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BRITISH SOCIAL ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE MILITARY AND CONTEMPORARY CONFLICT Are the Armed Forces understood and supported by the public?

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Presentation on theme: "BRITISH SOCIAL ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE MILITARY AND CONTEMPORARY CONFLICT Are the Armed Forces understood and supported by the public?"— Presentation transcript:

1 BRITISH SOCIAL ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE MILITARY AND CONTEMPORARY CONFLICT Are the Armed Forces understood and supported by the public?

2 British Social Attitudes Survey

3 2011 BSA Survey 3,311 responded  Response rate = 54% Data collection June to Sept 2011 bsa-29.natcen.ac.uk

4 Public opinion of Iraq and Afghanistan Success of the missions 27% 30%

5 Perceived purposes of Iraq

6 Perceived purposes of Afghanistan

7 British troops out now? Options for withdrawal from Afghanistan% As soon as possible, without conditions35 As soon as the Afghan government can protect its territory AND prevent it from being used as a base for terrorism 34 As soon as the government in Afghanistan can protect its territory 19 As soon as Afghanistan has become a successful democracy/ AND has a successful economy 5 At a fixed future date, without conditions4

8 Public opinion of the Armed Forces

9 Role of the media

10 Heroes or victims?

11 Veteran charities Almost 2/3 knew of veteran charity or organisation Two largest charities were the most well-known  Royal British Legion & poppy charities  Help for Heroes More than 75% had bought a Poppy

12 Government support for veterans

13 Who is a veteran? Definitions % Left Service to retire37 Deployed on operations (not necessarily overseas)21 Deployed overseas in a combat mission18 Unsure9 Left Service after four years9 Completed basic training3 Deployed overseas3 Completed a minimum of one day’s service2

14 The UK civil-military gap

15 Future role of the UK Armed Forces % Defending the UK against threats from other states28 Assisting police & security forces in anti-terror operations in the UK (incl. crime, terrorism and cyber security) 24 Supporting NATO allies, taking part in UN missions17 Humanitarian aid & disaster relief (overseas or UK)14 Missions against terrorists abroad9 Protecting citizens of overseas countries who are engaged in protest or dissent from attacks by their government/rulers/ removing dictators 8 Ceremonial and public duties1

16 Summary Public support UK Armed Forces but not missions Public believe military service to have an impact on mental health outcomes Public support priority government health & welfare services for veterans Differences between public and military opinions may have implications for civil-military relations Reluctance of public to support UK military action may be legacy of the Iraq and Afghanistan missions

17 Further information Website:


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