Sure, you know about Desert Shield, the deployment to the Persian Gulf that followed Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. (Remember when Iraq used to be a military aggressor? Good times.) And Desert Storm, of course, was the ensuing war. But can you identify the objective of Desert Fury? Or Desert Tighten? (Hint: It wasn’t the result of eating too many MREs.) Military expert William M. Arkin explains these and more than 3,000 other operations in his compendium, Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs and Operations in the 9/11 World. Arkin handily organizes this mysterious and vast information not only by mission name, but by also country (I’m shaking my fist at you, Equatorial Guinea), cast of characters (learn what role the Kennedy Center plays in national defense), and a glossary. Discuss Exercise Grecian Firebolt like a real CENTCOM ACSI after hearing Arkin speak at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Janet Hopf)