President Obama is not doing well in the polls. That said, even in the worst polls of the general populace, he rates about a 40% approval. But there’s one group who rate him far, far lower. A poll just published by the Military Times rates the President’s approval by active duty troops at an all-time low of 15%. That’s down 13% in just one year.
To my surprise, he does pretty well with military folks on some key issues. Only 30% of service members think we should send a large force of combat troops to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, something the White House has ruled out.
On social issues, the military is also coming to embrace the president’s policies. Those who believe the military should exclude women from combat jobs have fallen from 43% to 28% in the past two years. Similarly, the percentage of those who say openly gay people should be allowed to serve in the military now stands at 60% — up from 35% five years ago. One does have to take into account here that our civilian leadership has purged from the ranks all senior leaders who don’t agree with them on these issues; political correctness reigns among our senior military people.
For the most part, the problem is money. Certainly the reductions in pay increases and benefits result from sequestration, with Congress approving the smallest pay raise since the military became all volunteer impacts all the troops. While in 2009, 87% of service members rated their pay and allowance as good or excellent, today, just 44% do so. And, those who say their overall quality of life is “good or excellent” has fallen from 91% to 56%. It’s no surprise that 70% believe their quality of life will decline in future years.
Asking our young men and women to risk their lives in exchange for an unlivable wage is a disgrace. A draft would be a good solution, but that’s not likely. And, should we see one again, if women are allowed into the combat arms, it’s likely the law will be amended so that young women get drafted, too.
Do remember that Sequester came from President Obama—and our military people know that. As reported by Bob Woodward, sequester was concocted by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. It was approved by Obama, sent off to a Democrat-controlled Congress for passage, and Obama signed it into law.
And let’s not forget the never-ending VA scandal—they’re still letting corrupt top-VA officials get out with benefits—not jail terms. And sending our military to Africa to “fight ebola” was a total abuse of our troops. Then, the president’s telling the enemy our plans and then throwing away all the positive results of our years in Iraq and Afghanistan is outrageous. This is not to forget the long stack of scandals including Benghazi, our wide-open and undefended southern border, Fast and Furious, and many, many more—all of which point to a leader without honor. And few military people approve of or want to follow such a leader. Why would they?