US troops divided between Trump and Sanders over military hotseat

© Omar Sobhani
US troops are split between the ‘all guns blazing’ Republican Donald Trump and the anti-war Democrat Bernie Sanders on the issue of which presidential candidate should assume supreme control of the armed forces.

While political commentators still debate whether foreign policy is seen as a major issue by regular US voters, the fact that somebody new in 2017 will have their finger on the button for war surely plays on the minds of the country’s military personnel.

After all, it is these men and women – based in around 150 countries – that will be doing the hard yards on the battlefield.

And it seems that person should be either billionaire businessman Donald Trump or Vermont senator Bernie Sanders at a close second, if a sample poll of the American military is anything to go by.

In a survey of 931 active-duty troops, National Guard personnel and reservists conducted by the Military Times, 26.9 percent plumped for Trump, while 21.91 percent favored Sanders.

Ted Cruz came third in the poll with 16.70 percent of the vote, followed by Hillary Clinton on 11.17 percent and Marco Rubio with 9.33 percent.

Interestingly, Sanders was the most popular among members of the US Navy and Air Force. While the Marine Corp gave a 30 percent majority to Trump.

The results are interesting since the top two choices have widely opposing attitudes to how the nation’s military should be commanded.

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has resorted to grandiose military statements during his campaign, such as his promise to “bomb the s**t out of” ISIS oil fields.

In fact, detailed foreign policy is largely absent from Trump’s list of issues on his website, save for a 23 second clip in which he tells supporters he will “make our military so big, so powerful that nobody, absolutely nobody is going to mess with us.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the conflict coin, is wannabe conscientious objector and former pacifist Sanders.

The senator advocates diplomacy over military action.

“America must defend freedom at home and abroad, but we must seek diplomatic solutions before resorting to military action,” Sanders outlines on his website.

“I voted against the war in Iraq, and knew it was the right vote then, and most people recognise it was the right vote today,” he adds.