Fetishizing military force

Don't accept technical, militarized solutions to humanitarian or political challenges

Think tank and governmental reports routinely reduce complex humanitarian and political issues to narrow military dimensions. This reductionism ignores non-military responses and limits security policy to a military toolkit.


  • Does this framing consider non-military responses?

  • Who benefits from the report’s recommendations?

  • What assumptions do the authors make to justify limiting the report’s scope?

Watch out for:

  • Reports that shrink complex issues and propose simplistic, technocratic responses.

  • Narrow, securitized frameworks that identify and magnify threats, no matter how remote or improbable.

Seek out:

  • Non-military responses. Remember: underlying environmental, political, or economic inequalities are often persistent conflict drivers.

  • Alternate diplomatic or military responses that are less invasive or costly.  

  • Work that acknowledges the agency and interests of foreign actors, especially foreign civilian populations, not just American military objectives.