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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What America Thinks: Is the Military Best Used at Home or Abroad?

As we start a new year, our military remains on global duty - still fighting in the Middle East, helping Ebola victims in Africa and guarding against aggression in Korea, among its many missions. How do people feel about the U.S. military and the jobs it’s now performing? We decided to find out what America thinks.

Americans have given the military very positive ratings over the years: More than 80% of voters consistently rate its performance as good or excellent, and 70% agree the United States has the best military in the world.

But most also think the military has too many missions these days, and 83% think it’s likely the military will next be sent back to Iraq to help the government there fight off the radical Islamic group ISIS, even as the combat mission in Afghanistan officially winds down.

Two-out-of-three voters (67%) think the U.S. military should focus instead on defending America’s interests rather than addressing the problems of other nations. Only 26% say the military’s strategy should be the maintenance of worldwide stability and peace. Most voters (57%) favor using the military along the Mexican border to prevent illegal immigration.

Nearly half (48%) believe the United States is already too involved in the affairs of other countries. Sixty percent (60%) think America’s political leaders send the military into harm’s way too often.
Meanwhile, Americans increasingly worry about terrorist attacks at home, with many who believe the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have increased rather than reduced that threat.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.