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surgical strike

This page is about the doublespeak term surgical strike


a bomb or missile attack that's supposed to accurately strike its target

For example

  • We conducted a surgical strike on a military target next to a hospital.

  • Our surgical strikes are very accurate, but unfortunately this one hit the hospital by mistake.

This is doublespeak because it creates the false impression that the strikes are as accurate as a surgeon's knife and never miss their targets. Also "precision bombing", as opposed to "carpet bombing" in which many bombs are dropped over a wider area in order to destroy everything and everyone there.

Quick Quiz

"Surgical strikes" are carried out with

a. guns and bullets

b. doctors and nurses

c. bombs and missiles

Contributor: Matt Errey