A chickenhawk is a person in a position of public prominence or power who displays two traits:
- Aggressive support for military force as a primary instrument of foreign policy.
- A documentable lack of combat experience.
The Bush Administration (2001–2009) had an abundance of these creatures. Indeed, after the resignation of Colin Powell, there was no one with genuine combat experience in any prominent executive position. In fact, several of the listed Chickenhawks below were notable draft dodgers, especially from Vietnam. This probably led to their policies being based on dangerously abstracted notions of the nature and efficacy of war.
Those who have seen the horrors of war first-hand tend to be cautious about willfully unleashing such havoc again, no matter how remote or foreign the field. As well as not appreciating the full human costs of their decisions, there remains the uncomfortable suspicion that chickenhawks are prepared to send others to risk their lives in ways that chickenhawks would never risk their own.
We have yet to parse the nature of the Obama administration, however chances are a few will turn up there.
Note: Knowing the alternative and possibly unsavoury meanings of political labels is wise, as any Teabagger could tell you. "Chickenhawk" is also a slang term for a man who likes 'em young. Real young. Young enough to go to prison over.
 Prominent chickenhawks
Here is a short list of prominent chickenhawks:
- Glenn Beck
- Tony Blair (dishonorable mention)
- George W. Bush
- Dick Cheney
- Tom Delay
- Larry Elder
- Newt Gingrich
- Sean Hannity
- Stephen Harper
- Christopher Hitchens
- William Kristol
- Scooter Libby
- Joe Lieberman
- Rush Limbaugh
- Trent Lott
- Ted Nugent
- Bill O'Reilly
- Dan Quayle
- Karl Rove
- Paul Wolfowitz
 Special category
- Every Representative and Senator who voted for the Iraq War, but avoided serving if and when it was possible for them, and did not recant or repudiate their vote by the end of 2005.
 See also
- The New Hampshire Gazette ("the nation's oldest newspaper") is the home of the original Chickenhawk Hall of Shame.
- Chickenhawk Playing Cards were produced to honor the chicken hawks' contribution to war, since, of course, it's not real unless someone makes a deck of cards to commemorate it. The original site is defunct, but is available at the Internet Archive.
- Chickenhawks at Commie Michael Moore's web site.
- Sourcewatch also reports on the phenomenon, but they include Pat Buchanan on their list which is ridiculous since Buchanan has opposed every war since the Berlin Wall came down.
- Flight of the ChickenHawks from toostupidtobepresident.com.
- "Chickenhawk" (song) by Roy Zimmerman -- YouTube video
- Tony Benn, President of the Stop the War Coalition, takes John Bolton to task on being a chickenhawk. (Longer version)