President Barack Obama’s approval rating tanked to 15 percent this year among active-duty members of the armed services, reflecting a steady decline since he first took office in 2009, according to a new survey from The Military Times
From allowing women to serve in combat to allowing homosexuals to serve openly, Obama's moves are widely seen as "heavy-handed social engineering that erode deep-seated traditions and potentially undermine good order and discipline," the survey of 2,300 soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen found.
"Morale in the military is swiftly sinking, with the troops losing both their sense of mission and their faith that their superiors, political leaders — and the nation — still have their best interests at heart," the Times said in its exhaustive report entitled, "A force adrift: How the nation is failing its troops and veterans."
The survey comes as Obama is cutting the military to the lowest size since before World War II, while the scandal grows over poor health care at the Veterans’ Administration and tensions increase in the Middle East.
Obama’s approval rating sank from 35 percent in a 2009 Military Times polls to the record low of 15 percent in the latest annual survey of the troops. His disapproval rating, meanwhile, soared from 40 percent in 2009 to 55 percent this year.
The negative view of Obama’s presidency is also reflected in civilian surveys. Rasmussen
on Monday found a 52 percent disapproval rate in its daily tracking poll of 1,500 likely voters, compared to 47 percent who approved of his job performance.
The Military Times survey was included in a detailed report that examined many of the controversial changes imposed by the commander-in-chief as he enters his seventh year in office.
The poll also found that the troops are also frustrated by gridlock on Capitol Hill, with only 12 percent saying that members of Congress "have the armed forces' best interests at heart."
"More than one-third of readers who responded to the Military Times Poll said that neither Democrats nor Republicans have been a strong advocate for the military, and 44 percent think both major political parties have become less supportive of military issues in recent years," the Times reported.
The troops are also being less Republican and more independent, as those who identify with the GOP have dropped from about half to 32 percent this year. Twenty-eight percent call themselves independents.
Democrats and liberals, however, rank at only 8 percent of the forces, according to the survey.
The Times concluded: "In this latest post-war era — even as new threats spark around the world — the nation simply cannot afford to watch its military get taken over that cliff again. And with all that's asked of it, America's military certainly deserves better."
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