In an effort to feel the pulse of U.S. forces firsthand, Stars and Stripes reporters spent three weeks in August fanning across Iraq.
¶ When asked how worthwhile they thought the war in Iraq was for the United States, the split among all those responding was 67 percent saying it was "worthwhile," "probably worthwhile" or "very worthwhile," with 31 percent saying it was of "little value" or of "no value at all."
¶ Asked about their personal morale, 34 percent overall rated it as "low" or "very low," 27 percent said it was "high" or "very high," and virtually all the rest called it "average." Perceptions of their unit's morale ranked heavier on the "low" side. This question of personal morale elicited widely different responses among the services. Reservists ranked their morale as the lowest by far. Marine and Air Force respondents tended to rate their own morale on the high side, while Army respondents were fairly evenly divided between high and low morale, with most falling in the middle, or "average."
¶ Noncommissioned officers predict problems in re-enlistment, although military leaders say enlistment rates historically drop after conflicts. Nearly half of the troops surveyed said they do not plan to re-enlist. No re-enlistment figures from Iraq are available at this point, while generally the overall military re-enlistment rates appear to be satisfactory or better.
¶ While from all indications troops in Iraq are doing what needs to be done, slightly more than one-third of those responding to the questionnaire said their mission was for the most part "not clearly defined" or "not at all defined." Sixty-three percent said it was.
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
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