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mission creep

noun
1.
the tendency for a task, esp a military operation, to become unintentionally wider in scope than its initial objectives
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Contemporary definitions for mission creep
noun

the gradual process by which a campaign or mission's objectives change over time, esp. with undesirable consequences

Examples

The only way to explain our involvement in Iraq is mission creep.

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