Published March 25, 2009
The Obama administration has ordered an end to use of the phrase "Global War on Terror," a label adopted by the Bush administration shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
In a memo sent this week from the Defense Department's office of security to Pentagon staffers, members were told, "this administration prefers to avoid using the term 'Long War' or 'Global War on Terror' [GWOT.] Please use 'Overseas Contingency Operation.'"
A spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget, from whom the direction reportedly came, told the Post there was no guidance given from the agency and that it was merely the "opinion of a career civil servant."
A Pentagon spokesman said there was no memo or specific directive instructing officials to stop using the 'Global War on Terror' phrase but acknowledged that the department has officially adopted 'Overseas Contingency Operation' as the new term for the war.
The Obama administration's rhetoric has paralleled this idea, having used the "Global Contingency Operation" phrase for a month prior to the e-mail being sent.
Craig W. Duehring, assistant secretary of the Air Force for manpower, also used the term last week.
"Key battlefield monetary incentives has allowed the Air Force to meet the demands of overseas contingency operations even as requirements continue to grow," he said in congressional testimony.
Critics have pleaded with the Obama administration to abandon the use of "Global War on Terror" because they say it mischaracterizes the nature of the enemy and its abilities.