For well over a decade now the United States has been "a nation at war". Does that war have a name?
It did at the outset. After 9/11, George W Bush's administration wasted no time in announcing that the US was engaged in a "Global War on Terrorism", or GWOT. With few dissenters, the media quickly embraced the term. The GWOT promised to be a gargantuan, transformative enterprise. The conflict begun on 9/11 would define the age. In neoconservative circles, it was known as World War IV.
Upon succeeding to the presidency in 2009, however, Barack Obama without fanfare junked Bush's formulation (as he did again in a speech at the National Defense University last week). Yet if the appellation went away, the conflict itself, shorn of identifying marks, continued.
Does it matter that ours has become and remains a nameless war? Very much so……..