William Pfaff: A 'Long War' Designed To Perpetuate Itself
The U.S. Defense Department and the White House have decided that the United States is now conducting "the Long War" rather than what previously was known as the War against Terror, then as the Global Struggle against Violent Extremism, and briefly - as one revealing Pentagon study described it - a war against "the Universal Adversary." President George W. Bush said in his State of the Union address last month that the aim of his administration is to defeat radical Islam. This was a preposterous statement. Shortly afterward, radical Islam began burning embassies from Afghanistan and Indonesia to Damascus and Beirut. The United States is not going to defeat that.
There are a great many dismaying aspects of Bush's Washington, but nothing more so than this combination of the unachievable with the hortatory in giving a name and purpose to the military campaigns that already have the U.S. Army and Marine Corps near exhaustion, and a major part of the world in turmoil.
...What was originally to be a matter of quick and exemplary revenge, with lightning attacks and acclaimed victories, has now become, we are told, the long war whose end cannot be foreseen...