Menu

ARCHIVE

House Democrats Offer Plan to Ban Use of 'Global War on Terrorism'

House Minority Leader John Boehner blasted a Democrat-backed plan on Wednesday to ban the use of "global war on terrorism" and "long war" in the 2008 defense budget bill.

A memo sent to Democratic staffers on the House Armed Services Committee instructed the aides not to use the specific phrases, the Military Times newspaper reported.

Click here to read the memo.

Erin Conaton, the committee's staff director, sent out the 15-page memo titled "Style Guide for Defense Authorization Report."

"When referencing military operations throughout the world, please be as specific as possible. Please avoid using colloquialisms such as, 'the war on terrorism, or the 'Long War' Please do not use the term 'global war on terrorism,' " according to the memo.

Late Wednesday afternoon, a source told FOX News that the panel had sent out a revised version making it clear that there was “no political intent behind” the wording.

The section was rewritten and there is a new version of the style guide, a copy of which has not yet been released.

Boehner accused Democrats of launching an "absurd effort to deny the fact that America is battling terrorism on a global scale," according to a statement released Wednesday by his office.

"How do Democrats expect America to fight and win a war they deny is even taking place?" Boehner said.

Democratic leaders in the House Armed Services Committee don't like the phrases and want defense policy to be more specific, according to the report.

The memo, sent out on March 27, calls for specific references to specific operations instead of phrases used by the Bush administration.

President Bush began using the "global War on Terror" phrase after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The memo offers replacement phrases such as "war in Iraq," "war in Afghanistan," "operations in the Horn of Africa" or "ongoing operations throughout the world."

Democratic staffers revised the memo to ensure that there "was no misunderstanding or confusion ... it was never intended to be anything other than (to get) the highest degree of specificity and accuracy" for the legislation.

Boehner said Democrats have a "dismal" national security record with efforts to push through non-binding resolutions against President Bush's Iraq plan, adding pork-barrel spending in unrelated legislation and leaving the nation's capital for a recess without passing legislation backed by the president with funding for U.S. troops.

"It's no wonder Democrats don't like the phrases 'global War on Terror,' they have completely failed to take the threat of global terrorism seriously," Boehner said.

Republicans weren't consulted about the changes, said Josh Holly, a spokesman for Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., ranking member of the committee.

FOX News' Molly Hooper contributed to this report.

• Click here to read Military Times story.