State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf rejected the expression "war on terrorism" during a briefing Thursday while answering questions on President Obama's strategy to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).
"Is that something that's out of the lexicon now of the U.S. government's comments on what's happening?" a reporter asked.
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"It's certainly not how I would refer to our efforts," Harf said.
The reporter went on to ask if Obama's plan for ISIL meant a return to "the doctrine of preemption," a term Harf also shied away from.
"When we talk about how you degrade and defeat terrorist organizations, it's not exactly I think how you're probably using the term," Harf said. "And it's not one that I'm using. Our goal is to prevent terrorist organizations from being able to attack the United States or our interests, to degrade their capabilities to do so. Obviously those are the kinds of terms I would use when it comes to this current effort."