Pop queen Taylor Swift is known for her vague, oft ethereal-sounding song titles. Her most recent album, “Midnights,” boasts tracks with names like “Lavender Haze,” “Vigilante Sh-t” and “Midnight Rain.”
Reading such titles makes it hard not to liken the naming pattern to the U.S. military’s own operation naming conventions, which are typically indistinct adjective-noun combinations that evoke anything from absurd patriotism to complete confusion.
As such, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite U.S. military operation monikers that could easily pass as Taylor Swift song titles.
1. Red Dawn
While Operation Red Dawn was the mission that led to the capture of Iraq’s ousted leader, Saddam Hussein, it carries a rather lyrical ring to it and evokes a poetic morning of sorts. Plus, it’s derived from the 1984 film of the same name, starring impossibly tight jean-wearer Patrick Swayze.
2. Acoustic Kitty
The CIA in the Cold War attempted (and failed) to turn cats into the ultimate spies by implanting listening devices into their ears. Swift, meanwhile, is a known cat mother of three named Meredith Grey, Olivia Benson and Benjamin Button. The idea that she might sing about them isn’t terribly far afield.
In 2013, 12 men were arrested in Texas in connection “with a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana.” However, given Swift’s history of writing about men in comically stereotypical roles and gender norms, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a Swiftian song about a seductive lead with many lovers.
4. Morning Light
Operation Morning Light involved a 1978 search for a Soviet nuclear-powered spy satellite — Cosmos 954 — that accidentally entered northern Canadian airspace before crashing. The American and Canadian militaries worked together to collect its debris. For Swift, it would perhaps be a song about the refreshing experience of waking up to a new day after a heartbreaking evening.
5. Evening Light
Another “Light” mission, this 1980 iteration was an epic failure of the American military to end the Iran hostage crisis and rescue the 52 Americans trapped at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. For Swift, it’s aligned with Morning Light, and everyone knows how much she loves a theme — hello, “Midnights.”
6. All-American Tiger
In 2003, troops in Iraq were sent to patrol around the Euphrates River near Al-Qaim, where they found 12 people of interest. This, however, also sounds like the name of a Swiftian anthem — her answer to Katy Perry’s “Roar,” in which she sings, “I’ve got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire, ’cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar.”
7. Gothic Serpent
Unfortunately, this was the 1993 mission that led to the Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia, the subject of the film “Black Hawk Down.” Alas, it could also lend its name to a particularly angsty song about the vipers in the press that so often spew venom about Swift’s personal life.
8. Steel Curtain
This 2005 mission meant to create a blockade to tamp down on the flood of insurgents into Iraq from Syria. However, it’s also a great name for the walls a celebrity like Swift might put up to keep the conspiracy theory-hunting fans and ravenous tabloids from invading her privacy.
9. Just Cause
This is the name given to the 1989 U.S. mission to invade Panama and remove military dictator Gen. Manuel Noriega from power. For Swift, it could be about the deliverance of justice, or, with the addition of an apostrophe, a song about things she does “just ‘cause.”
If Taylor Swift’s got a blank space, baby, maybe she’ll write down some of these titles.
Observation Post is the Military Times one-stop shop for all things off-duty. Stories may reflect author observations.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.
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