You’ll be pleased to know that the war marketing department of the Bush administration has once again re-branded the war in Iraq (which was acquired a while ago by the ‘war on terror™’ which itself was once known as The War Against Terror but quickly re-branded for obvious reasons).

The war in Iraq is now part of the new and improved ‘Long War™

This has been a subtle re-branding process, unlike previous re-brands. At the beginning of the year Rumsfeld Stiltskin started using the term ‘long war’ in statements referring collectively to the American led conflicts (remember they’re not officially wars) in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the wider more airy fuzzy edged ‘war on terror.’

According to Rumsfeld Stiltskin Iraq and Afghanistan are the “early battles.” Iran and North Korea are surely going to be stops on Americas war path sometime soon too?

Indeed the man behind what the US military calls its “principles of the Long War”, Gen Mark Kimmitt, told BBC News on Tuesday “Even if Iraq stabilized tomorrow the Long War would continue.”

Showing some true military insight the decorated General went on to say “I’m an artillery officer, and I can’t fire cannons at the internet.”

Gen Kimmitt believes that a lower profile military will help win hearts and minds, by ending the impression that the US is occupying the Middle East. Of course there will be American military bases in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and a classified Middle Eastern country “west” of Saudi Arabia (“Site 23”), but hopefully the people won’t notice that.

The General will probably also be hoping that the people America will be attempting to “win the hearts and minds” of will not notice countries like Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia, being pressured to support episodic operations and clandestine forces, just as they actually are doing today.

“Our future posture is still being worked out,” Said Gen Kimmitt. “But I would like to see to the number of troops in the Middle East cut to a fraction of the current 300,000, by at least a half.” it’s a good job those numbers will be cut in the Middle East though because the U.S. Military will still need to staff bases in Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Bulgaria, Romania and a yet to be decided “central Asian state.”

Of course America has said it won’t be fighting this ‘Long war’ alone (ie. can’t afford to foot the bill for this long war alone). Allies will be involved, but that might prove to be a tricky task after America has effectively stomped all over diplomatic relationships in recent years.

I know, I know. I’m being cynical. But It’s hard for me not to be cynical of anything led by a country that has so openly defied the wishes and calls from others. My fear is that the ‘long war’ will only be an ‘international effort’ for as long as those countries involved support the American agenda, and given the resistance to the invasion of Iraq to find those elusive WMD’s, how long do you suppose that will last?