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General John Allen reports US soldiers killed a group of Taliban: "We dealt with them in a kinetic strike."

What's the meaning of "kinetic" here? Timothy Noah says the word is used to designate actual warfare (guns fired etc.), not just countermeasures and deployment. Does Allen mean just that or is there more to it?

(My first thought was that the US actually deployed an orbital bombardment platform à la 'Thor's Hammer', but I guess the press would have picked up on that already.)

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see also en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetic_military_action –  Theta30 Aug 11 '11 at 16:06
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I looked that up earlier, but it didn't help my understanding. –  Urs Reupke Aug 11 '11 at 16:11
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Kinetic means "relating to, or resulting from motion"; strike means "a sudden attack, typically a military one."
Kinetic strike means "an attack done in movement," which is the opposite of, for example, a group of militaries waiting for the arrival of the enemy, hidden.

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Sounds convincing. Thank you. –  Urs Reupke Aug 11 '11 at 16:12
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I suspect that the US military have abandoned their own long tradition of inventing their own obtuse terminology and adopted the business world's.

I suspect kinetic strike is roughly analogous to a "dynamic on-going directive utilizing synergies to leverage goals in a win-win scenario"

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+1 for the laugh :) –  Urs Reupke Aug 11 '11 at 16:12
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