- The Washington Times - Friday, December 11, 2015

A majority of millennials across the U.S. say they support sending ground troops to fight the Islamic State terror group but do not wish to join in the fighting themselves, according to a new poll from the Harvard Institute of Politics. 

Researchers surveys individuals between age 18 to 19 and found 60 percent said they support putting boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria to fight the terrorists. But almost and equal number, 62 percent, said they would not personally want to join the fight, even if the U.S. needed additional troops. 

Support among millennials for putting boots on the ground to fight the terror group had been declining in recent months, according to the study. Polling conducted before the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris revealed 48 percent of millennial supported putting troops on the ground to fight the Islamic State. When asked again after the attacks, the number jumped 12 percent.

When asked how likely they would be to serve if the U.S. needed more troops to fight the jihadists, 62 percent said they “would definitely not join,” and 23 percent said they “would probably not join.” 

Just 15 percent of millennials surveyed said the have already joined or would consider joining the military campaign to fight the Islamic State. 



The disconnect in joining the fight comes down to how millennials feel about the government writ large, according to Harvard IOP Polling Director John Della Volpe.

“I’m reminded of the significant degree of distrust that this generation has about all things related to government,” Mr. Della Volpe said, NRP reported. “And I believe if young people had a better relationship with government … they’d be more open to serving.”

Mr. Della Volpe does caution, though, that this poll doesn’t dig into the size or the scope of the military campaign that young folks would be willing to theoretically support.

“I can’t tell you that young people support 5,000 troops or 50,000 troops,” he said.

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