From the AP: Germany’s defense minister on Sunday for the first time referred to military operations in Afghanistan as a war, while he promised to investigate a friendly fire clash that left six Afghan soldiers dead.
Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg broke a government taboo on the politically charged word, preparing Germans to expect more fighting by telling reporters: "Even if not everyone likes it, regarding what happens in parts of Afghanistan, one can colloquially refer to it as war."
German politicians have stopped short of using the word to refer to military operations in Afghanistan for fear of generating even more public opposition to a mission that is already deeply unpopular. …
Guttenberg has been inching closer to directly using the word "war" since becoming defense minister in October, refering to "conditions similar to a war." Guttenberg stressed Sunday that the word can only be used "colloquially" because the legal definition for a war would require two nations to be in armed conflict. (photo: Getty)