The Military Times newspaper’s just released its annual survey of 2,300 active-duty service members reveals that support for the Commander-in-Chief is just 15 percent – an historic low among rank-in-file soldiers. To be fair, military support for President Barack Obama has never been very high with just 35 percent approval in 2009.
The reasons behind this low number are telling.
Opposition to Obama has grown among military members because they believe he is a weak leader pursuing a flawed foreign policy. This is particularly true with respect to his political decision to withdraw all troops from Iraq rather than a military decision based on the accomplishment of mission goals and facts on the ground.
The move wasted the blood and treasure spent by the military to remove Saddam Hussein from power leaving ISIS – a brutal Islamic army that has engaged in televised beheadings, the slaughter of children and the draconian imposition of Sharia Law – now in control of large swaths of Iraqi territory that the U.S. military seems to be gearing up to retake.
The president’s poor popularity can also be traced to his disrespect for the military’s culture and his efforts to use the military for social engineering experiments that offend deep-seated traditions and undermine good order and discipline.
Another trend among military members is the sharp rise of those who self-identify as independents.
Over the last decade, the poll has revealed the number of respondents who consider themselves Republicans has slowly dropped from nearly 50 percent of those surveyed in the late 2000’s to just 32 percent this year.
The balance shows 7 percent describing themselves as libertarian and a whopping 28 percent as independent. Democrats and liberals make up just 8 percent of poll respondents.
Additionally, according to 2012 numbers, African Americans account for 16.2% of the military, slightly higher than the national average. With approval ratings among the black population holding at 86%, the latest military approval poll should be statistically higher for Obama.
Shifting loyalties will be greatly impacted by what the new Congress does on military issues when it convenes in January. Military members will closely follow what Congress does on issues such as veteran’s benefits and health care, military pay, retirement reform and the role of politics over military judgment with respect to Islamic terrorists in Iraq and Syria.