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Desert Snowstorm: Revisionism and the Gulf War

  • Sanford Lakoff (a1)

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1. Graubard, Stephen R., Mr. Bush's War: Adventures in the Politics of Illusion (New York, 1992); Smith, Jean Edward, George Bush's War (New York, 1992).

2. Hilsman, Roger, George Bush vs. Saddam Hussein: Military Success! Political Failure? (Novato, Calif., 1992).

3. Freedman, Lawrence and Karsh, Efraim, The Gulf Conflict, 1990–1991: Diplomacy and War in the New World Order (Princeton, 1993), xxxi.

4. Ibid., 7. The claim for Thatcher's influence is supported by some White House aides but contested by others, who say that Bush had already made up his mind to resist the invasion before he met with her at Aspen. See U.S. News and World Report, Triumph Without Victory (New York, 1992), 62.

5. The Times (London), 18 January 1992, 11.

6. For the DOD version, see the report in Science, vol. 26, 17 April 1992, 313; for Postol's views, see his “Lessons of the Gulf War Experience with Patriot,” International Security 16 (Winter 1991/92): 119–71, and reports of his findings in Science, vol. 52, 3 May 1991, 64–641, and vol. 254, 8 November 1991, 791. For an analysis of the air war, see Hallion, Richard, Storm Over Iraq: Air Power and the Gulf War (Washington, D.C., 1992) and the report on the summary of the classified six-thousand-page Gulf War Air Power Survey, conducted by Eliot A. Cohen for the Department of Defense, in Barton Gellman, “Study on Air War Points Out Limits of Air Power,” Washington Post, 13 May 1993, A6. For more general analyses of the military campaign, see Rochlin, Gene I. and Demchak, Chris C., Lessons of the Gulf War: Ascendant Technology and Declining Capability, University of California Institute of International Studies Policy Papers in International Affairs, No. 39 (Berkeley, 1991), Blackwell, James, Thunder in the Desert: The Strategy and Tactics of the Persian Gulf War (New York, 1991), Mazarr, Michael J., Snider, Don M., and Blackwell, James A., Desert Storm: The Gulf War and What We Learned (Boulder, Colo., 1993), Friedman, Norman, Desert Victory: The War for Kuwait (Annapolis, 1991), and Atkinson, Rick, Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War (Boston, 1993).

7. Gellman, “Study on Air War.” See also Miller, Mark Crispin, “Operation Desert Sham,New York Times, 24 June 1992, A17.

8. U.S. News and World Report, Triumph Without Victory, 404–8.

9. Hilsman, George Bush vs. Saddam Hussein, 207–9.

10. Gellman, “Study on Air War.”

11. Darwish, Adel and Alexander, Gregory, Unholy Babylon (New York, 1991), 228.

12. Bulloch, John and Morris, Harvey, Saddam's War: The Origins of the Kuwait Conflict and the International Response (Boston, 1991).

13. Freedman and Karsh, The Gulf Conflict, 428. For an examination of Hussein's psychological and material motivations, see also Algosaibi, Ghazi A., The Gulf Crisis: An Attempt to Understand (London, 1993).

14. See Ajami, Fuad, The Arab Predicament: Arab Political Thought and the Practice Since 1967 (Cambridge, 1982), 4243.

15. For the varying estimates, see U.S. News and World Report, Triumph Without Victory, 20–21, Henderson, Simon, Instant Empire: Saddam Hussein's Ambition for Iraq (San Francisco, 1991), 225, and Darwish and Alexander, Unholy Babylon, 232, 239.

16. See Baquet, Dean, “Documents Charge Prewar Iraq Swap: U.S. Food for Arms,New York Times, 27 April 1992, 1–C9.

17. Henderson, Instant Empire, 218–19.

18. Ibid.

19. Ibid., and Table 1, p. 46.

20. See Darwish and Alexander, Unholy Babylon, 257.

21. See Henderson, Instant Empire, 227–28, Darwish and Alexander, Unholy Babylon, 277.

22. Karsh, Efraim and Rautsi, Inari, Saddam Hussein: A Political Biography (New York, 1991), 201.

23. Darwish and Alexander, Unholy Babylon, 246.

24. Ibrahim, Yousef M., “Rulers of Kuwait on Spending Spree, Raising Debt Fears,New York Times, 4 May 1992, 1A5.

25. Henderson, Instant Empire, 228.

26. Darwish and Alexander, Unholy Babylon, 137.

27. New York Times, 23 September 1990.

28. U.S. News and World Report, Triumph Without Victory, 65.

29. Smith, George Bush's War, 2.

30. American public opinion fluctuated dramatically, however, with differing casualty estimates. A poll in early January 1991 showed support for the war at 63 percent, but this figure declined to 44 percent on the assumption that one-thousand U.S. soldiers would be killed, and to 35 percent on the assumption that deaths would go as high as ten-thousand. Cited by Freedman and Karsh, The Gulf Conflict, 284.

31. U.S. News and World Report, Triumph Without Victory, 32.

32. Freedman and Karsh, The Gulf Conflict, 107.

33. Ibid., 72.

34. See Darwish and Alexander, Unholy Babylon, 291.

35. See Freedman, Lawrence and Karsh, Efraim, “How Kuwait Was Won: Strategy in the Gulf War,International Security 16 (Fall 1991): 1213.

36. U.S. News and World Report, Triumph Without Victory, 83–85.

37. Cited by Freedman and Karsh, The Gulf War, 412.

38. Hilsman, George Bush vs. Saddam Hussein, 224.

39. John H. Cushman, Jr., “Pentagon Report on Persian Gulf War: A Few Surprises and Some Silences,” New York Times, 11 April 1992, 4. A postwar survey found that the actual number of Iraqi forces in Kuwait was initially closer to 420,000, and dropped to 336,000 due to desertions following allied air attacks. See Gellman, “Study on Air War.”

40. Freedman and Karsh, The Gulf War, 98, 341.

41. According to the Defense Department-sponsored postwar study. See Gellman, “Study on Air War.”

42. AS Bulloch and Morris point out, Saddam's War, 1182, “[Hussein] wanted not just to be the dominant regional power, the protector of the Gulf; he sought to become the leader of the Arabs, and from that position to build a wider Islamic alliance which would become a new force in international politics.”

43. Hilsman, George Bush vs. Saddam Hussein, 68–69, 228.

44. Lewis, Bernard, “Rethinking the Middle East,Foreign Affairs 71 (Fall 1992): 112.

45. Quoted from the Baathist newspaper Al-Thawra (Baghdad) by Karsh and Rautis, Saddam Hussein, 57.

46. Ibid., 15.

47. Ibid., 219.

48. al-Khalil, Samir [Kanan Makiya], Republic of Fear (New York, 1990), and Makiya, Kanan, Cruelty and Silence: War, Tyranny, Uprising, and the Arab World (New York, 1993).

49. Paul Lewis, “Iraq's A-Bomb Capability Overrated, U.N. Now Says,” New York Times, 20 May 1992, A7.

50. Freedman and Karsh, The Gulf War, 320–21.

51. Ibid., 458.

52. Ibid., 441.

53. U.S. News and World Report, Triumph Without Victory, 172.

54. SirHoward, Michael, “A 20th-century Waterloo?,” The Times (London), 18 January 1992.

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Desert Snowstorm: Revisionism and the Gulf War

  • Sanford Lakoff (a1)

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