Effects-Centric

Kill, Capture … or Neutralize? How Operational Planning Changes the Language of Communicating War

ABSTRACT

The doctrine of warfare influences the way language is used. The reporting of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrate that the effects-centric doctrines have started to transform the grammatical and lexical patterning of discourse. During the war in Iraq, both military experts and linguists have criticized the language of the Effects-Based Operations as complex and confusing. This article provides a cross-disciplinary perspective of the study of war discourses by discussing the linguistic characteristics of 21st century Strategic Communication as a reflection of current military doctrine and operation planning. The analysis suggests that the perceived complexity is a consequence of Effects-thinking, which has introduced the taxonomy of Effects into discourse, where they have begun to replace Action descriptions in clauses. The resulting abstract descriptions of strategy, operational art, and tactics means the information value of the clause becomes impaired. The analysis also suggests that this marks the birth of a new genre in war discourse.

Journal of Information Warfare

The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.

Keywords

Quill Logo

The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Get in touch

  • Journal of Information Warfare
    114 Ballard Street
    Yorktown, VA
    23690
  • 757.234.6664
  • jiw@gbpts.com