I may have missed it (I was traveling) but is the war over? Mission accomplished? It would seem so.
According to President Barack Obama, the War On Terror is no more. U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are from here forward to be referred to as the “Overseas Contingency Operation.” Which would suggest that we’re executing a military operation for unpredictable or conditional actions that happen occur, if you go with the dictionary definition of contingent. Nothing war-like about it. Apparently no enemies or allies. Just a contingent operation we’re conducting oversees. Nothing to get yourself in a ruffle about.
Surely, this means the war is over, right? If so, have we won? Are we declaring victory, defeat? Was the Bush administration right or wrong? Will President Obama issue answers to those questions even his fawning press corps must have? Don’t count on it. The issue will likely go away virtually unanswered as subtly as it was released. You see this juicy new revelation didn’t come by way of public pronouncement by the president himself (as it should), but in an apparently leaked memo from the Defense Department that the Washington Post reported on. According to the Post, DoD staffers were told:
“‘This administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ [GWOT.] Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’”
To be fair, the Post points out that President Bush apparently wasn’t fond of the the War on Terror moniker either:
“By way of history, senior Bush administration officials several years ago wanted to stop using the phrase to switch to something many felt might better reflect the realities of the fight against international terrorism. One leading option was to change he name to GSAVE, or Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism. This was not as catchy an acronym as GWOT, but officials felt it more accurately described the battle.”
As names and strategies go, I’ve said before that I believe it’s each president’s prerogative to choose words of his liking to reflect his preferences, but at LEAST (as the Post fails to point out) President Bush’s chosen phrase and even the one NOT chosen, reflect his understanding of who and what we’re fighting.
I’m sure this is Mr. Obama’s way of sending a “new” message with all the hope and change in the air. But now that “war” is no more and the administration has stopped calling terrorists, terrorists and are bent on referring to terrorism as a “man-caused disaster,” I’m just wondering how the Obama administration will recognize the enemy when it sees it and what action it will take when it does?
—Tara Wall is Editor of TheConservatives.com (a product of The Washington Times).