The Gulf War
The Gulf War
The fog of war is inevitably followed by the "fog of analysis." This has certainly been true of the most important military conflict of the post- Cold War era, the Gulf War between Iraq and the allied coalition led by the United States. A variety of studies of this conflict have appeared, many within just months of the end of hostilities and many with the obvious weaknesses resulting from the rush to publish. Now in this fourth volume of the acclaimed Lessons of Modern War series, military analyst Anthony H. Cordesman, with defense consultant Abraham R. Wagner, has produced what must be considered the definitive study of the Gulf War. Anthony Cordesman draws careful conclusions based on extensive research from a wide variety of sources, including newly declassified documents; official military reports; informal review and commentary by U. S. military services and British, French, Egyptian, and Saudi officers; interviews; and field research in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and southern Iraq as well as Cordesman's own firsthand observations of the unfolding battle for Kuwait in his capacity as military analyst for ABC News and a year of research on the war as fellow at the Wilson Center. Abraham Wagner contributes his unique experience in intelligence and command-and-control issues. The book examines in unprecedented detail the efforts of all the members of the coalition, not just the United States. The authors are careful to distinguish between the general lessons about warfare that can be drawn from the Gulf War and those that are unique to this conflict. Throughout the book, the authors offer enough data to enable the reader to consider alternatives to Cordesman and Wagner's own highly authoritative conclusions. The many lessons presented in this book cover the whole range of political, strategic, tactical, technical, and human elements of this conflict. The authors' analysis is based on the dynamic interaction of all of these factors, not just static bean-counting. The central lesson is that this highly complex web of human and technological developments has resulted in a new "military revolution" of profound significance for the history of modern war. Lessons of Modern War, Volume IV: The Gulf War explodes many myths, offers sometimes controversial conclusions, and is essential reading for anyone concerned about the "revolution in military affairs"; peacekeeping; Gulf and energy security issues; and the new, but still dangerous, world in which we live.