How a Divided U.S. Views Its Armed Forces and Their Role

Presidents and policymakers in Washington place tremendous demands on the nation’s all-volunteer military, whether it’s a U.S. Navy carrier group providing tsunami relief on the far side of the Pacific Ocean or special forces units on horseback hunting terrorists in the Hindu Kush. According to a new RealClear Opinion Research poll, Americans support the entire array of these military undertakings — and, for the most part, trust the men and women in uniform to carry them out.

This confidence spans the political spectrum, which is reassuring in a political environment so polarized that war itself is now evaluated through a partisan prism. Asked their views about missions ranging from protecting human rights abroad to defending Taiwan against an invasion from China, significant majorities of registered voters expressed support for all of them.

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