The Obama administration has decided that it doesn’t like the phrase “global war on terror” and has instructed its folks to refer to it as the “long war” or “overseas contingency operation.”
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.’ ”
This is dangerous. Words have meaning, and by refusing to call the global war on terror what it is, we put our nation and our citizens (especially those overseas) at risk. As I had commented a couple weeks ago when Secretary Napolitano didn’t use the words “terror” or “terrorism” in her first appearance on Capitol Hill, this refusal to address the real threat we face will come at a price, and that price may be pretty high.
Now is not the time to back down on this effort. Too much is at stake.