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Countering ISIS
What Happened to Millennial Dovishness?

Since President Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, part of the received wisdom about Millennials has been that they would push American public opinion on foreign policy in a more non-interventionist direction. Several surveys in the last few years have supported this notion: A 2011 Pew report found that Millennials were significantly more dovish than older generations, and a 2013 poll on Syria found that “opposition to unilateral airstrikes peaks among young adults.” Earlier this year, the Cato institute hopefully speculated that Millennials “may have internalized a permanent case of ‘Iraq Aversion.’”

But Millennials’ views on ISIS are complicating this narrative. A new poll from the Harvard Institute of Politics finds that 60 percent of Millennials support the use of U.S. ground troops against the Islamic State. The IOP only surveyed Millennials, so it’s impossible to directly compare this finding to the attitudes of older generations, but 60 percent is a higher level of support than most surveys have found among the general public. A CNN/ORC poll released earlier this week found 50 percent support for ground troops among Americans aged 18-34, roughly in line with the 53 percent support registered among the general public.

These are just two polls, and it’s very possible that the idea of Millennials as a non-interventionist generation overall will remain accurate in the long run. But it’s also possible that, for all the media headlines about Millennials’ uniqueness, they may end up being more similar to previous generations than many people think.

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  • FriendlyGoat

    I wonder if the polls drilled down to A) how many ground troops?, B) for how long?, C) at what cost?, D) with what way to end it?

    • Andrew Allison

      E) are you willing to volunteer?

      • FriendlyGoat

        Good idea.

        • Robert Burke

          America didn’t beat back Nazi Socialism with a volunteer force, you know. Nor Japanese Imperialism. In fact, the leadership that won the war didn’t volunteer for the front line. Sometimes you need grey haired wise folk, who know what they are doing… when a crazy nation or a death-cult religion… wants to kill Western folk. Time to mature!

          • I don’t know who those wise folk could possibly be.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Part of maturity is not under-estimating the size of commitment to go to war with Islam. We CAN discuss it, and let’s PLEASE discuss it honestly. The GOAL is to get the rest of Islam to defeat ISIS, not for us to march in as the hated infidels once again and galvanize even more of Islam against us.

            We need to be pointing out that Islam’s hat has been sh*t in by ISIL, and Islam needs to clean out its own hat. We can help. We are stupid to try to LEAD on this.

          • Angel Martin

            “…Islam needs to clean out its own…”

            they were supposed to have been doing this since Sept 2001

            Time’s up !

      • ipencil

        The answer is overwhelmingly no, with only 15 percent of millenials considering joining or all ready joining. An overwhelming 62 percent said the DEFINITELY are not considering joining the military.

        • Andrew Allison

          That was sorta my point [grin]. It’s easy to be for life threatening actions when yours is not the life being threatened. Perhaps we should bring back the draft, which would have the serendipitous effect of giving employment to a vastly underemployed segment of society.

  • Jim__L

    Um, were these polls taken after the San Bernardino shooting?

  • Paul A’Barge

    Walter Russell Mead, the principal for this web site voted for Barack Obama both times.

    • Robert Burke

      Good point! Analysis: Defund Progressive-Retardnational worldview education from Journalism schools, ASAP!

    • Andrew Allison

      We should at least give him credit for recognizing the error of his ways. Although he has not to my knowledge expressed regret, he has clearly become disenchanted, to say the least.

  • Robert Burke

    So, defund “Progressive-Retardnation” worldview education in K-12 and university and Journalism Schools. Replace with “1776-Tragic-Liberty” pedagogy.

    This is the solution, is it not? (Even if you could snap your fingers and make America sane, the Progtard education system… funded by taxpayers… would quickly devolve everything unto the insanity of today.)

    WHEN will it be over, this time of pointing out Hydra Heads of Progtardism? WHEN will it be started, the defunding of Progressive-Retardnation education in K-12, university and Journalism schools?

    Or… we can notice Hydra Heads of Progtardism for the next 1,000 years and never defund its education system? Okay, our choice.

  • ipencil

    And yet, 62 percent DEFINITELY not considering joining the military and 23 percent proabably not joining the military. In other words, as in all other things, millennials talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk.

  • If W had not invaded Iraq his opposition both within and without his party would have attacked his inaction as vociferously as it has his actions. Same with Bush Sr. Same with Clinton on Kosovo/Mogadishu. Same same same same same. Forward.

  • Albert8184

    What happened? A progressive Leftist won the White House and thus… intervention became okay again for progressives because their guy was in power and doing it “for all the right reasons”. So, what happened was the same thing that always happens. Lefties never support intervention when their guy isn’t the commander in chief. You could just as easily be asking why so many conservatives aren’t hawks anymore….. if you wanted to be disingenuous enough to assert that conservatives root their principles in political expedience. On the contrary… the only absolute that Left Wingers believe in is the absolute requirement to say or do whatever is necessary to gain power. Even if it means…. defending Islamofascism.

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