Operation INHERENT RESOLVE is the name for our military intervention against ISIL. Obama selected this strategy because it was his least worst policy option. In truth, we should call this Operation LEAST WORST POLICY OPTION or Operation NO ONE HAD A BETTER IDEA. However, I understand that military brass do not to wear the battle ribbon for Operation NO ONE HAD A BETTER IDEA on their chest.
According to United States Central Command (CENTCOM) the name INHERENT RESOLVE reflects our unwavering resolve to eliminate the terrorist group ISIL and the threat they pose to Iraq, the region and the wider international community.
After pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan I guess we need to reassure our allies of our unwavering resolve. But I wonder if Operation INHERENT RESOLVE conveys the right message. Inherent means innate, intrinsic and ingrained . Should we boast that our resolve is based neither on principles nor logic but is merely congenital? Operation OUR RESOLVE MAKES NO SENSE BUT WE WERE BORN THAT WAY?
To reassure our allies how about Operation HEY, WE REALLY MEAN IT THIS TIME. WE'RE NOT KIDDING?
Who thinks up these names? Our adventure in Afghanistan was labeled Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Anyone with a modest knowledge of Afghan history knows that their only enduring national qualities are corruption, chaos and xenophobia. How about Operation TOLERATE MODERATE CORRUPTION followed by Operation LET'S PRETEND THE AFGHANS LIKE US AND WE HAVE THINGS UNDER CONTROL?
Better yet Operation ENDURING CHAOS. We could now claim success. "As we withdraw our troops from Afghanistan," President Obama stated, "we rest assured that chaos will prevail in Afghanistan not only in our lifetimes, but in those of our children and grandchildren."
When Reagan invaded Grenada he launched Operation URGENT FURY. How can our government arouse fury over a country they did not know existed? Also, isn't all fury urgent? Who has ever experienced lackadaisical fury? Urgent? Fury? This should have been named Operation CAKEWALK or Operation LET'S INVADE A PISS ANT COUNTRY.
We used to have good names for military operations: Operation OVERLORD for the invasion of German-occupied France. The D-day landings were called Operation NEPTUNE. These are good names. I can imagine General Motors unveiling a Buick Overlord or a Chevrolet Neptune. Even as dumb as they are, GM executives would never introduce the new, groundbreaking car of the future: THE CADILLAC INHERENT RESOLVE.
I reluctantly accept that CENTCOM will continue to name operations. So I brace myself for operations named to show we are tough (Operation MAKE MY DAY), resolute (Operation STEADFAST IMPLACABLE FIRMNESS), patriotic (Operation O'ER THE RAMPARTS WE WATCHED WERE SO GALLANTLY STREAMING ABOVE THE FRUITED PLAIN), honest (Operation I CANNOT TELL A LIE) and informatively descriptive (Operation WE CAN'T FOOL ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME, BUT WE CAN TRY).