Over the hill and over the ridge: effects of age and veteran status on congressional voting for military disputes
Shaw, Andrea Danielle
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International relations scholars have sought to understand why, and under what circumstances, states go to war. The United States Congress plays an important role in the initiation and escalation of force of the United States military. Given this, it would be helpful to identify potential predictors for how members of Congress vote in regards to military use of force. Specifically, this study looks at how the age and veteran status of a member of Congress affects the way in which they vote. The overall population of members of Congress see an increase of support for military action as age increases. However, veterans in Congress exhibit a steady decline of support for military action as they age, while non-veterans experience a steady increase. We can then conclude that the continuing trend of an older Congress, with a decline of veterans in office, has potential implications for voting outcomes on defense policy.