We’ve all heard from the Obama WH about the fact the the Great War on Terror, sometimes called The Long War, ended shortly after Obama took office in 2010, as was evidenced by the renaming of it to “Overseas Contingency Operations” last year.
Now after seven bloody years and by some counts over a million Iraqi deaths the Obama Administration has announced that Operation Iraqi Freedom is, according to the White House and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, finally over as well.
…the Obama administration has decided to give the war in Iraq — currently known as Operation Iraqi Freedom — a new name.
The new name: “Operation New Dawn.”
In a February 17, 2010, memo to the Commander of Central Command, Gen. David Petraeus, Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the “requested operation name change is approved to take effect 1 September 2010, coinciding with the change of mission for U.S. forces in Iraq.”
You can read the memo — a copy of which was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen – HERE [.pdf].
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell had no comment on the memo, saying it speaks for itself.
The move has met with some criticism. In a statement, Brian Wise, executive director of Military Families United said, “You cannot end a war simply by changing its name. Despite the Administration’s efforts to spin realities on the ground, their efforts do not change the situation at hand in Iraq. Operational military decisions should not be made for purposes of public relations, as the Secretary of Defense cites, but should be made in the best interests of our nation, the troops on the ground and their families back home.”
If Gates was hoping that “Operation New Dawn” would convey a new period in the US-Iraq relationship, it’s not clear that was the best choice of name.
After all, Operation New Dawn was the name for the bloody and grueling 2004 battle for Fallujah.