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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Giving a Name to Our 'Forever War' Vital?

Andrew Bacevich, the former military man and historian and one of the most cogent writers on America's wars since 9/11 (in which he lost a son) is back with a lengthy, rewarding, piece about the need to put a name to the War Formerly Known as the War on Terror, after more than a decade.  He goes through the names given to our previous wars--World War II should have had two separate titles, for example--and then examines some broadly-defined choices for the current conflicts that encompass the entire Middle East to Afghanistan.  Excerpt:
The War for the Greater Middle East: I confess that this is the name I would choose for Washington’s unnamed war and is, in fact, the title of a course I teach.  (A tempting alternative is the Second Hundred Years War, the “first” having begun in 1337 and ended in 1453.)
This war is about to hit the century mark, its opening chapter coinciding with the onset of World War I.  Not long after the fighting on the Western Front in Europe had settled into a stalemate, the British government, looking for ways to gain the upper hand, set out to dismantle the Ottoman Empire whose rulers had foolishly thrown in their lot with the German Reich against the Allies.

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