The Discourse Trap and the US Military From the War on Terror to the Surge

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-03-20
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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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' 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.

Author Biography

Jeffrey H. Michaels is a Lecturer in Defence Studies at King's College London, UK. Previously he worked as a Research Associate in the Department of War Studies and also served as a Lecturer with the Air Power Studies Division of the Defence Studies Department. Earlier experience has included serving as an intelligence officer attached to the US European Command and the Pentagon's Joint Staff. He completed his PhD in War Studies at King's in 2009 focusing on contemporary US political-military discourse.

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