In retrospect, much of the difficulties faced by western forces in Afghanistan were the result of a wrong-headed approach to the conflict. Airstrikes that often failed to sufficiently distinguish between enemy combatants and civilians galvanized opposition among civilians both within Afghanistan and back at home.

Millennials have seen the consequences when peacekeepers do nothing, as in Rwanda. We have seen the breakdown of states along religious and ethnic lines, as in the former Yugoslavia. Perhaps the so-called war on terror has made some of us cynical or hesitant to involve ourselves in trouble and turmoil that seems far removed. But I also see a spirit of optimism and responsibility among millennials that might enable us to take up the challenge for peace that the government has largely avoided.