After nearly 20 years bearing the weight of constant war, veterans and their families are becoming increasingly disenchanted with our nation’s foreign policy.
A survey commissioned by Concerned Veterans for America found a growing number of veterans and military family members support less military engagement around the world. In a recent op-ed, CVA Executive Director Nate Anderson and Senior Advisor Dan Caldwell dig into the poll results:
On questions related to foreign policy, there were high levels of support for less military intervention abroad. Fifty-seven percent of veterans believe the United States should be less militarily engaged around the world — a nine percentage point increase from 2019. Seventy-three percent of veterans and 69 percent of military families would support President Donald Trump if he withdrew all our troops from Afghanistan — up 13 and 9 points, respectively, from the previous year. In regard to Iraq, 71 percent of veterans and 69 percent of military families would also support the president if he withdrew American forces from the country.
As veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, these results are no surprise to us. We served with many individuals who are still in uniform and still deploying to the same places we fought in years ago. Ground has been taken, lost to ISIS or Taliban fighters, and retaken repeatedly over the course of these conflicts. And painfully, too many of our brothers- and sisters-in-arms have been severely wounded or killed in action.
While we remain enormously proud of our service, we are convinced these conflicts lack a clear strategic value and are not making our nation safer. Veterans, military families, and the American public increasingly and overwhelmingly agree.
Anderson and Caldwell end their op-ed by calling for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “It will allow the United States to focus our increasingly strained national resources on more pressing priorities,” they write. “And based on the results of our poll and others, pursuing a more restrained foreign policy is good politics as well.”