A recently released survey, conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, shows strong public support for defense cuts, along with growing support for a reduced American military presence abroad.
Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed said the U.S. defense budget should be cut as a means to reduce the deficit. These results are in-line with Stimson’s own poll, conducted together with the Program for Public Consultation and the Center for Public Integrity, which found that three-quarters of those polled wanted to cut defense spending by an average of 18%. Together the two polls portray an American public unwilling to shelter the Pentagon from the broader debate about reining in government spending.
The Council concludes from its poll:
Americans have a strong desire to move on from a decade of war, to scale back spending, and avoid major new military entanglements. Today, Americans seek a foreign policy characterized by extensive use of American diplomatic resources; by cooperation with other nations in the pursuit of common goals; and by selective, multilateral deployments of military force.
Findings like these suggest its not surprising we’re in a defense build-down.