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Operations in Iraq And Syria Finally to Get a Name

A F/A-18F Super Hornet lands aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bush after conducting strike missions against ISIL, September 23, 2014. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian Stephens/U.S. Navy)
A F/A-18F Super Hornet lands aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bush after conducting strike missions against ISIL, September 23, 2014. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian Stephens/U.S. Navy)

After 55 days of bombing in Iraq and Syria, the military has decided that the fight against the Islamic State will finally get an operational name.

"There are names being considered" at the combat command level for the deployment of additional troops into the region and the 324 airstrikes conducted since the bombing began on Aug. 8, said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.

Since mid-June, when President Obama authorized sending additional troops to Iraq, the Pentagon has resisted giving the operation a name.

"I don't have a good reason for why there isn't a name and, frankly, I'm not so sure that that's relevant," Kirby said last month, but on Friday he said that the military was considering "a potential name for this operation."

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that "Operation Inherent Resolve" had been proposed but rejected for the fight against the Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria.

The Pentagon traced the use of nicknames for operations to the German military in World War I, and said that the U.S. military picked up the practice in World War II from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who personally selected names for major operations.

After much deliberation, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan became "Operation Iraqi Freedom" and "Operation Enduring Freedom," and those operations generated hundreds of subsets of operational names for particular engagements. In Iraq alone, there were more than 500 named operations.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at richard.sisk@monster.com

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