"Words mean things", as per NATO's combat (3 years) in Afghanistan. The failure of news channels and public conversation is that the term war isn't defined. It's casually used. Any military action is carelessly called a war however "War", as legally defined by the Constitution, requires the House of Representatives to pass legislation proposing an Act-Of -War. The Senate must approve this Act and the President signs it. There have been 11 "real Wars". World War II was the last duly declared war. All other "Wars" since have been Acts of National Defense against terror or supportive of one side in their Civil Wars under the auspices of NATO. The "Longest War," Constitutionally, was waged against Chief Cochise of the Chiricahua Apaches from 1861-1872, a Sovereign Native Nation. The US government reneged on this treaty in 1876 instigating a resumption of hostilities with Geronimo for another 10 years.
Jay Van Orden
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.