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US 'war on terrorism' no more

The United States has ended the "war on terrorism". The Obama administration is no longer engaged in fighting "jihadists" or locked in a "global war," a top aide to the US President has said.

world Updated: Aug 07, 2009 18:19 IST

The United States has ended the "war on terrorism". The Obama administration is no longer engaged in fighting "jihadists" or locked in a "global war," a top aide to the US President has said.

In a semantic drift, John Brennan, Barack Obama's Homeland Security and Counterterrorism official declared the "war on terrorism", "jihadists" or a "global war" with the insurgents as unacceptable terms.

It is now solely a "war with Al Qaida" and its violent extremist allies, said Brennan, during a speech on Thursday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington-based think tank.

The semantic shift is intended to bring precision to the way the President Obama and his aides discuss the efforts to defeat Al-Qaida.

In effect, it is an "official" effort to move away from the terms crafted by the Bush administration, though officials who worked under the Republican president say the policies being implemented by Obama have not changed dramatically, The Washington Times reported on Friday.

To say the United States is fighting "jihadists" is wrongheaded, Brennan underlined, because it is using "a legitimate term, 'jihad,' meaning to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal," which "risks giving these murderers the religious legitimacy they desperately seek but in no way deserve."

"Worse, it risks reinforcing the idea that the United States is somehow at war with Islam itself," Brennan, the head of the White House Homeland Security office, was quoted as saying by the Times.