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Desert Storm: War, Time, and Substitution Revisited - Course of the Air Campaign, Strike Results, Key Production Targets, Deployed Missile Forces,

ISBN: 9781521072523
Publisher: Independently published
Publication Date: 2017-04-15
Number of pages: 56
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  • Regular price $19.98

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Description


In Operation Desert Storm the coalition succeeded in rapidly crushing Iraq's military forces in Kuwait and southern Iraq, and airpower was a decisive factor in this success. The entire campaign lasted only 43 days and required only 100 hours of ground warfare to rout Iraqi forces completely. The campaign thus stands as an embodiment of the philosophy advocated in my chapter "On War, Time, and the Principle of Substitution." Although coalition air forces performed brilliantly, it later became apparent that we had not completely overcome the limitations of airpower revealed in past wars. The purpose of this article is to update our experience with substitution and outline which phenomena of past wars continued to play a moderating role during Desert Storm. Since I viewed this war from afar—not firsthand, as in Southeast Asia—I had to rely on other sources for data and discussions about the effectiveness of airpower. A primary source was the Gulf War Air Power Survey (GWAPS), commissioned by the secretary of the Air Force and directed by Prof Eliot Cohen of Johns Hopkins University.2 This five-volume study, produced by a team of civilian and military analysts, is probably the most comprehensive evaluation to date of airpower in the Gulf War. I gleaned additional detail from Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War by Rick Atkinson,3 whose interviews with some 500 participants of the war provide additional insight into aerial effectiveness and the interaction between the military services and their commanders.

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