Deep in the bowels of the Pentagon, some of the country's finest military minds met recently, synthesizing ideas, debating proposals and trading strategies.
Their goal — a rebranding for the history books.
When they emerged, they had completed their semantic sleight-of-hand.
They had simply changed wars, consigning the "War on Terror" to the recycling bin and launching "The Long War."
In a George W. Bush White House well-schooled in the art of propaganda, an administration re-elected for its steely determination to stay on message, renaming a war is a new triumph of marketing.
"The War on Terror brand had gone sour," says Christopher Simpson, an expert on political communications at Washington's American University.
"It connoted abuse of power, an indiscriminate use of violence as much by the U.S. as its opponents; it barely had the support of 50 per cent of Americans and was opposed by a large percentage of the international population.
"So you rebrand. You rename to try to get rid of the past perceptions. You find a new bumper sticker."
U.S. analysts and government officials this week point to the rebranding as another attempt to gird a skeptical public for an ongoing, generational commitment of troops at war, a bid to try to revive and augment international co-operation with Washington and a way of justifying ever-expanding presidential powers under Bush.