In Depth: Topics A to Z

Military and National Defense

There is much discussion as to the amount of money the government in Washington should spend for national defense and military purposes. How do you feel about this? Do you think we are spending too little, about the right amount or too much?

Do you, yourself, feel that our national defense is stronger now than it needs to be, not strong enough or about right at the present time?

Trend: Next, we’d like to know how you feel about the state of the nation in each of the following areas. For each one, please say whether you are -- very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied. If you don’t have enough information about a particular subject to rate it, just say so. How about the nation's military strength and preparedness?

There is much discussion as to the amount of money the government in Washington should spend for national defense and military purposes. How do you feel about this? Do you think we are spending too little, about the right amount or too much?

Do you, yourself, feel that our national defense is stronger now than it needs to be, not strong enough or about right at the present time?

Trend: Do you think the United States is number one in the world militarily, or that it is one of several leading military powers?

Trend: Do you feel that it's important for the United States to be number one in the world militarily, or that being number one is not that important, as long as the U.S. is among the leading military powers?

Now I am going to read you a list of institutions in American society. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one -- a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little? The military

Trend: Just off the top of your head, which of the five branches of the Armed Forces in this country would you say is the most prestigious and has the most status in our society today -- [ROTATED: the Air Force, the Army, the Navy, the Marines, (or) the Coast Guard]?

Just off the top of your head, which of the five branches of the Armed Forces in this country would you say is the most important to our national defense today -- [ROTATED: the Air Force, the Army, the Navy, the Marines, (or) the Coast Guard]?

In twenty years, do you think the United States will be -- number one in the world militarily, only one of several leading military powers, or not among the leading military powers in the world?

U.S. will
be No. 1

U.S. will be
one of several

U.S. not among
leading powers

No
opinion

2010 Jan 8-10

36%

56

6

1

Which do you think is more likely over the next 20 years -- [ROTATED: the U.S. will have combat troops actively fighting in various countries around the world on a regular basis, (or) there will be long periods of time in which the U.S. does not have combat troops actively fighting in other countries]?

Active fighting
on regular basis

Long periods
with no active fighting

No
opinion

2010 Jan 8-10

67%

30

2

Do you think women should or should not be allowed to hold combat jobs in the U.S. armed forces?

Yes, should

No, should not

No opinion

2007 Sep 7-8

74%

23

3

Do you think the United States should return to the military draft at this time, or not?

Yes

No

No opinion

%

%

%

2007 Aug 13-16

18

80

2

2004 Oct 11-14

14

85

1

2003 Oct 24-26

17

80

3

2003 Jan 3-5 ^

27

69

4

1998 Jun 5-7

16

81

3

1981 Jul 31-Aug 3

48

45

7

1980 Jul 11-14

58

34

7

1980 Feb 1-4

59

36

5

^ Asked of a half sample

Thinking now about the equipment U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq need to protect themselves from injury,

(Asked of a half sample) How good of a job do you think this equipment does in protecting the U.S. troops from injury -- excellent, good, only fair, or poor?

Excellent

Good

Only fair

Poor

No opinion

2007 Aug 3-5

8%

33

34

18

7

(Asked of a half sample) How good of a job do you think the Defense Department has done in getting this equipment to the troops in a timely manner -- excellent, good, only fair, or poor?

Excellent

Good

Only fair

Poor

No opinion

2007 Aug 3-5

2%

24

37

30

7

As you may know, under the current military policy, no one in the military is asked whether or not they are gay. But if they reveal that they are gay or they engage in homosexual activity, they will be discharged from the military. Do you personally think -- [ROTATED: gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military, gays should be allowed to serve under the current policy, or gays should not be allowed to serve in the military under any circumstances]?

Serve
openly

Serve under
current policy

Not serve
under any
circumstances


No
opinion

2007 Jul 6-8

46%

36

15

3

2000 Jan 13-16 ^

41%

38

17

4

^ WORDING: As you may know, under the current military policy, no one in the military is asked whether or not they are homosexual. But if they reveal that they are homosexual and they engage in homosexual activity, they will be discharged from the military. Do you personally think -- gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military, gays should be allowed to serve under the current policy, or gays should not be allowed to serve in the military under any circumstances?


Some people feel that war is an outdated way of settling differences between nations. Others feel that wars are sometimes necessary to settle differences. With which point of view do you agree?


