No More ‘Global War on Terrorism’?

Both Chirol and Eddie wrote several years ago that the US should declare victory in the war on terrorism and move on. Britain ultimately took this policy choice and dropped the “bumper sticker” policy slogan. The U.S. under G.W. Bush did not.

But a policy change has come with the Obama administration, so says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

Clinton also acknowledged that administration officials have stopped calling the fight against al-Qaeda “the global war on terror,” the preferred phraseology of the Bush administration.

“The administration has stopped using the phrase and I think that speaks for itself obviously,” she said, adding that there had been no formal policy directive to do so. “It’s just not being used,” she said.

Clinton is the highest level administration official to acknowledge the shift but she did not give a reason for the change. Many Democrats have contended that the “war on terror” label was too broad, potentially enlisting the United States in a war with any militant group; the president’s new Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy says it has the central aim of disrupting, dismantling and defeating al-Qaeda.

About Curzon

Lord George Nathaniel Curzon (1859 - 1925) entered the British House of Commons as a Conservative MP in 1886, where he served as undersecretary of India and Foreign Affairs. He was appointed Viceroy of India at the turn of the 20th century where he delineated the North West Frontier Province, ordered a military expedition to Tibet, and unsuccessfully tried to partition the province of Bengal during his six-year tenure. Curzon served as Leader of the House of Lords in Prime Minister Lloyd George's War Cabinet and became Foreign Secretary in January 1919, where his most famous act was the drawing of the Curzon Line between a new Polish state and Russia. His publications include Russia in Central Asia (1889) and Persia and the Persian Question (1892). In real life, "Curzon" is a US citizen from the East Coast who has been a financial analyst, freelance translator, and university professor; he is currently on assignment in Tokyo.
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3 Responses to No More ‘Global War on Terrorism’?

  1. Mark McGlinchey says:

    Earlier last week, the Washington Post reported that some in the administration are now referring to the “war on terror” as an “Overseas Contingency Operation.” There’s been some confusion as to whether or not the “war on terror” has been officially abolished.
    Via Ben Smith, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell [the DOD's press guy] says the preferred term is “a campaign against extremists who wish to do us harm.”
    It might take a while for CAEWWTDUH to replace GWOT in the lexicon, but the bigger concern, really, is that the word “extremists” seems a bit bellicose for [this] administration. Perhaps a ‘campaign against undocumented freedom fighters who just might need a really big hug’ would be more fitting.

  2. Alfred Russel Wallace says:

    About time, too. War is a terrible thing, and if we are to have one we must ALL be involved. One of the appalling things about the ‘wars’ of the last few years was that they were used for jingoistic fervour – but did not expect (or demand) overt sacrifices from most of us. [They did involve sacrifices by our unborn grandchildren, but that's another matter]. If we o to ‘war’, we should ALL be expected to make an immediate contribution….
    Time to ditch “War on Drugs” too – look what that has done to Mexico and Colombia.

  3. Chief Wiggum says:

    “Acts of terrorism” have a new name, too. They are now “man-caused disasters.” Personally, I am disappointed by this sexist reference, my blue eyes and white skin notwithstanding.

    Attacks like 9/11 are now lumped with other man-caused disasters, like global warming.