The Drivers of Public Support for Military Withdrawal
There is extensive literature regarding how the American public forms their opinions about military interventions. However, there is not as much to be said with respect to how public support for military withdrawals is influenced. This thesis paper seeks to highlight how question framing surrounding the topic of U.S. military withdrawals affects the level of support for said withdrawals. Looking at a number of different explanatory variables, which ones are found to be the most important drivers of public support for military withdrawal? Utilizing a data set of 392 observations of aggregate survey data that spans from the years of 1950-2021, three linear regression models are developed to help predict how potential question framing affects impact public support for military withdrawal. The results indicate that survey questions regarding the post-9/11 conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan have very high levels of support for withdrawal. Contrary to the often-discussed casualties hypothesis, public support for withdrawal decreases when questions mention U.S. military casualties. Survey questions that provided additional response options indicating varying types of withdrawal also were found to have positive effects on overall public support for withdrawal.
Degree TypeMaster's Thesis
DepartmentInstitute for Politics and Strategy
- Master of Science (MS)