On Course to Desert Storm: The United States Navy and the Persian Gulfby Michael A. Palmer
It is most appropriate that this study, On Course to Desert Storm, is appearing at a time when the Persian Gulf is of special concern to the United States. Michael Palmer's purpose is to go behind the recent headlines associated with the crisis that began when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in1990. The author explains the military and political factors that affected American policy in the region and led to the establishment of the U.S. Navy's Middle East Force in 1949. He then traces the evolution of this small force over the ensuing decades. Dr. Palmer shows that the Navy periodically sent major reinforcements to the region during the era of tension and war that followed the abdication of the Shah of Iran in 1979. Starting in the late 1970s these reinforcements included American carrier battle forces, which thereafter became a familiar sight in the North Arabian Sea approaches to the Persian Gulf.
Dr. Palmer's broad grasp of naval history makes him exceptionally well qualified to write this far-reaching history. His previous writings include an important study of an undeclared naval war that an infant U.S. Navy waged from 1798 to 1801 against France. The author also contributed a distinguished study of the development of U.S. naval strategy in the years following the Second World War. While preparing On Course to Desert Storm, Dr. Palmer visited the Joint Task Force, Middle East. The opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of U.S. naval operations in the Persian Gulf added immeasurably to the author's understanding of the subject matter covered in this book.
Dean C. Allard Director of Naval History United States Navy
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