Attempts to define this deceptively simple term rise above typical semantic debates about a bit of Pentagonese
, for the meaning of this phrase has serious national security ramifications.
The paper should use not "PowerPoint Pentagonese
" or cartoons but complete English sentences--nouns, adjectives, and verbs.
In this age of verbal maelstroms, Pentagonese
, and writing that confuses more than it clarifies, permit us to offer a concise, logical model of military writing from the far simpler era of the American Civil War.
Or to draw on Barnett's phrasing of contemporary Pentagonese
, the "gap" where the benefits of modernity have yet to penetrate ("show me where globalization is thinning or just plain absent, and I will show you regions plagued by politically repressive regimes, widespread poverty and disease, routine mass murder, and--most important--the chronic conflicts that incubate the next generation of global terrorists"); in short, the regions of the world where US intervention is needed to convert economies and political cultures into modern "civilized" societies.
Much of the book focuses on the Pentagon (arguably the world leader in producing a unique vocabulary and acronyms), but the text is remarkably free of jargon and "Pentagonese
." A glossary defines the essential terminology, and the book is further enhanced by sections that identify the key players and provide a chronology of the major political and technological milestones in the evolving history of America's missile defense.
Whenever they visited warplanes or battleships, there was a bizarre little pause while everyone was given an opportunity to "pat the missile." Of particular interest from today's perspective, ordinary dictionary meanings were turned on their heads in the Pentagonese
When I contemplate the success or failure of the embed program, I think about those briefings in Qatar, at the Pentagon's press office, not the numbing recitation from the podium, but those moments when a questioner, with a newspaper or television transcript clutched in one hand, refuted a bit of stilted Pentagonese
by saying, "But an embed with the 3rd I.D." or "ah embed with the 1st Marine Division reported ...
Between our occupation forces, replacements for those troops, and troops being held in abeyance for emergency deployment in North Korea, there were only three active-duty Army brigades available for potential new missions--a situation that one official, in a beautifully evasive bit of Pentagonese
, lamented as "the tyranny of fixed numbers."
War correspondents, however, are taking the training--known in Pentagonese
as "embedding"--with a grain of salt.
Mutual assured destruction pact in Pentagonese
, the lingua franca of the fighting man's command.
(If they cannot be expressed in clear English, slide-show bullets, "Pentagonese
," and cartoons just hide that fact.) The narrative generates metrics--"things we want more of and things we want less of"--with explanation, and clusters these into topics of interest.
Speaking in impeccable Pentagonese
, Mancuso explained that the roadmap is "about how we can get better and how we can institutionalize some of the best practices ...