To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The speed of the Coalition forces’ victory in Operation ‘Desert Storm’ – less than four days of ground combat sufficed to drive the Iraqis into headlong retreat from Kuwait – seems to have taken the American administration by surprise: it had not yet decided when and how to terminate the war. On 27 February 1991 President George H. W. Bush, apparently without directly consulting his theatre commanders, declared that a ceasefire would take effect at midnight – allegedly because the ground war would by then have lasted exactly 100 hours. It proved a catastrophic decision for three reasons. First, contrary to early reports, Coalition forces had not yet sealed the border between Kuwait and Iraq, allowing many of Saddam Hussein's troops to escape; second, the elite Republican Guard units had largely extricated themselves and remained ready and able to protect the regime against domestic opposition; third, although Kuwait was now free, the war had done nothing to improve ‘the security and stability of the Persian Gulf’ – one of the president's stated war aims. In the armistice arranged shortly afterwards, the Americans handed their vanquished adversaries another priceless asset: the continued use of their helicopters. So when the Kurds in the north and the Shi‘a population of southern Iraq, trusting in earlier American promises of support, rebelled against Saddam Hussein, he easily crushed them, using chemical as well as conventional weapons to massacre tens of thousands – some of them before the eyes of outraged American troops.
This anthology is the first sustained examination of American involvement in World War II through an environmental lens. World War II was a total and global war that involved the extraction, processing, and use of vast quantities of natural resources. The wartime military-industrial complex, the 'Arsenal of Democracy,' experienced tremendous economic growth and technological development, employing resources at a higher intensity than ever before. The war years witnessed transformations in American agriculture; the proliferation of militarized landscapes; the popularization of chemical and pharmaceutical products; a rapid increase in energy consumption and the development of nuclear energy; a remaking of the nation's transportation networks; a shift in population toward the Sunbelt and the West Coast; a vast expansion in the federal government, in conjunction with industrial firms; and the emergence of environmentalism. World War II represented a quantitative and qualitative leap in resource use, with lasting implications for American government, science, society, health, and ecology.
Since the Vietnam War, the US Army has struggled with deep cultural issues that have impacted the ability of its leadership to think strategically. In the years following its defeat in Vietnam, the army reestablished its cultural foundations by revamping its doctrine, training, recruiting, professional military education, and equipment with a singular focus on conventional combat. These advances, along with development of advanced information systems and guided munitions, led to victory in the Gulf War, but blinded army leaders as to the larger realm of warfare. The invasion of Iraq seemed wildly successful initially, but senior policy makers assumed peace would follow and turn battlefield triumph into political success. When instead the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq morphed into guerrilla struggles, army leaders were at a loss. Since then, the army has undergone a renaissance of sorts, creating new doctrine and organizations for counterinsurgency warfare and retraining its members to adapt to irregular conflict. It remains to be seen whether these innovations will be permanent, or if the army will slide back into the culturally ingrained mind-set that the only wars worth fighting are large, conventional conflicts. Culture evolves slowly; it remains to be seen whether the army can overcome its anti-intellectual, heroic mind-set in favor of a more balanced mentality.