DEBACLE: The Persian Gulf War Revealed Volume 2
Mark R. Gery, author
Volume 2 of DEBACLE starts with a complete account of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August, 1990. Then comes the first Bush administration's concerted efforts to promote and organize a massive US military response to the invasion, irrespective of the wishes of several Arab states, many members of the United Nations, and most of the American public. Concurrent with this is the large-scale preparation for war by the US military as well as the Iraqi side. The key goals for the war are explained in detail, as well as the White Houses efforts to block or otherwise derail all moves toward a diplomatic solution to the crisis. Volume 2 of DEBACLE then spells out the first phase of the Gulf War itself. Iraq's brazen and demoralizing SCUD attacks on Israel are depicted, along with the tremendous political tension between Tel Aviv and Washington that quickly took hold. Far from desperate moves to bring Israel into the war, the missile counter-attacks were actually astute moves by Saddam Hussein to cause pointed antipathy between two of his foes and to derail much of the coalition air attack on his country. The limits of the strategic air campaign against Iraq are then spelled out in depth, including the general failures of the Stealth bomber, Tomahawk cruise missiles, and the overall fruitless quest to get to Iraq's political leadership and its nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs. This is contrasted with the widespread damage done to Iraq's civilian infrastructure, including hundreds of civilian deaths from the air bombardment. The tactical operation to destroy Iraqi forces in southern Iraq is then laid out, highlighted by the immense difficulty the coalition had in gaining real-time bomb-damage assessments on Iraqi targets and providing timely attack coordinates to the pilots involved in the attack. Consequently, and also because of adept counter-measures by the Iraqis, the tactical phase of the air war is shown to be a general failure. Volume 2 ends with the surprise Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia, highlighted by the easy takeover of the city of Khafji near the Kuwaiti border. Iraqi tactics are shown to have capitalized on the failures of the US Air force to block the takeover, and additional failures by the Saudis and other Gulf states to retake the city quickly are presented. Placed throughout Volume 2 are examples of frustration and anger on the part of American military officials involved in the war effort as well as building concern and overall discontent on the part of President Bush and other key members of the White House. Also integrated throughout the volume are dozens of video links to relevant speeches, television news broadcasts, and battlefield footage relevant to the given text.