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ISIS Fight: Is Operation No-Name Finally Getting A Name?

Every American military operation since 1989 has been given a name. The campaign against ISIS could soon have one, too.

ISIS Fight: Is Operation No-Name Finally Getting A Name?
Getty Images / Gokhan Sahin

The day after President Bush announced the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the mission was christened Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

Two months into the latest U.S. military campaign in Iraq and we have no such name, which is unusual considering every American military operation since since 1989 has been given one. (Video via U.S. Central Command

Even the current effort to combat Ebola in West Africa has a name.

Now, CNN is reporting the operation against ISIS could be getting an official codename as soon as Wednesday after a closed-door meeting of coalition members. But what took so long?  

To be fair, a good deal of thought has to go into deciding the shorthand. The name's going to show up in history books and on congressional budget requests, not to mention the Pentagon needs to pick a name that translates well into other languages.

Most importantly, the name-choosing process has a public relations element to it. Labels in the past have been carefully chosen to boost troop morale, shape public opinion and define the mission. (Video via U.S. Department of Defense)  

One possible nickname floated for the current mission apparently meets those standards. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Pentagon had considered Operation Inherent Resolve but it was deemed "kind of bleh."

Though the Obama administration's critics say the Pentagon’s reluctance to name the operation has less to do with coming up with a catchy name and more to do with politics.

ARMY GEN. BOB SCALES VIA FOX NEWS: "If you don't give it a name, that means that, in the eyes of the administration, it doesn't deserve even enough credit to have a title. That's, to me, astounding." 

A professor of military history at the University of Wisconsin boils down the president’s predicament this way: "By giving an operational name to the ISIS problem, I think it's potentially easier for his name to be associated with an operation that may, in a year, in two or five years, appear in retrospect to have been insufficient and unsuccessful." 

That said, if the administration can't settle on a name, there's always this option. 

LETTERMAN VIA CBS / "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN""Every military operation has to have a name so people can get behind it and they now have a name for the war against ISIS: 'Operation Hillary's Problem.'"

This video includes images from Getty Images.