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Iraq wants Kuwait to forgive debts Iraq owes from Iran-Iraq War. ... Iraq accuses Kuwait of overproduction of oil/theft of Iraqi oil. The Road to War ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Desert%20Storm

Desert Storm
  • Lsn 25

The Middle East
  • Majority of region administered by Britain until
  • Long-standing disputes between Iraq and Kuwait.
  • Iraq argues Kuwait is an Iraqi province.
  • Iraq mobilized and prepared for invasion in 1961
    immediately after Kuwait was granted independence
    by Britain.
  • Iraq wants Kuwait to forgive debts Iraq owes from
    Iran-Iraq War.
  • Kuwait actually owes Iraq for defending it
    against Iran.
  • Iraq accuses Kuwait of overproduction of
    oil/theft of Iraqi oil.

The Road to War
  • March 1990 - US Central Command (CENTCOM)
    conducts a Command Post Exercise with a Iraqi
    invasion scenario.
  • July 25 - US Ambassador April Galaspie tells Iraq
    that their dispute with Kuwait is not a US matter
  • Aug 2 - Iraq invades Kuwait.
  • Aug 7 - Two squadrons of USAF F-15s are first US
    forces to arrive in Saudi Arabia.
  • Aug 9 - First elements of 82nd Abn arrive in
    Saudi Arabia.
  • Aug 25, 1990 - UN authorizes use of force.
  • Oct 31 - President Bush gives go ahead for two
    corps offensive and authorizes doubling of force.
  • Nov 29 - UN Resolution 678 authorizes all force
    needed to expel Iraq if they are not out by Jan
    15, 1991.

Combat Operations
  • Jan 17, 1991 - Air war begins
  • Feb 23 - Ground war begins
  • Feb 28 - Cease fire takes effect
  • March 2 - 24th ID fights last engagement of the
  • March 3 - Schwarzkopf accepts Iraqi surrender at

US Army Doctrine AirLand Battle
  • Tenets
  • Agility
  • Initiative
  • Depth
  • Synchronization
  • Stresses synchronization of ground maneuver with
    artillery and air support
  • Implicitly assumes possession of air superiority
  • Attacks enemy in depth

AirLand Battle and Maneuver Warfare
  • The object of all operations is to impose our
    will upon the enemy To do this we must throw the
    enemy off balance with a powerful blow from an
    unexpected direction, follow up rapidly to
    prevent his recovery and continue operations
    aggressively to achieve the higher commanders
    goals. The best results are obtained when
    powerful blows are struck against critical units
    or areas whose loss will degrade the coherence of
    enemy operations in depth.
  • FM 100-5, Operations (May 1986), p. 14

AirLand Battle and Desert Storm
  • Our will
  • Powerful blow
  • Air superiority
  • Off balance and unexpected direction
  • Critical units
  • Depth

Our will
  • UN mandate was to liberate Kuwait, not to remove
  • Essential to keep the coalition together
  • Wanted to maximize US technological advantage

Initial Concept One corps
Final Concept Two corps(powerful blow)
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  • Mass
  • One corps vs two corps
  • Original plan likely to result in higher
  • if we are serious about ejecting them Iraq
    from Kuwait what we need is more forces to be
    able to execute a proper campaign
  • Lucky War, Swain, p. 81
  • Maneuver
  • Frontal vs flank
  • Importance of deception and secrecy

Shaping Operations
  • Create and preserve conditions for the success of
    the operation
  • FM 3-0, p. 4-23
  • Air operation
  • Deception operation

Operational Framework for the Offense
Air War(air superiority)
  • 100k sorties in 6 weeks.
  • Initial Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) and
    Stealth strikes focused on air defense sites,
    creating gaps that facilitated the remainder of
    the air campaign.
  • Combined manned bombing, UAVs, and propaganda.
  • Cut supplies bound for Iraqi forces in Kuwait
    from 20k tons per week to 2k tons per week.
  • Deep operations

Deception(off balance)
  • Two MEBs afloat on amphibious shipping.
  • Exercise/rehearsal conducted in Oman in January.
  • Media allowed to film and report.
  • SEALs make their presence known on Kuwaiti
  • 5th MEB lands on D1 to perpetuate the ruse and
    become sector reserve.
  • Saddam must commit forces (estimated at four
  • to protect his flank against an
  • amphibious assault, creating
  • a gap (or at least weakening
  • a surface) to the Allies front.

