Over the past month, images and videos of young service members, aged 18 and 19, stationed away from their families and placed in dangerous situations to safeguard their nation have flooded the media.
As the conflict in the Middle East escalates, a pertinent question emerges: Would Americans be prepared to defend their country if they were drawn into a significant war?
A recent survey conducted by Echelon Insights, a research institute, revealed that 72 percent of Americans would not willingly enlist for military service in the event of a major war, as reported by Newsweek. "The figures come as all branches of the armed forces have in recent years struggled to meet their recruitment targets, suggesting a growing apathy towards a career of military service," Newsweek stated. The poll, conducted between October 23 and 26, included 1,029 likely voters. However, Newsweek did not disclose the margin of error.
Another recent survey discovered that less than half of Democrats would be willing to sacrifice their lives for our country in the event of an invasion, and approximately 30 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds would prefer to surrender to the enemy rather than fight, as reported by the Daily Mail. These evolving attitudes towards duty and sacrifice pose a significant threat to our national security.
David Eustice, CEO of Military Recruiting Experts, pointed out to Newsweek that context is crucial. Historically, Americans have rallied during conflicts with clear moral purposes, such as World War II following the attack on Pearl Harbor or Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. However, there are valid reasons to believe that the current situation is different.
Young Americans have been immersed in a culture that belittles patriotism and obsesses over the failures of our past. For years, colleges have propagated the narrative that American and Western values equate to racism, colonialism, and oppression, and this narrative is beginning to bear fruit. For instance, some individuals on the American left have recently justified terrorism and accused the U.S. of "genocide" for supporting Israel against Hamas. The protracted, chaotic war in Afghanistan has only exacerbated this pessimistic view of America's role in the world.
Moreover, the undeniable reality is that today's generation of Americans is weaker and more pampered than any previous generation, leading increasingly digital lives. Would they be capable of enduring the hardships faced by the "Greatest Generation"?
The U.S. military itself is not blameless, having adopted the worst excesses of the woke left and used service members as guinea pigs for the newly released COVID-19 vaccines. While the costs of war should never be downplayed, a citizenry that has lost its will to fight for its nation is destined for doom.
The threats proliferating globally already constitute a slow-boiling crisis, and Americans have become complacent, simultaneously self-righteous and self-loathing. It is hoped that it will not take another tragedy to awaken us from our complacency.