Young Adults Still Support War on Terrorism

In the October 13th New York Times article, Abandoned by U.S. in Syria, Kurds Find New Ally in American Foe , the authors state: 

For five years, United States policy relied on collaborating with the Kurdish-led forces both to fight the Islamic State and to limit the influence of Iran and Russia, which support the Syrian government, with a goal of maintaining some leverage over any future settlement of the conflict. On Sunday, after Mr. Trump abruptly abandoned that approach, American leverage appeared all but gone.

It may seem like Americans are done with fighting wars associated with reducing the risk of terrorism around world, but our data show otherwise. When asked whether they favor or oppose, “Allowing U.S. military to conduct other military actions to pursue terrorists around the world”, a strong majority still support this idea (77.9%).

support for military pursuit of terrorists, 10_14_19

Like many of our other findings in this project, civilians are much less supportive of the use of force (59.9%) than academy (85.6%) and ROTC (86.6%) cadets but majorities of all three groups appear to be ready to commit to this goal.

The politics associated with pulling troops out of Syria are more complicated than simply fighting terrorism. Our data suggest that, under some conditions, political leaders can rely on the support of young adults if they are convinced that the conflicts can help end international terrorism.

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