Public Support for the U.S. Military
This paper looks at public support of the U.S. military action in the 1990s.
This paper is an in-depth examination of the American public’s support military involvement during the Clinton/Gore administration. The author looks at several gallop poll surveys taken to gauge the American public’s support for military involvement in areas around the globe. The polls taken include questions about Kosovo, the Balkans, Panama and the Middle East. The results of these surveys show that although there was wide public support to keep the military strong and prepared during this administration, when it came to actually sending troops into battle, the support was mixed. This, the author states, is keeping with American tradition of wanting to have strong military, but avoiding unnecessary involvement in conflicts abroad.
“Thus when one asks the question of how high was the level of public support for U.S. military involvement during the Clinton/Gore administration, one must be content to allow for some measure of uncertainty in the answer. There is also, in this case, the fact that “U.S. military involvement” is not a homogeneous principle. Some wars are in general considered to be “good” wars. Most Americans think that their country did the right thing in World War II. The level of public support is much less, of course, for Vietnam. There are no doubt Americans who passionately believe that the United States has done the right thing by intervening in the Balkans but thinks that we should stay out of the Middle East, just as there are no doubt Americans who think that we should be much more activist in the Middle East but stay as far away as possible from the political, military and historical powder keg of the Balkans.”