Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Cheap Hawks, Cheap Doves, and the Pursuit of Strategy

Cheap Hawks, Cheap Doves, and the Pursuit of Strategy


The post-9/11 threats to American security require a complete revision of American national strategy. For too long, presidents have had to favor quick, cheap solutions to crises, unable to count on support from the “homebody” public for long, drawn-out conflicts. “Cheap hawks” among them have hoped that apocalyptic rhetoric will suffice when resources fall short; “cheap doves” hope that by ignoring the threat, it will go away. But with the war on terror, the revival of geopolitics, and ever-accelerating globalization, the U.S. tradition of bellicose rhetoric backed by underwhelming force is a recipe for failure. To effectively manage its threats, America needs a new catechism and to make sure its economic, energy, and military policies support this.

This article is a reprint of a previously published article. For citation purposes, please use the original publication details ORBIS, 2005 49 (4), 613–629. (doi of original article: doi:10.1016/j.orbis.2005.07.005).

This article is based on a lecture given on June 9, 2005, as part of FPRI’s Thornton D. Hooper Lecture Series on American Strategy. It was published in the Fall 2005 edition of Orbis.

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