Although the president has authorized the deployment of about 905 U.S. troops to Iraq, and the military is now conducting airstrikes and airdrops there, the operations still have no official name.
The lack of a name led to some interesting back-and-forth between curious reporters and Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren at the Defense Department's daily briefing on Tuesday.
Reporter #1: Back to Iraq, Does DOD have a name for the operation?
Warren: This is so far not a named operation.
Reporter #1: Why is that? What's the protocol?
Warren: I don't know, frankly, why we decide to name things. That's a good question.
Reporter #2: Are there any legal authorities that come along with the naming of an operation, or is that purely just a -- flourish that the Department likes to add?
Reporter #3: Is it unusual to do a military operation without a name? Because it certainly seems that way to us.
Warren: Yea. These are good questions, I'll have to look into that one for you, I hadn't really thought about it.
Reporter #4: Is that [Defense Secretary Chuck HagelChuck HagelWho will temper Trump after he takes office? Hagel: I’m ‘encouraged’ by Trump’s Russia outreach Want to 'drain the swamp'? Implement regular order MORE]'s choice, or [U.S. Central Command commander Gen. Lloyd Austin's] choice? Or do you know who's the 'naming authority' [laughter from reporters].
Warren: The initial naming authority I would say rarely is named out of the [Office of the Secretary of Defense] side, so it's the military -- the uniformed side that would do it, so either CENTCOM or the Joint Staff.
Reporter #3: What will you call it five years from now when you reference it?
Warren: Actually, perhaps we'll crowdsource this one.
Suggested names on Twitter so far:
Operation: Targeted Iraq Strikes And No Boots On The Ground I Swear To God— Paul Szoldra (@PaulSzoldra) August 8, 2014
Word in that the troops at war have beat DoD in coming up with a name for this phase of the Iraq campaign: 'Operation Extended Warranty.'— Ward Carroll (@wardcarroll) August 10, 2014
@JonahNRO "Operation IS No More"— BACCV (@BACCV) August 12, 2014