[Ads-l] "deconfliction" -- WOTY?

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Fri Oct 9 01:11:30 UTC 2015

... if things go well -- and if things do not go well -- between Russia and the U.S. in Syria.

In online OED3 as "deconflict" v. from 1975 and as "deconfliction" from 1981.  

But the OED restricts conflicts to among "one's own aircraft or airborne weaponry".  The recent uses refer to potential conflicts between unfriendly forces, U. S. and Russian, and extend beyond the air to such things as use of language and radio frequencies.

"A Semantic Downgrade for U.S.-Russian Talks About Operations in Syria" 



"President Obama and Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, “agreed that it would be important to begin conversations on a practical, tactical level to deconflict coalition and Russian military activities inside of Syria,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, helpfully added.     "Pentagon officials said that for them, “deconfliction” meant simple things like deciding which language the two armed forces would communicate in, what radio frequency pilots would use and how they would go about sharing Syrian airspace. That, the officials said, was the sum of the initial American proposal to the Russians last week.     "The Air Force has used “deconflict” to describe efforts to reduce the risk of collision in combat airspace by separating warplanes’ flight paths. So Pentagon officials, at least, sounded at ease with the term, as the press secretary Peter Cook did last week when he said, “The purpose of these deconfliction discussions will be to ensure that ongoing coalition air operations are not interrupted by any future Russian military activity, to ensure the safety of coalition aircrews and to avoid misjudgment and miscalculation.”"

Alas, perhaps too ephemeral to be WOTY -- continuing from the NYTimes:

"Well, no more.     "On Wednesday, the Pentagon dropped deconfliction from its lexicon after Russian officials said they had received no answer when they asked the United States to identify armed groups other than units of the Syrian Army that were fighting the Islamic State — so as to avoid them in airstrikes."


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