Help Shape the Millennial Blueprint for Defense and Diplomacy

ByAlan Smith

Written by Leslie Bull, Senior Fellow in Defense and Diplomacy with the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network. Alan Smith is working on the project.

With increasingly provocative threats from North Korea, cyber attacks from China, the war in Afghanistan quickly winding down, and the sequester reshaping how all parts of government, including those dedicated to defense, foreign affairs, and foreign aid operate, United States' foreign policy has been making headlines and is at the forefront of people's minds. The events of the next few months and years may determine the shape of U.S. foreign policy for years to come. To that end, a multitude of professionals from think tanks, the media, the government, and NGOs and other civil society groups have weighed in on what they think of today's foreign policy controversies and what they think of the trajectory and future of American foreign policy. But one group that has been largely left out of the conversation is the very people who will be inheriting the Obama administration's legacy and actually implementing tomorrow's foreign policy- the Millennial generation.

Many of us, born between 1983 and 2003 and coming of age in the early years of the new millennium, are in college or have already started our professional careers. We are by and large a uniquely globalized generation with connections and interests all over the world in a very different way from our parents, grandparents, and older siblings. We too have opinions on what we want to see in American foreign policy - opinions that should be heard and taken into account by policymakers as they respond to today's most pressing foreign policy challenges.

Through my position as Senior Fellow in Defense and Diplomacy with the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network I set out to find out what my generation thinks of today's foreign policy controversies, what we think is important in foreign policy philosophy, and what we think the greatest threats in the years to come will be. To do so I have created a survey, which can be found at this link. My goal is to get enough responses from enough of my peers to create a final document showcasing our shared opinions and our differences that is truly representative of today's youth. If you were born between the years of 1983 and 1997 (for the purposes of this survey I am excluding those Millennials younger than sixteen) please take the survey and share it with your friends and make your opinions heard! The more responses I can get, the more influential the final product will be.

It is my hope that the final document resulting from this survey will give the Millennial generation a chance to contribute to the debate about America's foreign policy choices today and the direction it takes in the future. To anyone interested in the project, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at with any comments or questions.