Once again the United States face the questions of how much and how long the public will support the use of military force. Although there has been much speculation on this score in recent popular accounts, the scholarly literature converges on at least three key research findings. First, there appears to be no blanket public opposition to the use of military force since the Vietnam War, as is oft... read moreen suggested. Rather, overall public support varies quite clearly with the purpose for which military force is used, what Jentleson (1992, 1998) calls the "principal policy objective" underlying the use of force.1 Second, the question of whether to use military force nonetheless remains a prominent cause of polarization within the overall public, and this may very well be a result of the Vietnam War (Wittkopf, 1990) Finally, among other factors that characterize divisions within the overall public (including ideology and partisanship), it is clear that gender differences on the use of military force are among the most significant (Sapiro and Conover, 1993; Brandes, 1994; Fite, Genese, and Wilcox, 1990)read less
Eichenberg, Richard C. "The Gender Gap and National Security in the United States: Dynamics and Correlates of Public Opinion on Defense Spending and the Use of Military Force." Paper presented at the Convention of the International Studies Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 24, 2002 [Revised].