war jargon

Vrijdag 28 Maart 2003 in categorie Altijd handig

Verbal Jam's pocket dictionairy of Iraqi-War jargon for the home front.

Note: This list has been compiled by Verbal Jam, supplemented with the kind contributions of the readers of this site. If you feel that one or more definitions are capable of improvement or correction, please leave your suggestions in the comment area ('reacties') of this item. You are kindly requested to keep in mind the slightly satirical undertone and peaceful purpose of this list.

air superiority - Controlling the air space over the battlefield.
alleged killings - The number of dead both parties bombard each other with (figuratively speaking) after a bombardment (literally speaking).
apc - Short for: Armoured Personnel Carrier.
asymmetrical warfare - Use of dissimilar weapons or force to offset a superior military force and technological advantage. (2)
asynchronous warfare - Related to the term asymmetrical warfare : both parties do not combat each other within the same 'time-frame', e.g. in cases of guerilla groups that attack the opponent by surprise and at unexpected locations.
bam - Short for: Broad Assed Marines. Humoristic and disrespectful designation of female soldiers, used by male collegues in the coalition forces.
Battle fatigue - Armed forces that show signs of weariness, caused by being in continuous combat situations for a longer period of time.
blue-on-blue - Accidental attack on forces of the own party, also known as 'friendly fire'.
bmo - Short for: Black Moving Objects. Mocking military slang, invented by coalition soldiers in Iraq, referring to moslim-women in black clothing.
buff - Short for: Big Ugly Fat Fucker. Military slang for the huge American B52-type bomber.
bunker-buster - Popular name for very powerful bomb that is capable of penetrating very strong bunkers.
campaign - Series of military operations in a definite area or with one objective or forming the whole or a distinct part of a war. (1)
casualties - Dead and wounded victims as a result of military combat.
cluster bomb - A cluster weapon is a munitions container that breaks open in mid-air and disperses smaller munitions or submunitions. These munitions are usually designed to explode on impact, just before impact or a short time after impact. Cluster weapons are carried by a variety of delivery systems, including bombs dropped from aircraft, rocket launchers and artillery projectiles. (5)
coalition of the willing - Term for all countries that support the invasion of Iraq, either politically or military.
coalition, coalition forces - Term for (military forces of) countries that actively take part in the war against Iraq.
collateral damage - Unintentional additional damage as a result of military attack.
daisy cutter - Nickname for the BLU-82B/C-130, a high altitude delivery of 15,000 pound conventional bomb, delivered from an MC-130 since it is far too heavy for the bomb racks on any bomber or attack aircraft. Originally designed to create an instant clearing in the jungle, it has been used in Afghanistan as an anti-personnel weapon and as an intimidation weapon because of its very large lethal radius (variously reported as 300-900 feet) combined with flash and sound visible at long distances.(4).
decapitation strike - Attack aimed specifically at the highest levels of the enemy military chain of command to knock out their ability to control and to communicate with their troops.
deployment - Bringing military forces into active action.
embedded journalism - New policy of US/UK coalition towards the press: journalists get the opportunity to be incorporated in military units on the battle-field. They are however subjected to restrictions and are not allowed to report about tactics and exact location of the unit.
excuse me - Standard apology after even the slightest cough by an army spokesman during an press briefing. Never used however after an attack on the enemy.
fierce fighting - Standard expression in American and British news items. Always used when the enemy dares to return fire.
force - Body of armed men, army, troops, fighting strength of a nation or commander. (1)
friendly fire - Accidental shooting on soldiers or equipment of the own side.
gps-guided - High precision navigation technique to lead bombs or missiles to their targets by means of Global Position System satellites.
jdam bomb - Short for: Joint Direct Attack Munition. (3)
laser designator - A device that emits a beam of laser energy which is used to mark a specific place or object.
laser-guided - Laser-based high precision navigation technique to lead bombs or missiles to their targets.
mission - Execution of a militairy operational task.
mmed - Short for: Miles and Miles of Empty Desert. Cynical military expression used by coalition soldiers heading for Baghdad through the desert.
moab - Short for: Mother Of All Bombs. Mocking reference made to the most powerful bomb used in the attacks on Saddam Hussein during the Iraq-war, paraphrasing his statement 'Mother of all wars' during the Gulf-Crisis in 1991.
operational pause - Euphemism used by Central Command for putting the vanguard of ground forces on hold to avoid loosing contact with their supply lines.
paratrooper - Parachutist.
pax americana - Term derived from 'Pax Romana', mostly used by critics of the presumed policy of the United States to enforce peace in certain parts of the world.
peace - Military: condition after completely wiping out the enemy. Civilian: condition everybody only believes in at Christmas or, in case of other religions, equivalent feast.
pocket of resistance - Small area or unit of enemy resistance.
pounding and pummeling - Giving the enemy a thorough trashing with bombs and artillery.
pour troops onto a target - Expressive description of a large amount of troopers attacking an enemy target.
pow - Short for: Prisoner Of War.
psy-ops - Short for: Psychological operations, the use of communication strategies to undermine the local support for the enemy.
rolling war - Refers to large convoys of coalition army vehicles driving into the direction of Baghdad.
rules of engagement - International agreements upon how to fight a war.
satellite-guided munitions - Bombs and missiles that are precisely targetted by Global Positioning System satellites.
serviceman - Soldier.
shaping the battlefield - The whole array of actions taken to overpower the opposing faction making sure the one action makes the following action run as planned.
shock and awe - Strategy of massive bombing used by coalition forces to quickly enforce fear and respect upon the Iraqi regime for their huge striking capabilities.
smart bombs - Bombs with built-in electronical navigation intelligence for very precise targetting.
softening targets - Using bombs and artillery to weaken resistance of enemy lines in preceding of groundtroop attacks.
sortie - Dispatch of a military aircraft.
special ops - Short for: Special Operations.
street-by-street fighting - The conquering of a city or village street by street. Almost inescapable part of urban warfare, mostly resulting in many casualties.
sugaring the kills - Making the reports about victims acceptable to the public.
symmetrical warfare - Both parties use the same military means, usually according to traditional concepts of warfare.
synchronous warfare - Related to the term symmetrical warfare: both parties combat each other within a same 'time-frame', e.g. two armies that fight each other on the battlefield at the same time.
tactical retreat - Relinquish the position of an army. Also used as an ironical euphemistic term for a headlong flight for the enemy.
theatre - Area where military combat takes place.
troop(s) - Assembled company of soldiers, armed forces. (1)
trooper - Private soldier in armoured unit.
unconfirmed reports - Rather vague expression used by journalists about things they heard, but cannot get confirmed by official authorities.
urban warfare - militairy combat in cities.
war-crime - Severe act of violance during a military conflict, in breach of the Geneva Convention, but in retrospect appearantly always and only committed by the losing party.
wmd - Short for: Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Additional information sources used for this list:
1) The concise Oxford dictionairy of current English.
2) Steven P. Winterfeld.
3) CBS News (further explanation).
4) FAS Military Analysis Network (further explanation).
5) MCC (further explanation).

Latest update: April 3, 2003.

Let's make a nice peaceful coalition to extend this list!