Wednesday, February 20, 2008

State of the Military

The Center for a New American Security and Foreign Policy have released a survey of over 3400 field-grade officers on the state of the US military. Very few surprises: Most believe that the military's ability to take on another mission is substantially compromised at the current level of commitment. Most believe that the decisions made following Saddam's fall were particularly bad. Most believe that the current counter-insurgency strategy in Iraq has substantially improved our chances for success, but that our decision to go into Iraq has benefited both Iran and China strategically.

Raw data here. Some additional tidbits:

  • The officers rated their confidence in various US institutions on a scale of 1 (no confidence) to 10 (complete confidence). The President rated a 5.5. The Defense Department rated a 5.6. The State Department rated a 4.1. Congress rated a 2.7.

  • 76% thought that using private contractors for logistical support was appropriate. 60% thought that they were fine for State Department security. No other missions rated above 23%.

  • 66% thought that elected officials were somewhat to very uninformed about the US military.

  • 86% thought that a President with military experience was somewhat to certainly more likely to be respected by the troops.

  • 38% thought that a reinstatement of the draft was an appropriate way of increasing recruiting numbers--kind of a surprise to me. Only 22% would allow gays and lesbians to serve openly.

Well worth reading.

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