Sometimes it takes a while for the PR folks to come up with a branding scheme for another US war.
In the recent past, we had Desert Shield, which gave way to Desert Storm, when the US first attacked Iraq in 1990. Very exciting, like a storm in the desert. Then came “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” A little less dramatic but it got the point across: “we come to give you freedom whether you want it or not.” As it turned out, there was little real freedom produced by Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Now, two months after the US began bombing Iraq again — and Syria as well — Pentagon branders have agreed on a name for President Obama’s determination to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (or Islamic State, or ISIL, or whatever you want to call it).
The name: “Operation Inherent Resolve.”
It was reported that at the first of October when this name was first proposed to describe the operation it was rejected. That is not hard to believe. The phrase seems muddled and meaningless. Hardly the shining sword of freedom striking terror in the hearts of miscreants wherever they may lurk.
The Pentagon nevertheless is making lemonade from this lemon of a war branding, with a press release from US Central Command explaining that:
[T]he name INHERENT RESOLVE is intended to reflect the unwavering resolve and deep commitment of the U.S. and partner nations in the region and around the globe to eliminate the terrorist group ISIL and the threat they pose to Iraq, the region and the wider international community
It also symbolizes the willingness and dedication of coalition members to work closely with our friends in the region…
This is a bit much to swallow. Turkey, while one of these “inherently resolved” partners, is, it seems, far more interested in bombing the Kurds who are fighting ISIS than bombing ISIS itself. They also demand that the US attack and overthrow the Assad government in Syria, which is the main body on the ground fighting ISIS.
How can one be a partner in the fight against ISIS while being completely focused on destroying the enemies of ISIS? Turkey even refused to strike ISIS when it was advancing on a Kurdish village on the Syrian border. They preferred to wait for the Kurds to be slaughtered by ISIS.
And when the warmongering Susan Rice, the president’s National Security Advisor, announced over the weekend that Turkey had finally allowed the US to use its base on Turkish soil to attack Iraq and Syria, the Turkish government said, “not so fast!”
What’s in a name? Not much, perhaps. But it seems the muddled incoherence of the “Inherent Resolve” label for the latest US war is indeed appropriate for the muddled incoherence of the operation itself…
I am on Twitter.7:08 am on October 16, 2014 Email Daniel McAdams