It has been nearly a week since the Obama administration gave the American military action against ISIS its official name: Operation Inherent Resolve. We have tried to get into it. We have tried to rally around the flag. But it cannot be done.
This has to be the worst name for a not-quite-a-war ever. Operation Inherent Resolve. Really?
It sounds like a program devised by social workers for slackers at a suburban high school. “I’m sorry kid, no more gym, you’re going in to Operation Inherent Resolve. Now tie your shoes and get out of here.”
The standard for cool names was set by Dwight Eisenhower, who oversaw Operation Overlord, coined for the D-Day invasion at Normandy. It has all the ingredients: it’s epic, biblical, mean but righteous.
Bush the Elder’s war on Iraq had a decent name: Operation Desert Shield. Bush the Younger topped him with Operation Desert Storm.
The current military operation fighting Ebola in Africa has the appropriate if unimaginative moniker, Operation United Assistance. (“This is United Assistance, my name is Tabitha, how can I help with your air travel today?")
There is an investigative story to be written here, I think. My hunch is that the war-naming guys at the Pentagon picked Operation Inherent Resolve is a barely subtle dig at Obama’s lack of resolve on the whole ISIS thing. He was nuts for not vetoing the name.
Perhaps if the DecodeDC community offers a better alternative, we can resolutely dump Inherent Resolve. Please vote, early and often: