About 60 percent active-duty service members are “uncertain or pessimistic” about President-elect Barack Obama becoming commander in chief, according to a Military Times poll.
This shouldn’t be a total surprise. Almost half of the 1,900 respondents describe their political views as conservative or very conservative. Only 13 percent identified themselves as Democrats.
Obama’s lack of military experience and his pledge to pull combat troops out of Iraq in the first 16 months of his presidency seemed to trouble service members, the poll showed.
But the poll isn’t scientific, the article reminds readers:
“The responses are not representative of the opinions of the military as a whole. The survey group overall under-represents minorities, women and junior enlisted service members, and over-represents soldiers.
But as a snapshot of the professional corps, the responses highlight the challenges Obama faces as he prepares to take command of military careerists with different political and cultural attitudes.”
But with that in mind, here are a few of its findings:
�–� Less than a third of respondents are optimistic about Obama.
�–� Eight in 10 black service members are optimisitc about the president-elect.
�–� About half of respondents believe President George W. Bush had the best interests of the military at heart.
�–� More than 80 percent believe the United States should have invaded Afghanistan, and almost the same number support the plan to boost troops there by more than 20,000.
�–� Nine percent of respondents said they would not extend their service if gays were allowed to openly serve in the military. Another 14 percent said they would consider not extending service.
(Photo courtesy of Multi-National Force-Iraq)