Chickenhawk is an American term for a politician who chickens out of fighting in a war but afterwards wants the United States to fight wars. A chickenhawk is hawkish so long as other people get killed. Sometimes chickenhawks manage to keep out of the armed forces. Other times chickenhawks are in the military but chicken out of active combat.

George W. Bush couldn’t avoid getting drafted into the military during the Vietnam War. He was asked if he wanted to serve in Vietnam.

  1. Here was his chance to show his superiors that he was brave.
  2. Here was his chance to show that he was a good airman.
  3. Here was his chance to get respect and recognition, combat experience and perhaps promotion.

What did Dubya do? He wrote, "do not volunteer". Now that says it. Of course sending other people’s sons into combat in Iraq (after 9/11) was a different matter.

Recently Ron Paul called Gingrinch a Chickenhawk.[1]

Prominent chickenhawks

Here is a short list of prominent chickenhawks:


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