THE Australian Government has officially stopped calling the global campaign against terrorism "the war on terror".
US President George Bush coined the term after the 2001 terrorist attacks in America, and it became widely used in nations such as Britain and Australia that have been involved in fighting terrorism. The British stopped using it some time ago, apparently because it was considered simplistic.
Terrorism experts in Australia have long argued that it was the wrong tag for the wide-ranging measures needed to deal with terrorism.
Two years ago, terrorism specialist Aldo Borgu was among those who argued that calling the campaign a war on terror was a mistake because it suggested terrorism could be fought only with military means, when a much broader strategy was required.
In May, Labor senator John Faulkner asked officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to confirm that "war on terror" did not appear in the department's annual report.
The department has now confirmed that the term was not used. "There was no prohibition but the department generally does not use the expression 'war on terror'," it said.
Meanwhile, former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans is to deliver a measure of hope for those depressed by constant images of bloodshed and mayhem around the globe.
Now president of the International Crisis Group, Mr Evans will deliver the Sir Zelman Cowen Lecture in Melbourne tonight, saying that an end to deadly conflict is not just a dream.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, the number of conflicts around the world has declined significantly in recent years, Mr Evans says. "There are 40 per cent fewer conflicts taking place now than there were in 1992," he says.
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