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Shock and awe

Posted by Masakim on March 22, 2003

In Reply to: Shock and awe posted by R. Berg on March 22, 2003

: : : : : This may be a good time to note when the phrase "Shock and Awe" was first used. It seems that a Pentagon spokesperson must have been the first. It's been in use now for a couple of weeks.

: : : : : Now, it's too soon to tell if this phrase will become as popular as the 1991 war's "Mother of All...", as in "Mother of All Used Car Deals", etc. That phrase is still yielding results, as witness the new "M.O.A.B." bomb, which officially stands for "Massive Ordnance Aerial-Burst Bomb".

: : : : We're going to have quite a collection of "war words" before this is over.

: : : What a knob! ESC - I'll lend you a pound for the 'get a life shop'!

: : I've seen "weapons of mass persuasion". Can others be far behind?

: In a televised press briefing today, an officer at the Pentagon explained that Shock and Awe doesn't simply mean heavy bombardment, as some people think; it means very precise bombing of designated targets.

The battle plan is based on a concept developed at the National Defense University. It's called "Shock and Awe" and it focuses on the psychological destruction of the enemy's will to fight rather than the physical destruction of his military forces.
"We want them to quit. We want them not to fight," says Harlan Ullman, one of the authors of the Shock and Awe concept which relies on large numbers of precision guided weapons.
"So that you have this simultaneous effect, rather like the nuclear weapons at Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks but in minutes," says Ullman.
--"Iraq Faces Massive U.S. Missile Barrage," CBS Evening News, Jan. 24, 2003 at

See "Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance" at