- The Washington Times - Monday, January 9, 2017

President Obama will leave office with the majority of troops holding an unfavorable view of his tenure.

A poll conducted by Military Times and Syracuse University on the 44th U.S. commander in chief offers a mixed bag of feedback. Military personnel gave the president positive marks for his use of drones to take out national security threats (60 percent), while panning his handling of Iraq (59 percent said Mr. Obama’s execution of the draw down made America less safe). Female and minority personnel solidly support the president (60 percent and 57 percent respectively), while the Marine Corps as a whole did not (60.3 percent).

“There’s no question this era will go down as the third ‘hollow’ army, and it’s the president’s fault,” James Jay Carafano, deputy director of international studies at The Heritage Foundation, told Military Times on Sunday. “For all his promises, the operations tempo hasn’t gone down as much as he hoped, and he has invested little in the military.”

Some numbers lending credence to the conservative analyst’s claims include:

  • 51.5 percent have a “somewhat” or “very” unfavorable view of Mr. Obama
  • 52.1 percent of enlisted personnel have an unfavorable view of Mr. Obama.
  • 48.8 percent of officers have an unfavorable view of Mr. Obama.
  • 71 percent said the military needs more personnel.
  • 54 percent said Mr. Obama’s draw down of troops in Afghanistan have made the U.S. less safe.
  • 66 percent said spending caps enacted in 2011 have hurt morale.

Mr. Obama’s successor, President-elect Donald Trump, will enter office on Jan. 20 with 37 percent of troops having an unfavorable view of him.

The newspaper’s poll was conducted between Dec. 16-21 with 1,664 active-duty troops. Questions about Mr. Obama’s popularity have a 2 percentage point margin for error.

The White House did not respond to “repeated requests for an interview” by Military Times for its story.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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