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I'm not sure if the bold words (1) serve to indicate that I'm talking about Washington hawks instead of hawks in general or (2) make the paragraph sound better and flow better without actually serving any semantic purpose or (3) are just useless.

https://join.substack.com/p/hawks-and-risks

There are clear reasons why Washington hawks love this war’s consequences and want to prolong it. First, this war is bleeding a US enemy—the hawks like to take opportunities to weaken adversaries. Second, this war is entrenching Washington’s control over Europe—however, it’s not like everything is necessarily destined to go the hawks’ way geopolitically.

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Hi, Andrew,

I'm not sure if the bold words (1) serve to indicate that I'm talking about Washington hawks instead of hawks in general or (2) make the paragraph sound better and flow better without actually serving any semantic purpose or (3) are just useless.

https://join.substack.com/p/hawks-and-risks

There are clear reasons why Washington hawks love this war’s consequences and want to prolong it. First, this war is bleeding a US enemy—the hawks like to take opportunities to weaken adversaries. Second, this war is entrenching Washington’s control over Europe—however, it’s not like everything is necessarily destined to go the hawks’ way geopolitically.

I think those articles serve purposes (1) and (2). Notice that in your question you used the zero article to refer to hawks in general:

I'm not sure if the bold words (1) serve to indicate that I'm talking about Washington hawks instead of hawks in general [...]

On another note, I don't think using "it" is effective to refer to "war" in the genitive case. I'd use an "of"-phrase:

- There are clear reasons why Washington hawks love the consequences of this war and want to prolong it.

or eliminate "consequences" (I find it unnecessary):

- There are clear reasons why Washington hawks love this war and want to prolong it.

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