40 Interesting Government and Military Operations

1Operation Restore Hope

Operation Restore Hope

George H.W. Bush ordered emergency airlifts of food and supplies to Somalia in 1992. “Operation Restore Hope,” was initiated to help the starving country by protecting food shipments from the warlords. By helping to end the famine, American forces saved around 100,000 lives.

2Operation Yellow Ribbon

Operation Yellow Ribbon

On September 11th, 2001 when the US Airspace was shut down following the attacks, Canada took in 255 flights bound for the USA making this known as Operation Yellow Ribbon. There were over 30,000 people on all 200 flights. Many Canadians hosted the passengers at home for several days.

3Operation Popeye

Operation Popeye

During the Vietnam War, the U.S. carried out Operation Popeye, a "cloud-seeding" mission to stimulate clouds in Vietnam to increase rainfall and lengthen the monsoon season. After the operation was declassified in 1974, the United Nations banned the weaponization of weather.

4Operation Iraqi Liberation

Operation Iraqi Liberation

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was initially called "Operation Iraqi Liberation", but was quickly changed to "Operation Iraqi Freedom" due to the acronym spelling out "OIL".

5Operation Fish

Operation Fish

The largest movement of physical wealth in history was during World War 2. “Operation Fish” had 186,332 gold bars and more than 8 million ounces of gold coins sent to Canada from the United Kingdom with not even one crate or treasury bill going missing.

6Project Eldest Son

Project Eldest Son

The US government had a secret military operation called “Project Eldest Son” during the Vietnam War. It involved leaving behind thousands of rounds of faulty ammo that would backfire in Vietcong AKs while also leaking fake documents that questioned quality control in Chinese munitions factories.

7Operation Solomon

Operation Solomon

The record for most passengers ever carried by a commercial airliner is 1,088, by an El Al Boeing 747 during Operation Solomon, which involved the evacuation of Ethiopian Jews from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and started on 24 May 1991. This figure included two babies born on the flight.

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8Operation Vegetarian

Operation Vegetarian

“Operation Vegetarian” was a 1942 plan by the British military to drop linseed cakes infected with anthrax on German fields where they would be eaten by cows and thus infect the civilian population that ate them. The test site in Scotland remained uninhabitable until the 1990s.

9Operation Rocky Top

Operation Rocky Top

Operation Rocky Top was an FBI mission that discovered corruption in the Tennessee State government in late 1980s. With the help of a first-year state representative, the FBI had arrested 50 people including state officials, which led to two state officials committing suicide to avoid trial.

10Operation Mockingbird

Operation Mockingbird

Operation Mockingbird was a classified CIA program spanning from the '50s through to late '70s which was intended to influence the media and create ‘a propaganda network’ of leading American journalists. CIA recruited leading American journalists into a network to help present the CIA's views, funding student/cultural organizations, and magazines as fronts.

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