The U.S. military is weaker today than it was at the start of the Iraq war five years ago, according to the results of a new survey produced by Foreign Policy magazine and the Center for a New American Security. They call it one of the most comprehensive surveys to be conducted of the military community in the last 50 years. It's published in the March/April 2008 issue of the magazine and is available online today at the link below.
Of the more than 3,400 active and retired officers surveyed, 60 percent say the U.S. military is weaker today than it was five years ago. Asked the reason why, more than half cite the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the pace of troop deployments those conflicts require. Nearly 90 percent of the officers—all of whom hold the rank of major or lieutenant commander and above—say that the war in Iraq has “stretched the U.S. military dangerously thin.” Asked about officials in the U.S. government, 66 percent of the officers say they believe America’s elected leaders are either somewhat or very uninformed about the U.S. military.
Finally, in another troubling finding: When it comes to the use of torture, and what constitutes it, opinions were split. Asked if they agree or disagree with the statement “Torture is never acceptable,” 53 percent of the officers agree and 44 percent disagree.