Category: Foreign Policy

Many younger Americans don’t appear to appreciate the vital role that American leadership has played — and continues to play —in the international system. Or if they do, they fail to see how foreign policy relates to them.

In what has become an oft-quoted, though still illuminating, statistic, nearly half of all American millennials told the Chicago Council that the United States should “stay out” of world affairs in 2014, more than any other generational cohort.

They tend to score lower on measures of patriotism, hold a rosier perception of global security threats than their older counterparts, and seem less confident that American involvement would help ameliorate international crises. On the surface, many young people seem to view America as a source of the world’s problems rather than as a driving force behind solutions.

Part of the answer is that young Americans simply don’t view foreign policy as a top priority for Washington, and choosing between domestic and foreign polciy concerns is, of course, a false choice. America’s foreign affairs budget represents less than one percent of the federal budget; trade agreements add to the homeland’s prosperity as much as they do those of foreign lands; and defense spending is at a lower level, as a percentage of GDP, than at any time since the Second World War.

Phillip Lohaus, Why American Foreign Policy Should Be A Millennial Priority