President Obama made a speech at the US Military Academy at West Point on Saturday, from which it is possible to get some purchase on the point of the new terminology adopted in place of the 'w** on t*****'. In this speech Obama spoke explicitly (as Marc Ambinder had flagged up the President would be doing from now on) about 'countering violent extremism', and his speech contained one or two other concordant locutions: it had 'violent extremists', as well as 'extremists' tout court. These were also referred to as 'common enemies'.
However, just in case you might think that his calling them 'enemies' meant that Obama was falling back into the bad old way of thinking about the countering of them as a kind of war... you'd be right. This was a war, he said, that only began because 'our own cities and civilians were attacked'; and it was 'a different kind of war' because there would be 'no simple moment of surrender to mark the journey's end'. And those common enemies, the violent extremists? Who in heaven's name are they? Why, they are - one, two, three, four, and five times - terrorists. Thus has the terminological show moved decisively on.