As I noted earlier today, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano recently decided that terrorism would now be referred to as a “man-caused disaster.”
The Obama administration appears to be backing away from the phrase “global war on terror,” a signature rhetorical legacy of its predecessor.
In a memo e-mailed this week to Pentagon staff members, the Defense Department’s office of security review noted that “this administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ [GWOT.] Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’ “
Now, personally I’ve never been a fan of the phrase “War On Terror” for the reasons I noted back in 2006 when Britain decided to stop using the term:
In some sense, this isn’t a bad idea. I’ve never thought that the “war on terror” was an appropriate phrase to describe the conflict the world is presently engaged in. Terrorism is despicable, but it is just another military/political tactic. Calling this war the “war on terror” is, in some sense, akin to referring to World War II as the “war on tanks.” We’re not fighting a military tactic, we’re fighting an ideology. And a lot of people don’t seem to recognize this fact.
So, in that sense, I’m not entirely sad to see the phrase disappear from use, but, seriously, ‘Overseas Contingency Operation’ ? What the heck does that even mean ? At least with the “War On Terror” you had a rough idea of what they actually meant. The phrase the Obama Administration has chosen is nothing more than meaningless bureaucrat-speak that tells us nothing about what their policies will actually be, and makes one wonder if they even have a policy.
But I guess we’ve got to come up with a new name, huh ?
Personally, I’ve always favored the term “War On Islamofascism,” but I realize that most people wouldn’t consider that politically correct. So, how about we go with this suggestion from the comments over at Hit & Run:
“Operation Barack the Casbah?”
Sounds good to me !