Americans Remain Divided On Military Spending

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PRINCETON, N.J. (UPI) — Americans are divided on military spending, with no broad consensus that the United States is spending too much or too little on its armed forces, Gallup said.

Thirty-seven percent of Americans said the nation spends too much on the military and 28 percent said it spends too little, results of a Gallup poll released Thursday indicated. The rest say spending is about right.

Gallup said the latest World Affairs poll indicated Americans’ current views are fairly moderate, with the percentages saying “too much” and “too little” falling in about the middle of the historical ranges.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Monday a plan that would, among other things, reduce the Army’s size to its lowest level since before World War II.

Historically, Americans were most likely to say the nation was spending “too much” on the military in 1969 and in the early 1970s, just after the peak of U.S. involvement in Vietnam, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said. Americans were most likely to say the government spent “too little” on the military in January 1981, just as President Reagan entered office after he ran on a platform that included the need to build up the U.S. military.

By a 53 percent-to-44 percent margin, Americans said they think the U.S. military is the No. 1 power globally rather than being one of several leading powers, results showed.

Results are based on nationwide telephone interviews with 1,023 adults conducted Feb. 6-9. The margin of sampling error is 4 percentage points.

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