The phrase “global war on terror” is finished, at least as far as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is concerned. The top U.S. diplomat told reporters today that the Obama administration has quit using that line to describe the effort to fight terrorism around the world. “The administration has stopped using the phrase and I think that speaks for itself,” Clinton said. Clinton spoke as she headed to Europe for a week of diplomatic meetings. The phrase “war on terror” is widely disliked in Europe and elsewhere overseas, where even close U.S. allies suggested it was overly militaristic and perhaps counterproductive.
It is also now associated with a range of Bush-era policies such as harsh interrogation practices that President Barack Obama has pledged to abandon.
Clinton was asked about the phrase as she headed to Europe for a week of diplomatic meetings. She said the absence of the “war on terror” language speaks for itself. Pundits have noted the absence, but top administration figures have had little to say on the subject before now.
“I haven’t heard it used. I haven’t gotten any directive about using it or not using it, it’s just not being used,” Clinton said.
Then-President George W. Bush used the phrase as a rallying cry after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration said that it was abandoning another one of Mr. Bush’s key phrases: enemy combatant.
The Justice Department said in legal filings that it will no longer use the term to justify holding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.