I was about to quote multiple passages when I realised that I had marked up nearly half of my copy as seriously quotable. If you're interested in the topic, I can only suggest that you read it and mark it up for yourself.
So here are just a few quotes to pique the curiosity of translators, terminologists, rhetoricians and the like:
- the conventional public vocabulary of war
- The passive voice and the absent subject give us casualties that “occur”; “tragedies” that “take place”; women and children who “have been killed”. These incidents are “regrettable”.
- The rationale for avoiding “Islamic State” – “it’s not Islamic and it’s not a state” – has passed swiftly from witticism to cliché.
- “martyrdom operations”
- “Blue on blue” – US military slang for friendly fire
- Today the implied audience for any given speech can be assumed to be multiple
- The wars we fight now are interventions, proxy engagements, counterinsurgencies, peacekeeping missions, police actions, asymmetric engagements and hybrid wars. You may sprinkle your sceptical inverted commas through that list according to taste.
I repeat: a fascinating read.