Operation Desert Storm - the Air
Although it had its share of land and sea engagements, the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91 was
preeminently an aerial conflict, one in which the Allied forces were able to put into
practice an evolving theory of warcraft that favored the destruction of things over people
and the control rather than the conquest of an enemy power.
From a technological standpoint, writes U.S.
Air Force historian Richard Hallion, the Allied forces were inordinately successful.
He traces the history of air-combat techniques employed in battle over Iraq,
analyzes the weaponry used (including the remarkable F117A stealth
fighter), and points out the shortcomings in the Allies' performance, notably in
combat search and rescue. An incisive account of the Persian Gulf War,
which marked the ascendancy of air power in warfare. Hallion traces the
history of air power up to the planning, preparation, and conduct of the war, and also
outlines the significance the war holds for national security planning.
Detailed appendices further examine specific issues, while the entire volume is
meticulously documented and thoroughly illustrated. Accessible to a broad
War in the Persian Gulf
by Williamson Murray
Murray (director, military history and
strategic studies program, Ohio State U.) analyzes the Coalition's conduct of air
operations during the war against Iraq in 1990 and 1991 in this revised study originally
written for the US Air Force. He examines how
the concentration of air power in the Gulf both helped and hindered the Coalition from
reaching its objectives. Includes b&w photos and maps, and an appendix listing
disposition of aircraft. Air War in the Persian Gulf is the definitive
official history of the war from the American perspective by one of today's foremost
Pursuit of Unity in Command and Control, 1942-1991
(A Rand Research Study)
by James A. Winnefeld, Dana J. Johnson
With the current downsizing of the U.S.
military putting a premium on joint response to threats, this landmark study of joint U.S.
air operations over the past fifty years provides timely information on a topic of vital
concern. The most comprehensive single-volume discussion available, it
examines six major air campaigns - Midway, the Solomon Islands, Korea, Vietnam, El
Dorado Canyon (Libya), and Desert Storm - in a search for lessons learned that might
be applied in the planning and organizing of future joint operations.
focus of the book is on the differences - at times bitter acrimony - among the services on
the control and employment of theater air forces. With each service having an
"air force" of its own, each with a distinctive doctrine, the study confirms
that their views are often diametrically opposite and that joint doctrine has been slow to
evolve. The authors, RAND Corporation analysts, are refreshingly objective and
clear in addressing the problems and issues that continue to hamper effective joint air
operations but point to the progress shown in Desert Storm, as indicated by their
interviews with some fifty airmen, planners, and major commanders of the operation.
Their recommendations for the future take advantage of the diversity inherent in U.S. air
power while minimizing sources of disharmony. Based on a RAND study published
in 1991, this book has been expanded and revised to appeal to a broader audience and
promises to stimulate discussion and debate on how to optimize the effectiveness of U.S.
forces facing cuts in funding. It is must reading not only for military
professionals but for military history enthusiasts and everyone interested in the nature
of America's future air battles.
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