We Need to Sell Young People on War

Stephen Rosen sees a generation gap on national security issues

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 31, 2014 1:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – Americans in their 50s and 60s largely understand the positive power of the US military. They saw a military buildup end the Cold War, and witnessed successful interventions in Serbia and Iraq in the 90s, Harvard professor Stephen Peter Rosen—a member of that generation—writes in the Wall Street Journal. But younger Americans see the world very differently. They see the Cold War as unnecessary, and came of age during the Iraq and Afghanistan quagmires. They aren't blind to the world's evils, "they just cannot believe that the use of US military power will make things better."

"The task isn't to convince them that they must support military action when they believe in their hearts that it cannot work," Rosen writes. It's to demonstrate that some things are worth fighting for. Fighting nuclear proliferation makes the world and the US safer. Standing up against territorial incursions like Russia's Crimea move fosters a more profitable free world—and protects against similar attacks on us. "In short, America must help others defend themselves against tyranny because it is in our national interest to do so." Click for Rosen's full column.

Members of the anti-war group Code Pink, and other organizations, take part in an anti-war demonstration ion front of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 14, 2007.
Members of the anti-war group Code Pink, and other organizations, take part in an anti-war demonstration ion front of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 14, 2007.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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