Survey: Less than Half of Americans Have High Confidence in Military — Leadership ‘Politicized’

U.S. President Joe Biden, center, speaks beside Lloyd Austin, U.S. secretary of defense, left, and Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. The Biden administration is preparing to …
Tasos Katopodis/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Less than half of Americans have high confidence in the United States military, according to a survey released Thursday.

Only 48 percent of Americans have a great deal of trust and confidence in the military, according to the 2022 Reagan National Defense Survey.

That is an increase of three percent since the organization’s last survey in the fall of 2021. However, it is still a significant drop since 2018, when 70 percent of Americans had high confidence in the military.

The top reason cited for the loss of confidence was military leadership becoming overly politicized.

The survey showed that 62 percent of respondents said military leadership was becoming overly politicized, nearly 60 percent said the performance and competence of presidents as commanders-in-chief decreased their confidence in the military, and 55 percent cited the performance and competence of the military’s civilian leadership.

Half of the respondents said that “woke” practices undermined military effectiveness, and 46 percent said they had less confidence due to “far-right” or “extremist” individuals serving in the military.

President Joe Biden, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, tours the African Americans in Defense of our Nations Corridor at the Pentagon, February 10, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by ALEX BRANDON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The survey also found that only 13 percent of 18-to-19-year-olds are highly willing to join the military, while 25 percent were somewhat willing, 20 percent are not very willing, and 26 percent are not willing at all. The results come amid the military’s worst recruiting crisis since the Vietnam War.

The survey was conducted by a bipartisan survey team at Beacon Research and Shaw & Company Research from November 9-17, via interviews with 2,538 adults, with a margin of error of +/-2-3 percent.

The survey also found that 57 percent of Americans believe the U.S. should continue to support Ukraine in its war against Russia, including 73 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of Republicans.

The survey found that 33 percent believe America cannot afford to spend more on the conflict, including 19 percent of Democrats and 41 percent of Republicans.

President Joe Biden chats with soldiers and their families during the Friendsgiving dinner with servicemembers and military families as part of the White Houseâs Joining Forces Initiative at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point one day after his 80th birthday in Havelock, NC, on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The survey showed that 75 percent of Americans now see China as an enemy, up from 65 percent in 2021, but only 27 percent said the U.S. had a clear strategy for managing its relationship with China.

The survey said a large majority of Americans (70 percent) are concerned about the threat of China invading Taiwan in the next five years and that there is bipartisan support for efforts to deter an invasion and more arms sales to Taiwan.

However, Americans are more divided on committing U.S. troops to combat if China were to invade Taiwan — 43 percent would support committing U.S. ground troops to the defense of Taiwan, while 36 percent would oppose.

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