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Obama administration ditches 'war on terror' phrase

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the phrase is not being used anymore, though no formal directive has been issued.

March 31, 2009|Paul Richter

THE HAGUE — The phrase "war on terror," for seven years a signature expression of the Bush administration, has been shelved, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton acknowledged Monday.

Clinton said there had been no directive from her office or within the Obama administration, but she said officials had stopped using the term.

"The administration has stopped using the phrase, and that speaks for itself, obviously," Clinton told reporters aboard her plane on the way to a meeting in the Netherlands.

Former President Bush adopted the phrase "war on terror" to define U.S. policy after the Sept. 11 attacks. Soon Pentagon officials began simply using the initials for "global war on terror" -- GWOT.

However, among Bush's opponents and international critics, the phrase came to symbolize his administration's unpopular foreign policy and its detention practices.

The Obama administration has said that it has not officially banned the phrase.

"It's just not being used," Clinton said.

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paul.richter@latimes.com

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