Posted: 24 March 2011 06:39 AM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  2730
Joined  2007-01-30

From The Examiner

In the last few days, Obama administration officials have frequently faced the question: Is the fighting in Libya a war?  From military officers to White House spokesmen up to the president himself, the answer is no.  But that leaves the question: What is it?

In a briefing on board Air Force One Wednesday, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes took a crack at an answer.  “I think what we are doing is enforcing a resolution that has a very clear set of goals, which is protecting the Libyan people, averting a humanitarian crisis, and setting up a no-fly zone,” Rhodes said.  “Obviously that involves kinetic military action, particularly on the front end.”

“Kinetic" is a word that’s been used around the Pentagon for many years to distinguish between actions like dropping bombs, launching cruise missiles or shooting people and newer forms of non-violent fighting like cyber-warfare.  At times, it also appears to mean just taking action. In a 2002 article in Slate, Timothy Noah noted a passage from Bob Woodward’s book, Bush at War:

For many days the war cabinet had been dancing around the basic question: how long could they wait after September 11 before the U.S. started going “kinetic,” as they often termed it, against al Qaeda in a visible way?

It’s the first time I’ve noticed the term. How many is “many years”? Does it go back to Haig-speak? (It certainly seems worthy of him).

[ Edited: 24 March 2011 07:44 AM by aldiboronti ]
Posted: 24 March 2011 07:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  4190
Joined  2007-01-29

Interesting; I hadn’t been aware of this usage either.  (I think.  Yesterday I wrote about a word on LH that I thought was new to me, but someone pointed out I’d written about it just last year.)

Posted: 24 March 2011 07:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  1541
Joined  2007-03-21

New to me as well. Earliest quote I found on google was 1999 used by Canada as “Operation Kinetic.” Seems that over the years, this has moved into Orwellian territory (perhaps it was always Orwellian in a certain way). The quote you cite, Aldi, has been much written about in these last days.

Posted: 24 March 2011 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Total Posts:  5906
Joined  2007-01-03

Yeah, 1999 seems about right. The first time I noticed it was in early 2002 in reference to operations in Afghanistan. It definitely was not around when I was in the Army in the late 80s or working in the Pentagon in the mid 90s.

Posted: 31 March 2011 08:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Total Posts:  16
Joined  2011-01-01

"Cyber or non-kinetic type threats to military computer networks are viewed as just as real and just as significant as physical or kinetic threats,” China denies its military hacked Pentagon network InfoWorld Sep 5, 2007

[ Edited: 31 March 2011 08:12 PM by kauffner ]
Posted: 01 April 2011 12:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Total Posts:  3791
Joined  2007-02-26

Coming from a physics perspective, this does not seem especially euphemistic.

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