Outdated

Sometimes
necessary

No
opinion

%

%

%

2007 Feb 1-4

37

61

3

2004 Feb 9-12

24

73

3

1999 May 7-9

26

71

3

1995 Apr 21-24 ^

38

56

6

1991 Feb 7-10 ^

17

80

3

1991 Jan 30-Feb 2 ^

21

76

4

1991 Jan 23-26 ^

37

55

8

1990 Mar 15-18 ^

49

48

3

1981 May 8-11 ^

50

43

7

1975 Apr 18-21 ^

45

46

9

1971 Jun 25-28 ^

46

44

10

^ WORDING: Some people feel that war is an outmoded way of settling differences between nations. Others feel that wars are sometimes necessary to settle differences. With which point of view do you agree?

Which comes closer to your own opinion -- [ROTATED: the U.S. should not attack another country unless that country has attacked the U.S. first, (or) the U.S. should be able to attack any country it thinks might attack the U.S.]?

Should not
attack unless
attacked first


Should be
able to attack


No
opinion

%

%

%

2006 Jul 6-9

57

35

8

2004 Oct 9-10

52

41

7

2004 Sep 24-26

52

41

7

2004 Feb 9-12

53

43

4

2003 Dec 5-7

54

41

5

2002 Oct 3-6

51

40

9

Do you favor or oppose allowing women in the military into combat jobs?

Favor

Oppose

No opinion

2005 Jun 24-26

67%

32

1

1992 Nov 10-11 ^

55%

42

3

^ Asked in a rotation with other items

If you had a son or daughter who was planning to enter the military, would you support that step or would you suggest a different occupation?

Support
that step

Suggest different
occupation

No
opinion

2005 Jun 16-19

51%

48

1

Would you favor or oppose requiring every able-bodied young man in this country when he reaches the age of 18, to spend one year in military training and then join the reserves?

Favor

Oppose

No opinion

%

%

%

2005 Jun 16-19

35

62

3

1955 Dec 8-13

69

23

8

1955 May 12-17

76

18

6

1955 Feb 10-15

71

20

9

1955 Jan 20-25

73

22

5

1954 Dec 2-7

75

22

3

1954 Aug 26-31

72

22

6

1952 Feb 28-Mar 5

60

33

7

1951 Dec 9-14

56

28

16

Next, I will read you a list of jobs in the military. Do you favor or oppose having women do each of the following? How about -- [ITEMS A-C READ IN ORDER]?

2005 May 20-22
(sorted by "favor")


Favor


Oppose

No opinion

C. Serving anywhere in Iraq

72%

27

1

B. Serving in combat zones as support
for the ground troops

67%

32

1

A. Serving as the ground troops who are
doing most of the fighting

44%

54

2

Do you think women in the armed services -- should get combat assignments on the same terms as men, should they be able to get combat assignments only if they want to, or should they never get combat assignments?

Same terms
as men

Only if
want to

Never get
assignments

No
opinion

2003 Dec 5-7

38%

45

16

1

1991 Jul 25-26

26%

53

18

3

1991 Feb 14-15

36%

45

16

3

Do you think people who are openly gay or homosexual should -- or should not -- be allowed to serve in the U.S. military?

Yes, should

No, should not

No opinion

2003 Dec 5-7

79%

18

3

Next, I will read you a list of jobs in the military that are considered combat jobs. Do you favor or oppose having women do each of the following? How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

BASED ON 485 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM A; ±5 PCT. PTS.

A. Flying combat aircraft

Favor

Oppose

No opinion

2001 Dec 14-16

77%

21

2

B. Serving on submarines

Favor

Oppose

No opinion

2001 Dec 14-16

73%

24

3

C. Serving as ground combat troops

Favor

Oppose

No opinion

2001 Dec 14-16

52%

46

2

D. Serving as special forces that conduct operations behind enemy lines

Favor

Oppose

No opinion

2001 Dec 14-16

63%

35

2

If a draft were to become necessary, should young women be required to participate as well as young men, or not?

BASED ON 534 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM B; ±5 PCT. PTS.

Yes

No

No opinion

%

%

%

2001 Dec 14-16

46

50

4

1998 Jun 5-7

54

44

2

1991 Jul 25-26

50

47

3

1980 Jul 11-14

49

47

4

1980 Feb 1-4

51

45

4

1980 Jan 31-Feb 1

50

47

3

1979 Mar 2-5

43

50

7

Next, we have a few questions about the armed forces.

Are you personally a veteran of the armed forces?

Yes

No

No opinion

2001 May 18-20

16%

84

*

* Less than 0.5%

Would you say you have or have not received the respect and thanks you deserve for serving in the armed forces?

BASED ON 169 VETERANS OF ARMED FORCES; ±8 PCT. PTS.

Yes, have received

No, not

No opinion

2001 May 18-20

73%

24

3

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Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/1666/Military-National-Defense.aspx
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