Is the Abrams Doctrine Valid?: Exploring the Impact of Army National Guard Mobilization on Public Support for the War On Terror




Rough, Jill A

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The large scale and sustained use of National Guard and Reserve forces in the War on Terror has called for a timely re-examination of the so-called “Abrams Doctrine” that posits a link between Reserve Component mobilization and public support for military operations. This dissertation uses mixed methodologies to determine whether such a relationship exists. Evidence from the ethnographic case study indicates that the public perception of Guard soldiers lacks the necessary nuance to differentiate today‟s citizensoldier from his regular Army counterpart. However, the results of regressions analyses indicate that communities do respond to the mobilization of their local soldiers as evidenced by a statistically significant negative relationship in 2008. These findings suggest that local National Guard mobilizations tend to decrease local public support for war as measured by Republican vote, lending credence to the concepts underlying the Abrams Doctrine.



Abrams Doctrine, Civil-Military Relations, Public Support for User, National Guard, Reserve Forces, War on Terror