In case “The Global War on Terror” wasn’t catchy enough, the administration is trying out a new name. And in typical Washington-ese, it’s a mouthful.
In recent speeches, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has quit using “The Global War on Terror.” Instead, he’s been calling the fight, “A Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism.”
The administration believes the “Global War on Terrorism” focused too much attention on the military campaign. Administration officials tell the New York Times that the old term had outlived its usefulness. But the fight still goes on. As the Times reports:
Administration and Pentagon officials say the revamped campaign has grown out of meetings of President Bush’s senior national security advisers that began in January, and it reflects the evolution in Mr. Bush’s own thinking nearly four years after the Sept. 11 attacks.
This sort of thing is called “branding.” The folks at Building Brands define it as “a collection of perceptions in the mind of the consumer” (you and me and the other 300 million Americans being the consumers of administration information on how this “global struggle” is going).
And if the administration is changing the “brand” to reflect less and less on the military campaign — it’s a likely sign their attempts to tie the Iraq War to the global struggle isn’t going as well as the marketers in the White House had hoped.
No word on al Qaeda changing its name anytime soon. Their branding has kept them in business for 1,415 days since 9/11. That’s longer than the “Thousand Year Reich” and the “Empire of the Rising Sun” lasted after Pearl Harbor — just 1,347 days. And let’s face it, those names were some serious bad-guy branding.
The “Global War on Terror” hasn’t brought Osama bin Laden in — “dead or alive.” Maybe a flashy new name, like “The Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism” will.[Crossposted at Watching Washington]