On this election day 2012, let’s look at FOM’s survey on attitudes about the army. Its questions are different from 2011. But this year’s results show less enchantment with positive changes in the army.
Just prior to the army’s February 23 holiday, FOM asked its sample whether the Russian Army’s combat capability is high or low. Only 15 percent said high, 33 percent said low, 37 percent said average (not high or low), and 15 percent found it hard to say.
Two years ago 24 percent said high and only 27 percent said low.
Then FOM asked whether the army’s combat capability is increasing or decreasing. Twenty-eight percent said increasing, 17 percent said decreasing, 38 percent said not changing, and 16 percent found it hard to answer.
In 2010, 36 percent said increasing.
It’d be interesting if FOM asked respondents to say what combat capability means to them.
Then FOM asked about the military’s prestige. Given the choice of high or low, 21 percent said high, 27 percent low, 40 percent not high or low, and 12 percent found it hard to answer.
But 38 percent said the military’s prestige is growing, 11 percent declining, 38 percent not changing, and 13 percent hard to answer.
If Russia’s budget had extra resources that could go only to military needs, or only to civilian needs, just 18 percent said they would direct that money to the military, 61 percent said to civilian uses, and 21 percent said hard to answer.