March 25, 2008

Entries from The New Combat Contradictionary

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. From the VQR, some excerpts:

An Army of One: soldiers who dump their girlfriends/boyfriends right before an overseas deployment ostensibly to spare them the pain of long-term separation. Also The Cult of Aloneness.

Combat Corporate: personal style pioneered by L. Paul Bremer, now favored by civilian Green Zone denizens who wish to appear to be in touch with the troops. Look includes power tie, pressed button-down shirt, chinos, and standard-issue desert combat boots. In a further attempt to manifest solidarity with the troops, combat corporateers will go so far as to sunbathe in order to foster a field-savvy appearance. Adherents are sometimes referred to as Fashion-Forward Fobbits.

Deployment Snobbery: condition common to soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division, who have been deployed overseas longer than any other unit in the army. Symptoms include insensitivity to the plight of others who haven’t been in Iraq or Afghanistan as long as your unit. Related to (but not as pernicious as) KIA Snobbery.

Operational Electioneering: practice of halting or slowing military operations to coincide with upcoming stateside elections in the hope that the resultant drop in casualties will have a desirable political impact at home, e.g. Operation Phantom Fury, the second assault on the city of Fallujah, an operation that had been planned months prior but was launched a mere five days after the 2004 presidential election which resulted in the re-election of George W. Bush. Also Casualty Manipulation.

Q’uran-o-centrism: obsessive reading of the Q’uran by combat troops in the futile hope that it will help explain the larger situation in Iraq, e.g. “After my first firefight I emailed my Mom and told her to send me a copy of the Yusuf Ali translation. I just want to understand how these people think.”