For a Peaceful World

Posted by: eric on December 2, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Last night President Obama addressed the nation with a plan for a buildup of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.  In his speech he said “our security is at stake” and used the speech to announce his intentions to add 30,000 troops to be deployed to Afghanistan.  This blog post is not so much to comment on President Obama’s decision but rather to offer insight into how young Americans feel about war and foreign policy.

Generation We strongly believes in a cooperative, multilateral approach to foreign policy and solving global problems. The Millennials already see themselves as part of an interconnected planet linked by the Internet and other technologies that are integral parts of their lives. Tolerant and accepting of different cultures, they consider isolationism contrary to their social and political mores. Further, deeply influenced by what they perceive as a failed U.S. response to the terror attacks of 9/11 and a disastrous war in Iraq, they are ready to jettison the unilateral approach to world affairs that has characterized the far right, the neoconservatives, and the Bush Administration.

Generation We seems more oriented toward a multilateral and cooperative foreign policy than their elders. Pew Values data show that 18- to 25-year-old Millennials in 2002–03 were split down the middle on whether military strength is the best way to ensure peace, while older adults endorsed this idea 61 to 35.

In 2004 Pew data, only 29 percent of 18- to 25-year-old Millennials believed that “using overwhelming force is the best way to defeat terrorism,” compared to 67 percent who thought “relying too much on military force leads to hatred and more terrorism.” By contrast, those 26 and over were much more closely split (49–41). In addition, 62 percent

of 18- to 25-year-olds believe the United States should take into account the interests of its allies even if it means making compromises with them, compared to 52 percent of their elders.

Furthermore, in November 2004 Democracy Corps polling, 57 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds (Note: Only the 18- to 26-year-olds in this group qualify as Millennials.) believed that America’s security depends on building strong ties with other nations, compared to just 37 percent who believed that, “bottom line,” America’s security depends on its own military strength. This was the most pro-multilateralist sentiment of any age group.

Moreover, when the same question was asked of 18- to 29-yearolds in 2007 in the Greenberg Millennial Survey (GMS,) when all members of that age group were Millennials, sentiment was even stronger on the multilateral side. In that survey, 69 percent said that America’s security depends on building strong ties with other nations, compared to only 30 percent who thought that America’s security depends on its own military strength.

More than any other recent generation, Generation We rejects dogma and propaganda that pits one race or nation against another. Boundaries mean little to them, especially in comparison to their idealistic vision of a peaceful world. Having lived much of their lives in a nation at war, they yearn for a united planet in which the environment is being cleaned up and resources that might be squandered on arms and warfare are devoted instead to creating a prosperous, secure world. Generation We wants the same opportunity previous generations had to raise their families in peace, and given the opportunity they will vote, organize, and act in support of that objective.

3 Responses to “For a Peaceful World”

  1. Joe Parascandalo Says:

    Being newly introduced to the Generation We movement via its inspirational video and too, being a member of the `baby-boomer’ generation, recognizing the extent to which the Old Guard have their tentacles entwined into the fabric that defines our present geopolitical, national and international socio-economic policies, big oil, multi-national corporations, etc, etc., the task to overcome these divisive and destructive institutions will be a daunting exercise. To uproot the System once and for all those of you who are and subscribe to the Gen-We philosophy need to identify your own leaders to make happen the promising agenda you have set for yourselves and not to expend your votes on the dried up, withered-brain, old school politicians who are reliant on the words provided them via a tele-prompted speech to set out what your government and judicial institutions demand of you. All the problems identified in your video are true and well spoken – but it will take a lot more then a moving video to change what is – words can move but action will change!

  2. aysha almueti Says:

    just heard about the millenium generation…as a 45 year old mother of a 15 year old, a moderate republican and self employed business owner, i am inspired to see such an active interest in our country and our relationship to the world…in the past 20 years i have grown more focused on the issue of world conflict….we must be able to defend our nations, communities and families from people who with extreme ideology that want to kill us…remember, it’s not the religion but the culture of some of those within it…i have not witnessed that those extremists are responsive to our good will…make your own mind up to be sure…observe…we should have a system that can answer the ‘basic’ health needs of all our citizens….but i want a system that makes those that contribute very little money (in the form of income tax) still accountable…coming to an emergency room with hundreds of dollars of tatoos, cigarettes a packin, while asking for free medical care is not the type of citizenry that will see our country’s future…there is too large a population that do nothing to better themselves or contribute to the value of our society that expect to be taken care of…we live on the greatest country of modern times, with more oppurtunity than sense…instead of doing something about one’s personal situation, i hear more complaining about what the government is or is not doing for them…yes, the ‘world owes me a living’ mentality will suck the life from us all, and in terms of world history, in an historically short amount of time…our country is ripe for leadership…the optimism of the young tempered with the experience of the old should provide fertile ground to make this country still better than ever before…lean not unto one party, left or right…there is value on both sides, very intrisic and a wealth of information to draw upon…create that third party of inspired citizens for the security of our country, for some sort of health care, for some sanity in what is now an insane government…i have long since realized that our country is embittered in a serious civil war, with far more damaging potential that our first civil war…the left and the right are tearing down the great tenaments of a well crafted constitution…be the leader, set the example…investigate, question, debate, respond…what a great thing our millenium generation could bring to america…

  3. Courtney Hatch Says:

    I am 49 years old and have 5 children who are growing up in this world that is changing…I fear that my children will struggle to buy a house find a job and care for their families. Greedy businessmen and people who believe that they are owed something even if they do not work for it have brought us to where we are.

    I have traveled overseas…I have seen what the other 3rd world countries want. They want to have a the things that your parents and my parents have fought and bled for.

    I am disturbed with this progressive movement. There is a lot of good in the world. you as the youth will be the ones who will work to make it better. As American, United States youth, do you think our country is the great oppressor? Do you think that your country is damaging and hurting the rest of the world?

    We your parents and your grandparents and our government send Billions and Billions in Foriegn Aid to countries who despise us for our wealth. They want our wealth and that is what fuels their hatred and anger.

    find ways to improve the world. Find ways to feed more people, give them cleaner water, improve their standard of living.

    But remember it is not that we are not giving them and helping them but more often than not it is the leftist Radical warlords and evil element of this world in their own countries that are stealing the aid we give to the poor and hindering the development of improvements in these countries for their own selfish political and power control.

    So Generation WE. Work on improving and building on a better world. but do not be fooled by the progressives who are currently in power in the united states that it is the conservatives like Bush and Reagan and others who put you in debt.

    it is just as much or more of a problem you will be facing with the Fanny Mae and Freddy Mack fiasco of people like Barney Frank(Progressive) and the huge Taxes you will be paying under the new healthcare plan (Obama, Reid, and Pelosi)(Progressives).

    Best of luck to you and you might want to talk to your parents and learn a little from the wisdom and mistakes they have made. It might help you from making your own mistakes…

    God Bless!