Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The war and the troops

One of the things we've heard since the war began is that we don't see the fraggings and dissension in the troops in Iraq that we saw in Vietnam, and this has largely been attributed to the absence of a military draft, and the putative fact that the troops serving in Iraq are volunteers. Although it's obvious that the service of many of these troops is not truly voluntary, I've generally thought that there was something to this idea. After all, there is a certain logic to the idea that people who volunteer for military service are probably somewhat more conservative than the population at large or the pool of potential draftees.

Zogby International has a new poll out today, though, that raises questions about this. According to this new poll, three quarters of American military personnel serving in Iraq think we should withdraw within the year, and a quarter think we should get out immediately.

Detractors suggest that this poll is inaccurate because troops on active duty are likely to suppress their negative opinions toward the war, but if this is correct that would suggest that we're even doing a less effective job of winning the hearts and minds of our own soldiers than this poll indicates.

The poll also indicates that more than 80% of troops think we're there to punish Saddam Hussein for his involvement in the terrorist attacks on September 11. Now where do you suppose they got that idea?

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July 18, 2016 3:12 AM  

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