Storm over Iraq: Air Power and the Gulf War

Storm over Iraq: Air Power and the Gulf War

by Richard P. Hallion
     
 

Storm Over Iraq is an incisive account of the Persian Gulf War, which marked a revolution in military history: the ascendancy of air power in warfare. This book - the first detailed analysis of why the Gulf War could be fought the way it was - examines the planning and preparation for war, showing how the success of Desert Storm was the product of two decades of… See more details below

Overview

Storm Over Iraq is an incisive account of the Persian Gulf War, which marked a revolution in military history: the ascendancy of air power in warfare. This book - the first detailed analysis of why the Gulf War could be fought the way it was - examines the planning and preparation for war, showing how the success of Desert Storm was the product of two decades of profound changes in the American approach to defense, military doctrine, and combat operations. Richard P. Hallion argues that the development of radical military technologies, particularly those of stealth and precision-guided weapons, enabled military leaders to structure a campaign that shattered Iraq's military machine, completely fulfilling the promise that air power had held for more than seventy-five years. Hallion traces the history of air power, describing the rebuilding of the American military after Vietnam, the emergence of new doctrines and strategies for air and land warfare, and the various small wars of the 1970s and 1980s. In analyzing the onset of the Gulf crisis and the military operations in response to Saddam Hussein's aggression, he covers planning, strategy, and the conduct of the coalition air campaign and its impact on the Iraqi war machine. Finally, Hallion outlines the significance the war holds for national security planning, including the selection of appropriate forms of military force, the acquisition of new weapons, the pursuit of new technologies, and the effect of air power in confronting global crises. Detailed appendixes examine specific issues, including "smart" weapons, advanced electronic command and control, and the evolution of high-performance aircraft and missiles. The book is meticulously documented and profusely illustrated with many photos not previously seen as well as detailed maps, tables, charts, and graphs.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hallion, a former professor at the Army War College, argues persuasively that the Gulf war confirmed a major transformation in the nature of combat: the dominance of air power. Tracing the history of air power through its effective application in WW II and its misuse in Vietnam, he discusses the development of superfighters and air-to-air missiles in the post-Vietnam decade, analyzes the impact of the Army's AirLand Battle doctrine, then explains why the Air Force's 1990 white paper Global Reach-Global Power provoked an intense debate between air-power modernists and seapower traditionalists. Finally, he describes the whirlwind of destruction sent forth by U.S. air contingents during Desert Storm, leaving no doubt that on those rare occasions when American ground forces made contact with the Iraqi army, the U.S. weapon was almost invariably an air weapon: plane, helicopter or missile. Groundforce traditionalists and advocates of naval power-projection will take issue with Hallion's work, but he demonstrates authoritatively that air power was the decisive factor in the Gulf war. Illustrated. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Military historian Hallion has written the definitive text on the role of air power in the Gulf War. His access to recently declassified materials and to current postwar analyses has significantly dated both Norman Friedman's Desert Victory (Naval Inst. Press, 1991) and U.S. News & World Report's Triumph Without Victory (Random House, 1992). The early chapters detail the role of air power from World War I through Noriega's capture in Panama. The main body of the text describes the air war in the Persian Gulf and shows how U.S. Air Force planning and modern technology drastically shortened the final land phase of combat. The most interesting sections are the conclusion and appendixes, which offer much new information from personal sources and military studies not readily available to the public. Though Bert Kinzey's Fury of Desert Storm: The Air Campaign (TAB, 1991) offers additional statistical information and much better photographic coverage, this solid work defines the thesis that ``air power alone can win any war'' and is recommended for all Gulf War and all military collections.-- Richard Nowicki, Emerson Vocational H.S., Buffalo, N.Y.
Booknews
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 audience. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
“Authoritative and absorbing. . . . Hallion’s argument is provocative and challenges many current perceptions of military power projection. Well written, timely and incisive . . . . A rare find.”—Military Review

“An important study. . . . Hallion traces the evolution of air power doctrine from World War I to [the Gulf War]. It is a story of aspirations and expectations that for many years exceeded the reach of available technology, giving rise to a widespread skepticism about the potential of strategic bombardment.”—Journal of Military History

“Superb . . . [Storm over Iraq] may be the benchmark by which we measure understanding of the debate over the revolution in warfare that was heralded by Operation Desert Storm.”—Airpower Journal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560981909
Publisher:
Smithsonian Institution Press
Publication date:
10/01/1992
Series:
Smithsonian History of Aviation Ser.
Pages:
400

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