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US military (specifically Air Force military transport) jargon ca. 1970s-1980s, referring to an operation or undertaking involving an unnecessarily large number of people, most of them contributing nothing or actually impeding progress. Typically used to refer to flightline operations where military brass felt it necessary to make their presence felt and impede the normal duties/operations of the aircrew, offering "advice" or "assistance" that was neither requested nor needed.
"We got gear up and flaps up out of Norton (Air Force Base) on time, no sweat, but Travis was a major goat-rope and a half. We had three times as many Base Ops types and ground-pounders in the cargo compartment as crewmembers, and the only reason they finally got the hell out of the way is that they didn't want to buy a crew delay."
by speedstan May 04, 2008
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When good intentions go bad, messily.

History: From LCDR Charles Breen, USN, who tried to untangle a goat's rope, only to be bitten by said goat, then to deck same goat, Mongo style, right as busload of tourists rounded the bend in time to think he was beating the crap out of a goat for no reason. This definition dates back to at least 1988.
Man, this is the last time I help you move, what a goat rope.
by KnumbKnuts May 18, 2005
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(This term is used by Marines. For links to Army terms with similar meanings see snafu)
a very chaotic situation
The situation in the auditorium turned into a real goat rope.
by The Return of Light Joker April 28, 2009
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goat rope--definition--A very confused situation

To teach new cowboys the art of roping a moving target, such as a horse or a steer, novices would be put in a pen full of goats, which were smaller and less dangerous, to hone their craft. The old-timers would gather to watch, drink, whoop and be amused by the ensuing melee. It was not a pretty sight.

I'm a writer with a book of the same name and I did extensive research to find the origins of this term.
by Daniel Blore October 25, 2007
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