An article from last week's Military Times points out that Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee will no longer be using the term "Global War on Terrorism." In contrast to many of the reader comments at the end of the piece (which make for wonderful reading if you're in the mood to get first-hand evidence of Republican's knack for brainwashing constituents), DeTocqueville heartily applauds this effort, for one simple reason:
It's time we moved on.
The term "Global War on Terrorism" is a political catch-phrase designed to maintain terrorism's omnipresence in today's 24-hour news cycle. It is meaninglessly tossed around by undereducated elected government officials to strike fear into the hearts of those who cannot independently vet today's threat from Islamic extremism.
What's worse, you can't fight a war against something that can't sign a peace treaty.
When Von Clausewitz said that war is the continuation of politics by other means, this isn't what he meant. He was not referring to electoral politics, as is the case with the "War on Terror". He was addressing the failure of international diplomacy. We've had plenty of failure in diplomatic circles, and the time is right for our governments to stop using this generic term to perpetuate fear of imminent, mass casualty attacks amongst the general populace.
Ditching this term is but the first step in the American government owning up to its plethora of mistakes in what begain as a limited conflict against a small group of nomadic Islamic extremists. It is the adminstration's fault for taking UBL's bait in turning the issue into a global cause celebre. Hopefully this is an indication of a radical strategic overhaul, but no one hold their breath just yet...