According to a survey produced by the Military Times and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, more than half of U.S. troops have an unfavorable view of President Obama’s eight-year tenure as commander-in-chief. In a final sweeping poll of the military taken only two weeks before Obama leaves office, the survey found that 51.2% of enlisted troops do not approve of the outgoing president. Only 34.8% say they approve of the job he’s done.
Authors Leo Shane III and George R. Altman relayed the results of the survey in a Military Times article published Monday.
“Many troops see Obama less as a wartime commander in chief and more as a politician managing Pentagon affairs,” they wrote. “Through his presidency, Obama has repeatedly promised to keep the military ‘the strongest fighting force the world has ever known,’ but many troops question his stewardship of the institution, particularly when it comes to the defense budget.”
The surveyed troops were displeased with a number of Obama’s decisions over the years. 71% of respondents disagreed with his choice to cut military personnel numbers, 59% said he pulled out of Iraq too quickly, and 64% said he was not clearly focused on the biggest threats facing the country, including China.
Nearly all enlisted troops believe that the spending caps put in place in 2011 hurt military morale to one extent or another. Less than two percent of respondents approved of the caps.
From the Military Times:
The caps — known as sequestration — have been blamed for shortfalls in parts and repairs, cuts in training time and a gradual drawdown in military manpower. They’ve also contributed to a host of compensation trims, as Pentagon leaders have held down pay increases and stipend raises in recent years to help offset funding reductions in other areas.
The survey showed that military troops are optimistic about the incoming administration, however. 49% of troops who voted in the last election cast their ballots for Donald Trump and 46% of active-duty members view Trump favorably.