Ending the “war on terror” (the catchphrase, that is)

The Obama White House abandons Bush’s terminology

In yet another attempt to distance itself from the ways of George W. Bush, the Obama White House is quietly searching for alternatives to the term “war on terror.” In recent days, the President’s national security team has reportedly conducted brainstorming sessions to come up with different ways to describe the U.S. government’s efforts to defeat Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. Obama apparently wants a “more precise phase” that better describes the government’s ideological and military objectives. “Words matter in this situation because one of the ways we’re going to win this struggle is through the battle of hearts and minds,” he said recently. A few years ago, the State and Defense departments suggested an alternative—“Struggle Against Violent Extremism” (SAVE)—but Bush didn’t like it. Now that Obama is in charge, SAVE could be saved.

Newsweek Fair enough: If it’s not a “War on Terror,” what is it?