Obama’s new Iraq operation needs a name! A Loop Contest!


President  Obama at the White House on Tuesday announcing the dispatch of military advisers to Iraq. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Obama’s announcement Thursday that he was sending hundreds of military advisers to help the Iraqi army — and leaving open the possibility of “targeted and precise military action” — does not have a name, it seems.

Most everything the military does has some cool name. Operations in Iraq have  had a bunch. There was Operation Desert Storm in 1991 to kick Saddam out of Kuwait; Operation Provide Comfort that same year, to deliver relief and protect the Kurds in northern Iraq; Operation Iraqi Freedom, the invasion to kick out Saddam and bring democracy to Iraq from 2003-2011.

Then there was Operation Just Cause in Panama in late 1991, to kick out dictator Manuel Noriega. (Some wags starting calling it “Just Because.”) Back in 1983, we had Operation Urgent Fury, apparently to save some U.S. students in tiny Grenada. There have been  scores of names for past military operations.

(For a deeper dive on battle names, here’s colleague Christian Davenport in 2010 on how they are picked.)

So far, it doesn’t seem Obama’s plan has gotten a moniker. But Loop Fans can help! What should we call this effort?

Send your suggestions to: intheloop@washpost.com. Subject line: Iraq Operation Name: The top 10  winners will receive an  official — and highly coveted — “In the Loop” T-shirt.

Be sure to provide your name, profession, mailing address and T-shirt size (M, L or XL), in case you’re a winner. You must also include a phone number — home, work, or, preferably, cell — to be eligible. Submit entries by close of business Friday, June 27.

(Note: there will be 11 winners this time because we got an entry even before we launched the contest. The entry from a member of the Armed Forces who might not want to be identified. His suggestion?: “Operation Shiite Storm.”)

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.
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