Friday, January 12, 2007


Official U.S. Military Dictionary Includes ‘Escalation,’ Not ‘Surge’

The official Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms offers new evidence in the debate over Iraq terminology. As’s Adam Green notes, the Pentagon’s dictionary has no entry for “surge” but does have an entry for “escalation”:

(DOD) A deliberate or unpremeditated increase in scope or violence of a conflict.

ThinkProgress has argued that media outlets are misleading Americans when they use the term “surge” to describe President Bush’s new Iraq proposal.

As we documented Wednesday, when “surge” was first adopted by the mainstream media in November 2006, the term was specifically defined as a “temporary,” “short-term” increase in U.S. forces. In fact, the most prominent advocates of escalation all reject a short-term increase in U.S. forces, and the Bush administration will not specify the length of the current policy. “I think no one has a really clear idea of how long that might be,” Defense Secretary Gates said yesterday.

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