The shift marks a turning point in British political thinking about the strategy against extremism and underlines the growing gulf between the British and American approaches to the continuing problem of radical Islamic militancy. It comes amid increasingly evident disagreements between President George Bush and Tony Blair over policy in the Middle East.
Experts have welcomed the move away from one of the phrases that has most defined the debate on Islamic extremism, but called it ‘belated’.
‘It’s about time,’ said Garry Hindle, terrorism expert at the Royal United Services Institute in London. ‘Military terminology is completely counter-productive, merely contributing to isolating communities. This is a very positive move.’
Clearly this is the first step in surrender by the Brits. Once Blair has been kicked out, it can be expected that Britain will no longer be as supportive.
As far as terminology goes, I have suggested we change the phase to “The Global War on Guerilla Warfare.”