What Percentage of Your Life Has The U.S. Been at War?

Our Take

It is absolutely wild to think anyone born after the year 2000 have not lived in a time of peace. This means anyone under the age of 15. Chances are, anyone under the age of 20 probably has no memories of a non-war America. Of course, the wars currently underway are nowhere near the scale of a world war, it is unsettling to think of being at war as the norm. This is the real threat. When being at war is just background noise, we are doing something wrong as a country. Another troubling thought is: What is more likely? The current wars ending or an even larger one starting? Strange times we are living in.

By Philip Bump

Somewhere in the ever-flowing river of flotsam that is Twitter, a simple data point offered by a college commencement speaker jumped out at me before being borne away on the tide of immediacy. This bit of data:

The speaker was ABC journalist Martha Raddatz, and the point is the key one in the intro: The graduates have spent half their lives with America at war.

It’s a startling idea, but an incorrect one. The percentage is almost certainly much higher than that. READ MORE …