Defense One National Security Survey: September 1, 2015

As reported exclusively by Defense One.

National security professionals express concerns with President Obama's approach to foreign policy in areas ranging from its handling of the war against the Islamic State to the nuclear agreement negotiated with Iran. Only 10 percent of those surveyed believe the current U.S.-led campaign is doing enough to defeat ISIS. Still, most appear reluctant to deploy additional ground troops into direct combat with ISIS fighters, with only one-third in favor of doing so. 

Only one in four national security professionals believe the Iran nuclear agreement represents a good deal for the United States, with 62 percent in favor of rejecting the deal and keeping sanctions in place. Contrary to the Obama Administration's reassurances, the majority of national security professionals believe the Iran deal will have a negative impact on the security of allies like Israel (71 percent), Saudi Arabia (67 percent), and Iraq (58 percent).

Respondents are generally pessimistic when it comes to budgetary issues; just 19 percent believe the President and Congress will reach an agreement to repeal sequestration by the end of 2015. National security professionals have a mostly positive opinion of Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, who enjoys a +20 percent approval rating.


Defense One and Government Business Council, the research arm of Government Executive Media Group, sent an email survey to a random sample of Defense One, Government Executive, and Nextgov print and online subscribers. From August 20-27, 465 federal employees participated in the survey. 58 percent serve at the GS/GM-13 grade level, or military equivalent, and above. Respondents include national security professionals from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, and the military service branches.

68 percent of respondents identified as civilian employees of the Department of Defense, 15 percent as active-duty military personnel, 10 percent as employees of civilian agencies, and 7 percent as military reservists. Responses are weighted by agency. The margin of error is +/-3.29 percent.

This poll was independently deployed by Government Executive Media Group and is not affiliated with or sponsored by any political party or external organization.



The War against ISIS:

The Iran Nuclear Deal:

Global Arms Transfers:

The Defense Budget:


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