"Spending unconscionable sums of public money on military action may, in the long run, prove far harder, too. Americans will pony up endlessly when we are at war. They are less likely to shell out so quickly for the proposed successor phrase to the Global War on Terror: Overseas Contingency Operations. As Escobar notes, this 'delightfully Orwellian' term is known to the bureaucrats by its equally Orwellian acronym, OCO.
The bad news is that nobody can say exactly what an OCO is. A war requires at least a convincing illusion of threat to the nation. An OCO, on the other hand, can be just about anything. It doesn't have to be over any literal seas; it merely has to aim at a target outside U.S. borders (even as close as Mexico). It doesn't have to involve shoot-'em-up military action, only an action -- kidnapping, computer hacking, whatever -- carried out by U.S. government operatives."