GWOT — What WOT?

Back in March of 2004, Pawn quoted Christopher Patten on the “War On Terror” (the WOT in the Bush administrations Global War On Terror – GWOT – acronym).  Now another British luminary has forcefully joined the fray over this misbegotten fighting label.  David Miliband, the British foreign secretary, starts off with references to the recent attacks in Mumbai, then says, “The idea of a “war on terror” gave the impression of a unified, transnational enemy, embodied in the figure of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida.”  Here is a further excerpt:

The more we lump terrorist groups together and draw the battle lines as a simple binary struggle between moderates and extremists, or good and evil, the more we play into the hands of those seeking to unify groups with little in common. Terrorist groups need to be tackled at root, interdicting flows of weapons and finance, exposing the shallowness of their claims, channelling their followers into democratic politics.

The “war on terror” also implied that the correct response was primarily military. But as General Petraeus said to me and others in Iraq, the coalition there could not kill its way out of the problems of insurgency and civil strife.
David Miliband: ‘War on terror’ was wrong | Comment is free | The Guardian

Here’s hoping that our soon to be President, Barack Obama, is quick to quit that locution and instead distill GWOT in the Iraq War and the Afganistan War and treat them separately as they should have been all along.

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