Rumsfeld explains renaming of war

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Wednesday, February 1, 2006

According to the Associated Press, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld explained to Pentagon reporters today why the term, "the long war" should be used instead of the "war on terror." President Bush used the new term last night during the State of the Union address.

Rumsfeld stated, "what we're trying to do is tell the truth," and he says the truth is that "just as the Cold War lasted a long time, this war is not something that's going to just go away."

On CNN, General Kimmitt of the U.S. Army was asked yesterday about the "long war" categorization by Rumsfeld and President Bush. Kimmitt's response was; "Well, first of all, the president's exactly right and the secretary of defense is exactly right. It will be a long war. It's a fight against al Qaeda and its associated movements...How do we fight that? It's quite simple. We fight it internationally. We fight it interagency. And we fight it with persistence. And we fight it with patience. And it's going to take a long time. ..But we have got to stay in there long enough to make sure that, when we do hand off, we hand off to competent forces and not just run for the doors before the job is done."

This is not the first occasion that the Bush administration has sought to rename terms and phrases connected with the war on terror. The most recent example is President Bush using the phrase "terrorist surveillance program" to describe the National Security Agency's practice of domestic wiretapping while bypassing court-ordered warrants.

The term "long war" has also been used to describe a war between the Habsburgs and the Ottoman Empire from 1593 to 1606 or as a concept describing several wars in the 20th century as one long war.