Support Your Troops?: The Falling Support for War, the Height of Military Prestige, and Media Portrayals.
Cheema, Manal W.
- This thesis examines how the U.S. mainstream media affected the public confidence in the military during the Vietnam and Iraq wars through four quantitative and qualitative analyses. First, media framing analysis demonstrates the U.S. public was less willing to subscribe to human-interest and nation-protecting frames that presented the military negatively in Iraq as opposed to Vietnam. Furthermore... read more, a thematic analysis of political rhetoric shows that Iraq War politicians were enabled by a verbal and cognitive separation of supporting the war and troops, allowing the public to separate the success of the war with their confidence in the troops. Two media-content analysis demonstrate that while front-page newspaper articles tended to neutral present the military in both wars, opinion-editorials presented a more favorable view of the military in Iraq than in Vietnam. Finally, a set of qualitative interviews clarified the effects of the embedding policy instituted in Iraq and how the perception of the military benefited positively from this institutional arrangement. In all, these analyses demonstrate how advancing the “support the troops” paradigm became a mechanism by which the news media maintained credibility and operational success and the U.S. military and government advanced security and wartime objectives.read less