantly in the last year among members of the military’s professional
core, according to the 2005 Military Times Poll.
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. Though
support both for President Bush and for the war in Iraq remains significantly higher than in the public as a whole, the drop is likely to add further
fuel to the heated debate over Iraq policy. In 2003 and 2004, supporters of the war in Iraq pointed to high approval ratings in the Military Times
Poll as a signal that military members were behind President Bush’s the president’s policy.
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.
[edit on 2-1-2006 by RANT]