I just stumbled across a Digby article from 2005 about the psychosexual underpinnings of conservative chickenhawks' enthusiasm for the Global War on Terror.
We are dealing with a group of right wing glory seekers who chose long ago to eschew putting themselves on the line in favor of tough talk and empty posturing --- the Vietnam chickenhawks and their recently hatched offspring of the new Global War On Terrorism. These are men (mostly) driven by the desire to prove their manhood but who refuse to actually test their physical courage. Neither are they able to prove their virility as they are held hostage by prudish theocrats and their own shortcomings. So they adopt the pose of warrior but never actually place themselves under fire. This is a psychologically difficult position to uphold. Bullshitting yourself is never without a cost.
And I think there is an even deeper layer to this as well and one which is vital to understanding why the right wing baby boomers and their political offspring are so pathologically irrational about dealing with terrorism.