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How do you choose a title for a military campaign

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The US mission in the Middle East is without a code name. How do you choose a title for a military campaign, asks Jon Kelly.

There is no "Operation Inherent Resolve". The code name was suggested for the latest US mission in the Middle East by US military strategists, according to reports. But it was rejected, apparently because it was judged to be "kind of bleh".

 

Coming up with a title for a military mission is a delicate task. There have been many memorable ones - Desert Storm, Overlord, Rolling Thunder.Others have attracted attention for the wrong reasons. Operation Killer, a US Korean war counter-offensive, was widely criticised for being distasteful. Operation Masher, an American campaign in Vietnam, was considered so ill-judged it was re-named. The US build-up in Afghanistan after 2001 was initially code-named Infinite Justice. But after it was pointed out that the name was considered offensive to the Islamic faith, it was changed to Enduring Freedom.

 

The practice appears to have begun with the German high command during World War One, according to Gregory C Sieminisky's seminal article on The Art of Naming Operations. The Kaiser's forces borrowed religious and mythical titles - Archangel, Mars, Achilles. During World War Two, Winston Churchill was aghast to learn an attack on Romanian oil fields was to be code-named Soapsuds. Names of missions should never be frivolous, he said - he did not want "some widow or mother to say that her son was killed in an operation called 'Bunnyhug' or 'Ballyhoo'". But he also believed they should not be "boastful or overconfident". He recommended references to Greek and Roman mythology, the stars and constellations, famous racehorses and British and US war heroes. Operations Market Garden, Mincemeat and Bodyguard are all names from WWII that have lived on in the popular imagination. Churchill came up with Overlord himself.

 

Today the US military, like other forces around the world, has protocols for naming operations. The tone for modern titles was set by the 1989 American invasion of Panama - initially titled Blue Spoon, but eventually christened Just Cause because, according to Gen Colin Powell at the time, "even our severest critics, when attacking us, will have to say 'just cause'." In its wake there was Allied Force (Nato's bombing campaign in the former Yugoslavia) and Neptune Spear (the killing of Osama Bin Laden). Desert Storm is the apotheosis of this kind of operation name, says James Dawes, professor of American literature at Macalester College and author of The Language of War. It is "grandiloquent without sounding too grandiloquent". It references the theatre of action and implies a sense of inevitability. By contrast, not having a name at all conveys a "sense of indecision". But for the Pentagon it's an improvement on Operation Bleh.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-29482455

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Just name them after old classical combat warplanes, you can't go wrong. The Brits also have some good classical warplane names up at bat. From Strategic Air Command we have...

 

Operation Peacemaker ... now do you see?

Operation Thunderbolt .... I'm telling ya, the (classical) warplane namers had this all figured out last century.

 

 

Operation Hustler ... !!!

 

 

OP article::

 

...eventually christened Just Cause because, according to Gen Colin Powell at the time, "even our severest critics, when attacking us, will have to say 'just cause'."

 

There's the problem. If our operation can't stand its own ground, and we depend on a name for cover, a fraud with lipstick is a fraud.  Just use names that are Aussum and be done. But that's for honest souls only I guess.

 

I have a friend from US Army who tells in his days serving down in C. America he saw our own DEA agents smuggling drugs, so I know our ops down there, down everywhere, all banker Ops under makeup and cracked bondo. I had always the same mind as Churchill's here; using astronomical names for these things. Its a bit pagan, but that's the west. Only the Israelis like to name ops or equipment -- and warplanes, after ye Olde Testament texts. I don't think we have the balls to name our Ops from New Testament stuff.

 

 

 

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Operation Sodom. Because raining death and shoving stuff up rectums referenced. Sounds good

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Operation Sodom. Because raining death and shoving stuff up rectums referenced. Sounds good

 

In this way of thinking I would suggesting Operation Fistful.

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TS projects are usually named randomly. Just stick with that. Look at all the "Have" projects like Have Quick. Maybe they can call it Have Gun Will Travel.

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They ever do a Have Beer program ?

 

Only at Dave's place!!

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Indeed. I have heard of the casualties by the morning hour, resulting in immediate authorization of Have More Beer.

 

 

Cancelling Have Beer would only throw away what has been already spent. Best to keep the program going.

 

 

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TS projects are usually named randomly.

 

yep.  There used to be a list of names/words that were combined to come up with them.  I was part of "Sharp Edge" which was the evacuation of the embassy in Monrovia at one point.  Then some political hack (oh, wait.....) came up with linking some objective to the name of the operation, which wasn't really a bad idea.  An example was Desert Shield, followed naturally by Desert Storm.  Defense of the US after 9/11 is Noble Eagle. 

 

not naming an operation is a really bad, purely political, idea with mostly administrative impacts but affects the tracking of appropriations for the operation.  A key issue. 

 

I like the ideas above! 

 

but looking at how it is all being done, and mis-managed by an increasingly inept WH - Operation Cluster, er, bomb, sounds appropriate.  The patch for that has already been in circulation since our idiotic non-war in Libya.........................

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