Americans’ faith in the U.S. military has declined to its lowest level in more than 20 years, according to a recently released poll.
Conducted by Gallup from June 1-22, the survey found that over the past five years, an increasing percentage of Americans are now “less likely” to voice “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the U.S. military. According to the poll, 74 percent of Americans expressed such sentiments as recently as 2018. That number has since declined to 60 percent, marking the lowest level since 1997.
As noted by Gallup, overall confidence in the U.S. military steadily improved during Ronald Reagan’s presidency and continued to “surge” following the Gulf War and 9/11 terrorist attacks. While Americans’ faith in the armed forces would go on to hover “above 70% for the next two decades,” these numbers declined to 69 percent in 2021 and have “declin[ed] further since then, following the poorly executed exit from Afghanistan.”
Most notable in the survey’s findings, however, is the alarming drop in confidence among self-described Republicans and independents. While Republicans remain the group “most likely” to express faith in the military, these sentiments have plummeted in the past three years, falling from 91 to 68 percent since 2020. Meanwhile, independents’ confidence “has dropped nearly as much — by 13 points, from 68% to 55%” over the same period, to the point that they now “have less confidence than Democrats do.”
After experiencing a slight uptick upon President Joe Biden assuming office, Democrats’ faith in the military has also dropped in the past year, falling from 68 to 62 percent.
While Biden’s disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal could offer a potential explanation for the country’s waning confidence in the U.S. military, another probable factor is the Pentagon’s ongoing embrace of DEI ideology. DEI, which stands for “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” is a divisive ideology that downplays merit in order to discriminate based on characteristics such as skin color and sexual orientation.
Since Biden took office, the Defense Department has regularly instructed its leadership to advance DEI throughout its ranks. This embrace of so-called “diversity” and “inclusion” has often included preferential treatment for self-identifying LGBT service members. In May, for instance, the Air Force authorized its military bases to host events celebrating “pride month.” Nearly a month later, the branch authorized the use of taxpayer money to fly service members to its “pride” events in Washington, D.C.
It’s worth mentioning that Biden has also nominated several military leaders who have embraced DEI to high-ranking positions within the U.S. armed forces. Most notable is Gen. Charles Q. Brown, who was tapped by the president in May to become the next chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and has regularly espoused support for DEI policies.
Attempts by congressional Republicans to rid the U.S. armed forces of DEI have been met with resistance from the Biden administration, which has defended such policies by baselessly claiming they “promote a cohesive and inclusive force.”