Most Americans don’t see need to increase US military spending — poll
WASHINGTON, March 5 (PNA/Xinhua) — Around 59 percent of Americans believe that the US currently is spending either the right amount or too much on national defense, found a latest Gallup poll.
The Feb. 1-5 poll showed that 28 percent of Americans say the US is spending the right amount on national defense, while 31 percent say it is spending too much.
Meanwhile, 37 percent of Americans say the country spends too little on defense, according to the poll.
The poll comes as newly-elected US President Donald Trump vows to increase military spending in his first budget. Reports said that Trump is planning to increase the military spending by USD54 billion in his budget.
There is a wide partisan gap in the views on the US military spending, as 62 percent of Republicans believe that the country spends too little on defense, compared to only 15 percent of Democrats who hold this view.
In the poll, slightly more Americans say the US spends too little on defense than say it spends too much. This has happened somewhat infrequently in Gallup’s trend since 1969, Gallup said.
Before the 2016 presidential campaign, the last time that Americans were more likely to say “too little” than to say “too much” was 2000-2002, spanning the 2000 election as well as the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks in 2001.
While Trump’s position on defense echoes former Republican President Ronald Reagan’s, the percentage of Americans saying the US spends too little on defense is lower now than during Reagan’s first month in office.
This may be related to fatigue from a continuing war in Afghanistan and the recent Iraq War, according to Gallup.
Meanwhile, Americans are nearly equally divided on their assessment of the US military strength.
Forty-five percent of Americans say the US military is not strong enough, while 43 percent say it is “about right” and another 11 percent believe it is stronger than it needs to be.
These views are almost the same from each of the past two years. Before 2015, significantly more Americans said military strength was “about right” than said it was not strong enough.
Trump may face some resistance to increased defense spending from those wary of the continuing war in Afghanistan and the recent war in Iraq, Gallup said. (PNA/Xinhua)