Operation Odyssey Dawn: What’s in a Name?

A variety of people from both sides of the political spectrum have made implications of similarity between President Barack Obama’s decision to use military force in Libya and decisions by prior President George W. Bush.

There’s even the second-guessing of the name.

Few people might remember the original name for what eventually became Operation Enduring Freedom was actually Operation Infinite Justice.  After reported outcry from (or sensitivity toward) the Islamic perspective that only God can mete out justice, the name was ultimately changed.

Similarly, Operation Odyssey Dawn has been criticized because “odyssey” implies a long, wandering, and drawn-out struggle, not a brief intervention as the war in Libya is being framed.  (An unfortunate moniker, given Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently said no one has “any idea” how long the US will be involved in Libya.)

In both cases, names were chosen by groups in the military, not politicians, and they were chosen based on decades-old criteria, not linguistic chicanery.

Still, everybody’s a critic:

As the U.S. military now concedes, perhaps “Operation Odyssey Dawn” wasn’t the best name for this supposedly in-and-out mission.

“We probably should have chosen something else, because people have read into that — some type of long, enduring voyage,” Eric Elliott, spokesman for U.S. Africa Command, told FoxNews.com.

Read the full article.

Via Maggie’s Notebook.