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Military Wary of Obama

A new poll in the Military Times makes for uncomfortable reading for the new president. Six out of 10 active-duty service members say they are uncertain or pessimistic about their new commander in chief. Only a third said they are optimistic about Obama. Some expressed concern about his lack of military service and experience. “Being that the Marine Corps can be sent anywhere in the world with the snap of his fingers, nobody has confidence in this guy as commander in chief,” said one lance corporal. Underlying much of the uncertainty is Obama’s 16-month timetable for pulling combat troops out of Iraq, as well as his calls to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to allow gays to serve openly in the military. The caution among active-duty service personnel is reasonable and need not be a problem for Obama, argues Peter Feaver, a political science professor at Duke University. “Those numbers don’t convince me he has got a big problem on his hands because what he is seeing is not military hostility but rather military caution, and caution that is reasonable because he has never been in the position of this office,” he said. “It’s sensible and understandable that they have doubts about him.”