Americans have heard the term war on terror countless times since 9/11, from politicians, from the media—it’s even part of the title of this 3-D video game, which allows players to “get to the ground in real military hot spots” like Afghanistan and Iraq. Former national security adviser and historian Zbigniew Brzezinski thinks this three-word mantra has done grave damage to the American psyche and to our international standing.
From a Brzezinski column in The Washington Post:
The damage these three words have done—a classic self-inflicted wound—is infinitely greater than any wild dreams entertained by the fanatical perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks when they were plotting against us in distant Afghan caves. The phrase itself is meaningless. It defines neither a geographic context nor our presumed enemies. Terrorism is not an enemy but a technique of warfare—political intimidation through the killing of unarmed non-combatants.