In 2009, eight years into the war with Iraq, some startling information began to emerge about the role of Christianity — as the Bush administration saw it — and the war in Iraq.
It was revealed that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield was including Bible quotations on top-secret wartime memos. France's President Jacques Chirac was disturbed about President George W. Bush's speculation that the Biblical creatures Gog and Magog were at work in the Middle East and needed to be defeated.
A year later, another troubling story emerged, this time from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Thousands of gun sights used by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan were inscribed with secret Bible references.
It's now been ten years of war.
A study released today by the Pew Research Center reveals that America's service men and women question the purposes of the two wars. From its survey of combat veterans, Pew found:
- Only 34% of combat veterans believed that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were worth fighting.
- 33% of combat veterans said that the wars were not worth fighting.
- 48% said the wars put a strain on their lives at home.
- 47% of the veterans said that they often felt irritable or angry.
- 37% said they suffered post-traumatic stress.
- 28% said that they had enlisted, in part, because they could not find a job in the public sector.
8 out of 10 veterans believe that the American public has no idea the problems that the military members face, and only 25% of American civilians pay attention to the wars.
Despite the negative feelings about the two wars, 90% of the veterans were proud of their service and 82% said that they would recommend that others enlist.