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Our New Euphemism for War Is: “Comprehensive and Sustained Counterterrorism Strategy”

“We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.”

President Obama didn’t actually make much news during his prime time speech last night. Most of the policies were reported well in advance of Obama taking the stage. When it comes to such a big decision where so many individuals are consulted, Washington D.C. leaks like a sieve.

As a result most of the news from the speech was about what will be our new rhetoric. Mainly we learned what our fancy new catch phrase our government is going to use instead of the correct term ‘war.’ Obama didn’t declare war on ISIL instead, “We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.”

A normal person might conclude a sustained military operation in a new sovereign country meant to destroy a political organization that is expect to take years and billions of dollars would be considered a “war” but not according to our President.

Thus by using this Orwellian phrase Obama gets to pretend he hasn’t failed to live up to his promise and is able to ignore all those pesky constitutional limits our founders put on his office.

This new euphemism is not as short and catchy as “kinetic military action” which is what we called our war in Libya, but including the word “strategy” this time was a smart touch. It gives the impression that there is an actual plan. I imagine it tested very well in focus groups.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com

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