Thursday, February 22, 2007

Opinion (Joseph S. Nye Jr.): Just don't mention the war on terrorism

OXFORD, England: Britain recently banned the words "war on terrorism." Late last year, the Foreign Office told cabinet ministers and British diplomats to stop using the phrase. According to the London Observer, the shift marks a turning point in British political thinking and underlines the growing gulf between British and American approaches to the continuing problem of violent Islamic militants.

Why would America's major ally, a country with troops fighting alongside us in Iraq and Afghanistan, take such an action?

Some attribute the change to cultural differences. Terrorism is an age-old technique, and although our shared language is replete with words like thug, assassin and zealot — all residual traces of ancient terrorist groups — it seems logically odd to declare war on a tactic.

Read the rest at the Intrernational Herald Tribune