Trust in American institutions is in secular decline. One salient exception to this trend is the US military. The way the military was regarded and soldiers treated after Vietnam is a far cry from how it’s regarded and they are treated today:
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the obliteration of Iraqi forces in Desert Storm, confidence in the military spiked before settling back into a pattern of modest but steady climb. After two decades of bleeding out in Iraq and Afghanistan, baseline confidence is now where it was after Saddam Hussein was kicked out of Kuwait.
Is it sustainable? A humiliating backing down in the face of Chinese revanchism against Taiwan will provide an answer in the next few years. For the little it’s worth, this blogger views such a putative humiliation as prudent for reorienting America towards a humbler foreign policy and avoiding an unnecessary military escalation drawing in much of the world over a dispute within China’s immediate sphere of influence.
GSS variables used: CONARMY, YEAR, POLVIEWS(1-3)(4)(5-7)