Pentagon Chief Concerned Over Americans' Declining Trust in US Military Under Biden
Story Code : 967414
According to Kirby, Austin saw the survey findings on Saturday when he was visiting the Reagan National Defence Forum, Sputnik reported.
"He obviously took it seriously when he had a chance to at least look at it briefly", he further said.
Kirby further said that Austin "wants to spend a little bit more time and try to see if there's some wisdom he can glean from the survey".
The Pentagon official said that even though the present approval ratings were "good numbers", they represented a 25 percent drop compared to when the survey was first conducted in 2018.
A similar survey held in March of this year, before the Taliban took over Kabul, claimed that Americans’ trust in the military had dropped by 14 percentage points since 2018. The new findings represent a further 11 percent drop.
Kirby said that the perception among Americans of the US military, which he described as an "all-volunteer force" is important for the institution.
"…The American public's perceptions of the United States military matters to us, not just from a recruiting perspective, although that's valid, but also from a representational perspective", said Kirby.
While he refused to go into the reasons behind the declining ratings, the Pentagon official did admit that the institution of the military wasn't "immune from the polarisation occurring in the country writ large".
Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), who attended a panel discussion at the Reagan National Defence Forum last week, said that America's "credibility" had been "jeopardised" by the troop withdrawal operations in Afghanistan.
The senator further warned that the nation's allies and partners would stop looking to the US as a "partner of choice", if the survey findings were to translate to US perception among other nations.
She also claimed that she was "pulled aside" by "many of our traditional allies and partners" and asked about the Afghanistan withdrawal at the Halifax Security Forum last month.
The Taliban's swift military advance in Afghanistan since the signing of the Doha Deal with the administration of President Donald Trump and its subsequent takeover of Kabul on August 15, 2021 has triggered widespread global as well as domestic criticism against the Joe Biden administration.
Trump even asked for Biden to "resign in disgrace" and said that the US has "never been [as] humiliated" as much as during the troop withdrawal process under Biden.
"We ran out of Afghanistan instead of following the plan our administration left for him —a plan that protected our people and our property, and ensured the Taliban would never dream of taking our embassy or providing a base for new attacks against America," Trump said in a statement on August 17, two days after the Afghan capital fell to the Taliban.