I wasn’t alone in my gut reaction to yesterday’s images. As the New York Times reports:

New Yorkers watching the televised bombing of Baghdad yesterday said they were riveted by the raw and uninterrupted display of American military might. But for some, the bombing brought back particularly visceral and chilling memories. They could not help thinking about Sept. 11, and how New York, too, was once under assault from the skies.</p> I’m also enjoying the distortion of the English language caused by the infiltration of military buzzwords into journalism. For example, Air Marshal Brian Burridge is a big fan of the phrase “effects-based warfare.” I obviously don’t know the first thing about the military theory behind this, but the phrase strikes me as a simple redundancy. I can’t quite imagine a war that is not “effects-based;” the whole point of a war is to achieve an “effect.” Here’s the official definition, from the United States Joint Forces Command:

Effects Based Operations (EBO) – A process for obtaining a desired strategic outcome or “effect” on the enemy, through the synergistic, multiplicative, and cumulative application of the full range of military and nonmilitary capabilities at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels.</p> “The ability of A to have B behave as A wills (even over the resistance of B)” is how behavioralist political scientists have long defined “power.” Others prefer “domination.” I’m not sure what’s so unique about this approach to “operations.” The glossary continues:

Effects Based Warfare – The application of armed conflict to achieve desired strategic outcomes through the effects of military force.</p> In the civilian world, the word for that is “coersion.” Another word that springs to mind is “euphemism.”