The Discourse Trap and the US Military: From the War on Terror to the Surge by Jeffrey Michaels
2013 | ISBN: 023037204X | English | 278 Pages | PDF | 3.15 MB


A ‘discourse trap’ is a phenomenon seen worldwide in which the discourses and associated terminology devised for political or military reasons can entrap policymakers by motivating or constraining their actions. Beginning with the discourse of ‘counter-terrorism’ that occurred post 9/11, this book examines the language employed inside the US Defense Department during the period 2001-2012. Michaels demonstrates how during the course of a conflict, the politics of terminology can constitute an important battlefield in its own right. As the studies of ‘Global War on Terror’, ‘Shock and Awe’, ‘Iraq Adversary Characterizations’ and ‘The Surge’ presented here demonstrate, the language of war had a direct impact on US strategy and operations, and not necessarily a positive one.


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