A reader writes:
I’ve been closely following your thread on “Right-Sizing the Military” and I thought you might be interested in a poll of International Relations scholars in the U.S. that my colleagues and I recently conducted. Our goal was to see what folks who study these issues for a living think about the proposed defense budget. (We also asked about a variety of issues Russia, Ukraine, and Syria.) We heard back from 900 IR scholars (out of a approximately 2,800 in the U.S.). Those who responded were statistically indistinguishable from those who did not. The margin of error is +/- 2.7 percent.
With regard to the defense budget, 75 percent of IR scholars we surveyed said we spend too much on defense, 20 percent said we spend the right amount, and 6 percent said we spend too little. This contrasts sharply with the public sentiment as recorded by a recent gallup poll (see the attached figure). Further, 27 percent said the proposed Hagel/Obama budget would enhance U.S. security, and 53 percent said it would have no effect.
We’ve published some of the results and a short essay explaining the broader goals of our on-going survey project here. Our full survey report is in this pdf. Even more detail on our project is in this one.