What's in a name? For the war on ISIS, apparently nothing

There are some names in military history which seem to endure in the American conscience. Operation Overlord. Desert Storm. Operation Enduring Freedom. They make a statement (whether you agree with it or not) and set a reference point for everything from media coverage to congressional legislation ranging from funding to authorizations for the use of military force. Hot Air friend and weekly guest on the Ed Morrissey Show, Andrew Malcolm, makes a rather telling observation this week at Investors Business Daily. We have clearly entered into a military campaign – a war in all but name for some – against ISIS, but what is this shooting match called?

Here’s how you can tell Barack Obama’s ‘war’ on ISIS is merely a political salve to get him through the Nov. 4 midterm elections:

The military campaign “to degrade and destroy” ISIS has no stirring name. No Operation Enduring Freedom label. No all-time classic Desert Storm.

It might seem like a small PR matter, which it also is. But operational names go in military records and history books, on military ribbons and, most importantly, on specific congressional budget requests.

Right now, there is no specific budget request for Obama’s promised long-term effort to “degrade and destroy” ISIS. A tell-tale sign. Given Obama’s record on veracity, this would seem to indicate “long-term” in his mind means at least through Nov. 5.

Andrew has some other observations on the importance of branding in warfare at the link, along with additional background research he dug into. One of the interesting tidbits is that there apparently was talk of a name for this endeavor which at least made it to the suggestion stage. Unfortunately, Operation Inherent Resolve was deemed to be “insufficiently Middle Eastern.” (I’m sorry… what?)

This clearly calls for some sort of a contest. The collective brain trust of Hot Air’s readership should readily come up with something better than that. Any thoughts? All I’ve come up with so far is Operation Appearance of Action, but somehow I don’t think that will get the green light either.

Jazz Shaw Jul 03, 2022 10:01 AM ET