Name Game

By Tony Bertuca / October 3, 2014 at 6:50 PM

U. S. Central Command is considering a formal name for the current operations in Iraq and Syria, where the military has been conducting airstrikes and surveillance since August.

Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon's chief spokesman, told reporters today there has been 248 coalition airstrikes in Iraq and 86 in Syria.

“We believe now the mission has grown to a scope, to an extent, where, perhaps, it's feasible to take a look at naming it; putting a structure around it that can allow for more dedicated staffing, resourcing, command and control, organization,” he said. “That's what's being considered now. That's the impetus for thinking about a name, not because we're trying to design a new patch to put on a uniform.”

Kirby disputed the assertion of an annonymous defense official in an Oct. 3 Wall Street Journal report who said the Pentagon has resisted naming the operation thus far for fear of “owning it.”

"Anybody who'd suggest that we aren't willing to own what we're doing in Iraq and Syria is clearly misinformed,” Kirby said, adding it was a “slap in the face” to military personnel on the front lines.

The Pentagon has also established a new website -- – to track U.S. operations in Iraq and Syria.

“The site contains an interactive map which will detail continued airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, including mission objectives, the number of airstrikes and aircraft utilized,” Kirby said.