President Barack Obama will leave office next week with negative opinions from most members of the U.S. military.
According to the latest survey by the Military Times and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University:
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“More than half the troops in a new poll had an unfavorable opinion of Obama’s leadership of the military for the past eight years, and about 36 percent said they approved of his performance as commander in chief.
Nearly 49 percent of service members who voted in the November election cast their ballots for Republican Donald Trump, who was very critical of Obama, while 29 percent voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton, who was Obama’s secretary of state.”
The biggest criticism of Obama’s time in office was that he decreased the size of the military while in office, as 71 percent of those polled said the military needs more personnel.
However, 69 percent agreed with his strategy of strengthening U.S. security through building foreign alliances, 60 percent agreed with his use of drones to minimize danger to troops, and 64 percent agreed with his strategy of using special forces for targeted strikes.
Enlisted personnel were the most likely to have an unfavorable view of Obama, as 52.1 percent said they didn’t approve of his time in office. The officer class was more evenly split, as 48 percent of officers had an unfavorable view of Obama and about 44 percent have a favorable view.
Members of the Marine Corps had the least favorable view of Obama, as 60 percent of those polled had an unfavorable view of his time in office. The Navy had the best view of Obama, but even then, just 43.4 percent of those polled had a positive view of his time in office.
Still, the outgoing president does appear to be admired by some segments of the military. More than 60 percent of women have a favorable view of him, in contrast with 36 percent who disliked his presidency.
Also, according to the poll:
- 59 percent of troops believed drawing down troop levels in Iraq made the country less safe
- 54 percent believed decreasing military operations in Afghanistan made the U.S. less safe
- 42 percent believe less emphasis on large-scale overseas missions make the country less safe.
The poll was conducted between Dec. 16 and Dec. 21 among 1,664 members of the military and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent.
To read more, go to MilitaryTimes.