Public opinion of the military
The military and especially its troops are held in high regard in most Western countries. In the United States, military officers are regarded as having one of the most prestigious jobs.
Opinion of the military by country
While support of the military is very high in most countries there is some degree of variation. For example, while 10 percent of Canadians said their viewpoint of the military was "not at all favorable" (2006), only 3 percent of Britons claimed a 'low' or 'very low' opinion of the military.
In the United States, one poll (2005) found that 89 percent of white Americans had a 'very' or 'somewhat' favorable opinion of the military, compared to 77 percent of Latinos and 72 percent of blacks.
Change over time
In the United States, public favorability of the military has increased considerably in recent years. From the early 1970s to the late 1990s, with the exception of briefly after the Gulf War, where support was around 60 percent, the percentage of Americans who said they had a 'very favorable' view of the US military hovered between 20 and 30 percent. By 2007, 47 percent claimed a 'very favorite' view of the military and 84% expressed a 'favorable' view.
While opposition to the Iraq War grew in a similar fashion to opposition to the Vietnam War, unlike the Vietnam War this opposition did not lead to a significant decrease in the public's viewpoint of the military personnel itself.
- Tom Van Riper (28 July 2006). "America's Most Admired Professions". Forbes.
- Jon Skindzier. "Military: Respected Professions - AskMen". AskMen.
- "Fewer Canadians 'strongly approve' of Afghan mission: survey". cbc.ca. 9 November 2006.
- The UK's Armed Forces: public support for the troops but not their missions?
- "Iraq and Vietnam: A Crucial Difference in Opinion". Pew Research Center. 22 March 2007.