World War IV - Naming World Wars
Wars are socially constructed, as are their names. The war known in some circles as the Civil War or the War Between the States is also known in other circles as the War of Northern Agression.
The Oxford English Dictionary reports that the phrase "world war" was first noted in use in the 8 April 1909 edition of the Westminster Gazette.
The conflict that erupted in August 1914, and that ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, was known at the time simply as the Great War. In the United States, it was officially designated The World War. On October 7, 1919, War Department General Orders No. 115 directed: "The war against the Central Powers of Europe, in which the United States has taken part, will hereafter be designated in all official communications and publications as 'The World War.'" It was also called "The War to End All Wars," but this optimism proved unjustified. Some would suggest that this War was just the first phase of the Second 30 Years War, spanning the period 1914 - 1945.
The term "First World War" was used in 1920 by Lt-Col à Court Repington, in his book The First World War 1914-18.
The phrase "World War 2" was first noted in use in Manchester Guardian on 18 February 1919. It seems that World Wars I & II were named together for the first time by Time magazine on 11 September 1938.
On 27 April 1942 a Gallup Poll indicated that people preferred the term World War II for the ongoing global war. During the war, many Americans also called it as "The War in Europe," or simply, "The War." Noting that the term "World War II" had been used in at least seven public laws to designate this period of hostilities, and that analysis of publications and radio programs indicates that this term had been accepted by common usage, President Truman officially named the war in September 1945.
During the Cold War the term "World War III" was widely used to denote the anticipated and dreaded final conflict bewteen the United States and the Soviet Union [what Herman Kahn termed "an insensate wargasm"] that would shatter modern civilization, if not destroy life on Earth.
Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is one of the most influential and powerful "dystopian" (implying "nightmare world") fictions alongside H.G. Wells' The Time Machine and George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. The Huxley's book the Nine Years' War led to almost total destruction. After a severe economic crisis the world submitted to the World Controllers who took over and redefined the social order. This global disaster made the rulers of civilization so nervous that they decided that individual freedoms must be sacrificed to communal well-being; contentment is enforced at all costs. "People still went on talking about truth and beauty as though they were the sovereign goods. Right up to the time of the Nine Years' War. That made them change their tune all right. What's the point of truth or beauty or knowledge when the anthrax bombs are popping all around you?" [source] The Nine Years War started in 141 AF [After Ford] (see Chapter III). American automobile manufacturer Henry Ford (1863-1947) defines the era, with dates computed A.F., or After Ford, starting with the year his Model-T car was first produced (1913). This would make the year 141 After Ford the year 2057. The Nine Years War, which ushered in the era of Ford, ensured stability through dictatorship.
Huxley's Nine Year's War shound not be confused with the Nine Year's War of 1688-1697, also known as the War of the League of Augsburg or the War of the Grand Alliance.
US military operations initiated post-September 11 have largely been identified by the Bush Administration, the Department of Defense, and the service branches as being in support of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) is the name assigned by the military to operations conducted in support of the Global War on Terrorism. The various campaigns of the war on terrorism tend to be described as sub-operations of Operation Enduring Freedom. For instance, operations in Afghanistan are identified as Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan (OEF-A), and operations in the Phillipines are identified as Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines (OEF-P). During the build-up of military forces prior to the initiation of combat operations against Iraq in March 2003, deployments were announced as being in support of OEF or the Global War on Terrorism.
On 19 September 2002 Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Iraq was not separate from the global war on terrorism, but rather it is part of it. The secretary and Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, returned to Capitol Hill for the second time in two days to discuss the Bush administration's position on Iraq. Rumsfeld said stopping rogue states from developing and using weapons of mass destruction is a key aspect of the global war on terrorism. "We can fight the various elements of the global war on terror simultaneously," he said.
On 17 September 2003 President George W. Bush submitted a proposal for $87 billion in supplemental appropriations to Congress for funding the War on Terrorism. The request would provide critical funds for military and intelligence operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries, as well as resources for the reconstruction and economic development of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Eliot A. Cohen, writing in the Wall Street Journal on November 20, 2001, suggested "World War IV - Let's call this conflict what it is." This theme has continued among the strongest proponents of the War, however it is named.
Early in the Obama administration, Defense Department officials announced that term "Overseas Contingency Operations" would be used instead of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). On 17 February 2010 the Defense Department announced that as of 01 September 2010, Operation Iraqi Freedom would transition to Operation New Dawn, reflecting the conclusion of US combat operations in Iraq.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|