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Understanding the U.S. Military’s Morale “Crisis” - Lawfare

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Cannot solve this morale problem with motivational speeches:

Ultimately, the military’s discontent may stem from dissonance between the commitment to, and pride in, the mission in Iraq and Afghanistan and the knowledge that these sacrifices have not yielded the desired results. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan arguably have prompted a crisis of confidence within the military itself. On the one hand, many troops still believe in the mission. A December 2013 Washington Post – Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 44 percent of veterans and active duty troops thought that the Iraq War was worth fighting (with 50 percent opposed), compared with 38 percent in the general American adult population (with 58 percent opposed). The contrast was even starker for Afghanistan, where 53 percent of veterans remained committed to the war (41 percent opposed) but only 30 percent of Americans did (66 percent opposed).[4] Similarly, 80 percent of veterans feel “often” or “sometimes” proud of what they personally did in Iraq, whereas only 28 percent said they did things that “often” or “sometimes” made them question the mission.[5] At the same time, service members and veterans increasingly believe that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have not been successful. A 2014 Military Times poll found that a mere 30 percent of active duty troops thought Iraq was successful in 2014, down from almost 64 percent in 2011. And while military-specific views of Afghanistan are hard to come by, a January 2014 Pew – USA Today poll found that 52 percent of Americans believed the United States failed to achieve its objective in Afghanistan (the same number as with Iraq). 

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