April 4th, 2007 12:57 PM
YCMTSU: Global War on Terror... BANNED!
No more GWOT, House committee decrees
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Apr 3, 2007 2047 EDT
The House Armed Services Committee is banishing the global war on terror from the 2008 defense budget.
This is not because the war has been won, lost or even called off, but because the committee’s Democratic leadership doesn’t like the phrase.
A memo for the committee staff, circulated March 27, says the 2008 bill and its accompanying explanatory report that will set defense policy should be specific about military operations and “avoid using colloquialisms.”
The “global war on terror,” a phrase first used by President Bush shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S., should not be used, according to the memo. Also banned is the phrase the “long war,” which military officials began using last year as a way of acknowledging that military operations against terrorist states and organizations would not be wrapped up in a few years.
Committee staff members are told in the memo to use specific references to specific operations instead of the Bush administration’s catch phrases. The memo, written by Staff Director Erin Conaton, provides examples of acceptable phrases, such as “the war in Iraq,” the “war in Afghanistan, “operations in the Horn of Africa” or “ongoing military operations throughout the world.”
“There was no political intent in doing this,” said a Democratic aide who asked not to be identified. “We were just trying to avoid catch phrases.”
Josh Holly, a spokesman for Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, the committee’s former chairman and now its senior Republican, said Republicans “were not consulted” about the change.
Committee aides, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said dropping or reducing references to the global war on terror could have many purposes, including an effort to be more precise about military operations, but also has a political element involving a disagreement over whether the war in Iraq is part of the effort to combat terrorism or is actually a distraction from fighting terrorists.
House Democratic leaders who have been pushing for an Iraq withdrawal timetable have talked about the need to get combat troops out of Iraq so they can be deployed against terrorists in other parts of the world, while Republicans have said that Iraq is part of the front line in the war on terror. Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., the armed services committee chairman, has been among those who have complained that having the military tied up with Iraq operations has reduced its capacity to respond to more pressing problems, like tracking down al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
“This is a philosophical and political question,” said a Republican aide. “Republicans generally believe that by fighting the war on terror in Iraq, we are preventing terrorists from spreading elsewhere and are keeping them engaged so they are not attacking us at home.”
However, U.S. intelligence officials have been telling Congress that most of the violence in Iraq is the result of sectarian strife and not directly linked to terrorists, although some foreign insurgents with ties to terrorist groups have been helping to fuel the fighting.
“You have to wonder if this means that we have to rename the GWOT,” said a Republican aide, referring to the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medals established in 2003 for service members involved, directly and indirectly, in military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world.
“If you are a reader of the Harry Potter books, you might describe this as the war that must not be named,” said another Republican aide. That is a reference to the fact that the villain in the Harry Potter series, Lord Voldemort, is often referred to as “he who must not be named” because of fears of his dark wizardry.
You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
April 4th, 2007 01:20 PM
Jingoism in the name of reducing jingoism - typical Washington. Wonder if they'll have to give me new medals for my GWOT-S and GWOT-E...lol.
A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.
April 4th, 2007 01:34 PM
"Global War on Terror" was a silly name to begin with, because terror is a strategy or tactic. You might as well have called WWII "The War on Blitzkrieg". "Global War on Terrorists" would have been better, but would still have lacked specificity. The "War to Topple Sadham Hussein and the Stabilize Iraq While Installing a Pro-Western Regime" would have been more accurate, but certainly more difficult to sell.
As long as we're effectively targeting the real threats, however, I don't particularly care what you call it. When the metal's flying, though, don't try to tell the ground-pounders that they're not in a war. "Limited police action" my #$%^&(*(($#% !
"We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters
April 4th, 2007 03:56 PM
The problem with the military not able to respond to other crisis is a direct result from all those "downsizing" episodes it went thru the 1990's. Washington wanted a lean military, now they have it and now they are complaining. It bothers me to think I pay for them fools salary.
April 4th, 2007 04:30 PM
Originally Posted by rodc13
Can you spell K O R E A ? (And it seems everything after that!)
EOD - Initial success or total failure
April 4th, 2007 06:40 PM
I don't care what they call it as long as they get these creeps.
April 4th, 2007 08:03 PM
The vets that come home from combat that was not officially titled a "war" do. From what one of them explained to me, VA and government benefits are better if you were a "war" veteran, as opposed to a "police action" or "conflict" vet. How screwed up is that?
Originally Posted by Tom G
April 4th, 2007 09:21 PM
I love it! Every other week we change the name of something. There are no more Reservists, they are "Troop Program Unit Soldiers" Soldier always spelled with a capitol S. Moving a guy from one unit to another to deploy used to be called "cross leveling" but no more because the phrase had developed a negative tone. Holidays became training holidays, then "Liberal Leave and Pass Days", and now "Days of non-scheduled Activity".
In this spirit I now refer to Ft Leavenworth prisoners as Mineral Volume Reduction Specialists, and my bayonet is a Close Proximity Aiming Device.
Funny too since one of my favorite regulations states that Army writing will be simple and to the point.
April 4th, 2007 10:13 PM
And written for a seventh grade reading level.
Originally Posted by Daddy Warcrimes
We got some da** strange seventh grade readers out there.
April 4th, 2007 10:35 PM
EOD - Initial success or total failure
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