I have abridged the following. (r. a. note)
Sputnik International Posted Wed., May 11, 2016
In polling of 951 verified active-duty troops, reservists and National Guardsmen, The Military Times found that in a match-up between Trump and Clinton, 54% of respondents said they would support the business mogul-turned-candidate, compared to 25% who chose the former secretary of state (the remaining 21% said they would not vote).
Among the four branches of the US Armed Forces, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Marine Corps, Trump trounced Clinton 56-24%, 48-31%, 54-25% and 60-18% respectively.
The independent online newspaper Svobodnaya Pressa attempted to explain the landslide in Trump’s favor, turning to Sergei Bespalov, a senior researcher at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, for possible answers.
The biggest reason for the military’s support for Trump, Bespalov suggested, is Trump’s rhetoric on foreign policy.
“Trump’s promises to significantly temper the military activity of the United States around the globe very likely brings forth a positive reaction from the military. They are, in general, not too thrilled about the idea of their country being dragged into new armed conflicts, since they are the ones who take most of the risks” when this happens.”
“At the same time,” the analyst says, “Clinton has a reputation for being a supporter of a very aggressive foreign policy, connected to the continuation of the current policy of the forced expansion of ‘Western-style democracy’ throughout the world…
“It’s not the Pentagon that prefers Trump, and not the military elite, but the majority of ordinary servicemen and women. The Pentagon supports Clinton.
“But those soldiers who, in the case of a Clinton victory, will be drawn into new conflicts, and will have to risk their lives, clearly aren’t thrilled about this prospect. And therefore among ordinary soldiers and officers Trump has proven to be more popular.”
Mikhail Alexandrov, a senior expert at the Center for Military-Political Studies at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, suggests that other reasons may be at play.
Trump shows resolve in the use of force. He demands that Obama use force, including in Syria. He is prepared to aggravate relations with Iran. He says that dialogue with Russia can come only ‘from a position of strength’. And recently he said that it would be necessary to shoot down Russian planes, referring to the recent incident involving the American destroyer Donald cook and our fighters.”
“Trump, in his rhetoric at least, is creating an image of an aggressive macho, who is willing to use force when, in his view, American interests are threatened. This approach appeals to the military.”