From a press briefing Friday with National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley (emphasis mine):
QUESTION: Is this a civil war?
HADLEY: I will tell you what this NIE says.
QUESTION: I want to know why you avoid
HADLEY: The intelligence — because its not an adequate description of the situation we find ourselves, as the intelligence community says. The intelligence community judges the term civil war does not adequately capture the complexities of the conflict in Iraq. And what were doing is saying, if youre going to run policy and if youre going to explain it to the American people, we need to get across the complexities of the situation we face in Iraq and what is our strategy to deal with that. And simple labels dont do that. Were going to try and force everybody to get into the facts.
I’ve got a word that adequately captures the complexities of the conflict in Iraq, and I didn’t even need to look it up: CHAOS.