A new public opinion poll featured in The Hill has found that the US military's reputation is in free fall:
The Ronald Reagan Institute just announced that public confidence in the military has continued its precipitous drop. The institute’s November 2021 poll found that only 45 percent of those polled report "a great deal of trust and confidence in the military" — down 25 points in three years. The institute adds "Increasing numbers of Americans say they have little or not much confidence in the military, which is up 15 points in the last three years."
The military isn’t the only public institution suffering a bad reputation, but it is used to basking in public esteem. As a result, it may not know how to recover.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise, given that especially over the past year the Pentagon has devoted itself to the woke agenda, putting out recruitment videos that focus on
forging leaders, strength and conditioning, preparation for war-fighting, overcoming obstacles "diversity", "acceptance" and LGBTQ++ campaigns.
Recently GOP Senators have begun to take aim at what appears a clear erosion of the military's old school values of toughness, overcoming odds, and forging strong leaders and unit cohesion. For example last spring the mainstream media heavily criticized Sen. Ted Cruz for calling out the dangers of a 'woke and emasculated' new military.
"Perhaps a woke, emasculated military is not the best idea," he wrote on Twitter, commenting on a video comparing Russian and US military recruitment adds.
Rod Dreher at The American Conservative says of the declining public confidence in the military: "You can blame Obama and Biden, as well as the senior US military leadership, for the institutionalization of wokeness in the armed forces — and you can blame Trump for not doing enough to stop the madness. Word is getting around about what they have done, and are doing, to military culture. The brass is making enemies of the core people who serve."
He points out that the vast majority of recruits come from southern states and red states, based on the most recent available data.
These populations - already tending to lean conservative and toward conservative values - then enter a military where they are bombarded with official woke propaganda.
These are real recruitment adds from Russia, China, and the United States... who stands to have the fiercest fighting organizations in the near and distant future?
As we detailed in recent prior analysis, this is a process that's been building for the past decade or more:
Over the past decade federal military and intelligence agencies have increasingly embraced so-called woke campaigns and policy positions. Specifically, these government agencies have taken explicitly ideological positions in promoting "pride month" and more recruitment of larger numbers of gay and transgender personnel explicitly for purposes of increasing "diversity." Actual military concerns appear to be receding into the background even as the US military establishment has recently lost yet another war and blown trillions of taxpayer dollars.
For example, as early as 2014, the CIA was bragging that it "has participated in the DC Capital Pride Festival for the past three years … and is active in advancing LGBT diversity and inclusion efforts throughout the Intelligence Community." More recently, the CIA in May 2021 released a series of recruitment videos clearly focused on recruiting personnel which would allow the agency to check certain diversity boxes.
But The Hill places emphasis on the August US pullout of Afghanistan and evacuation chaos, which likely accounts for the military's declining public perception:
It was likely the chaotic retreat from Kabul in August — the first time the American people witnessed a defeat in real-time — that pushed the poll numbers lower. Added to that were the deaths of 13 service members killed by a suicide bomber at the gate of Kabul’s airport as they worked to speed the humanitarian evacuation. Of the 13, 12 were in their 20s, and all were volunteers.
While there's no doubt the Pentagon should have long been focused on meticulously laying the groundwork for a viable Afghan strategy and pullout, instead the Pentagon was busy focusing on other things...