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Words of war explained
Updated 04 April 2003, 14.52
Confused by all the jargon you hear when people describe what's happening in the Iraq conflict?
Here's a handy guide to understand what reporters are actually talking about.
Click here to test yourself on war jargon
= guns or missiles fired from the ground at aircraft overheard - also known as "flak"
Blue on blue
= a term used to describe an accidental attack on someone who's fighting on the same side
= someone who is either wounded or killed in fighting or bombing - this can be a soldier or an ordinary person
= the place where coalition missions are planned, called Central Command. It is in Doha, Qatar - another country in the middle east, not far from Iraq
= people who are not in the armed forces
= armed forces from different countries who share the fighting and are fighting for the same reasons
Coalition of the willing
= American term for the countries involved in the Iraq conflict.
= damage to anything you didn't mean to target - this can include humans which is why it's a term which is seen by many as insensitive
= a group of ships or vehicles travelling together under armed protection
= the 500 journalists who are based within US and UK military units, living and travelling with them before and during the war are embedded.
= battles involving gun fire
Scud missile and launcher
Fog of war
= the confusion that often surrounds military action
= see Blue on blue
= small groups of soldiers fighting small battles, often firing on larger groups of soldiers then running away to hide
Hawks and doves
= a hawk is someone who believes in using soldiers to solve problems like Iraq. A dove is someone who would rather try and find a solution by talking
Hearts and minds
= winning over the Iraqi people to believe in the coalition forces and understand that they will not hurt them
= military or industrial building - in the Iraq conflict, it's usually used to describe oil fields and military targets
= secret information collected about an enemy
= this is short for medical evacuation, which means removing an injured soldier from the battlefield very quickly so they can get medical help
= stands for prisoner of war
= this is when the military watches and checks out an area to get information about it, usually for a while - sometimes shortened to "recce," or "recon"
= Rocket Propelled Grenade. An explosive which, rather than being thrown, is fired by a launcher
Rules of engagement
= important rules about fighting wars that soldiers are supposed to obey
= a short range ballistic - or flying - missile launched from big mobile launchers
Shock and awe
= the term the Americans are using to describe their massive bombing campaign
= a small raiding party usually sent out to check things out before a proper attack - can be air or ground raids
= bullets which glow so soldiers know where they are firing - not all the bullets do this
= a type of anti-aircraft fire
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