The Shift Westward
Results of the Air War and Deception
(unexpected direction)
With no Iraqi air to fly reconnaissance, the
Coalition forces secretly shift west (away from
where the Iraqis expect the amphibious attack to
Center of Gravity
  • Those characteristics, capabilities or localities
    from which a military force derives its freedom
    of action, physical strength, or will to fight
  • Destruction or neutralization of the enemy center
    of gravity is the most direct path to victory
  • Once identified, the center of gravity becomes
    the focus of the commanders intent and
    operational design
  • FM 3-0, p. 5-7

Decisive Point
  • A geographic place, specific key event, or
    enabling system that allows commanders to gain a
    marked advantage over an enemy and greatly
    influence the outcome of an attack
  • Keys to attacking or protecting centers of
  • Shape operational design and allow commanders to
    select objectives that are clearly defined,
    decisive, and attainable
  • FM 3-0, p. 5-7

Centers of Gravity
  • Enemy
  • Saddam Hussein
  • Friendly
  • The coalition

Decisive Point (critical units)
  • Enemy
  • Republican Guards

The Ground War
  • Massive air and artillery bombardments prior to
    D-Day reduced front line forces to less than 50
    strength and reserves to 50-75.
  • Feb 23 - Iraqis begin torching oil wells.
  • Feb 24 - Ground campaign kicks off.
  • Emphasized speed and maneuver.

VII Corps will be the decisive operation with the
mission to destroy the enemys decisive point,
the Republican Guards. XVIII Abn Corps will be
the shaping operation with the mission to isolate
the battlefield
Situation, 23 February 1991
Situation, 24 February 1991
Situation, 25 February 1991
Situation, 26 February 1991
Situation, 27 February 1991
Situation, 28 February 1991
Opening Moves
  • 1st ID begins breaching operations
  • 24 ID moves north largely unopposed
  • 3rd Bde -101st Abn Div inserts 155 miles from its
    AA to the Euphrates Valley, cutting off an Iraqi
    main line of withdrawal or reinforcement

Immediate Success
  • VII Corps begins turning east
  • Schwarzkopf becoming increasingly frustrated by
    what he perceives as an overly cautious and slow
    VII Corps advance
  • 24th ID begins running wild in Iraqi rear

  • Iraqi forces in full scale retreat
  • Being interdicted from a partial encirclement

Air Assault Operations(depth)
  • While this is all going on, the 101st Airborne
    Division is fighting the deep battle
  • The Air Force and armor were the thunder of
    Desert Storm, while the 101st was the lightning.
    (Norman Schwarzkopf)

Deep Area
  • The deep area is an area forward of the close
    area that commanders use to shape enemy forces
    before they are encountered or engaged in the
    close area.
  • The deep area relates to the close area not only
    in terms of geography but also in terms of
    purpose and time.

XVIII Airborne Corps Missions
  • XVIII Airborne Corps
  • Penetrate approximately 260 kilometers to the
    Euphrates River, cut the Iraqi lines of
    communication (LOC) along Highway 8 to Baghdad,
    isolate Iraqi forces in the Kuwait Theater of
    Operations (KTO), and help destroy the theater
    reserve - the Republican Guards Forces Command

Division Missions
  • 24th Infantry Division
  • Attack through Iraqi forces in their zone to the
    Euphrates River, then turn east to destroy RGFC
    forces trapped in the KTO.
  • 101st Abn Div (Air Aslt)
  • Penetrate rapidly by air assault to the Euphrates
    River, cut the LOC between Baghdad and Iraqi
    forces in the KTO, destroy all enemy forces along
    those routes, and turn east to block north of

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Air Assault DivisionArea of Operation
120 Km (75 Miles)
New York, NY
Williamsport, PA
250 Km (154 Miles)
Philadelphia, PA
Harrisburg, PA
150 Km (93 Miles)
150 Km (93 Miles)
Washington D.C.
914 Km (567 Miles)
Nashville, TN
Camp Eagle II
Feb 26
  • By Feb 26, the XVIII Airborne Corps had
    interdicted the LOC in the Euphrates River
    Valley, blocked reinforcement of Iraqi forces in
    the KTO, and completed the envelopment of Saddam
    Hussein's forces in southern Iraq and Kuwait.

Feb 27
  • At 1200, the first XVIII Airborne Corps and
    101st attack helicopter battalions closed on
    Forward Operating Base (FOB) Viper, 200 km east
    of FOB Cobra which had been secured by the 2nd
    Brigade, 101st Airborne Division assaulting at

Feb 27
  • Attack helicopter battalions destroyed vehicles
    on and across the Al-Basrah causeway.
  • With the last escape route now cut, most of Iraqi
    units were caught between advancing forces of the
    24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), the VII
    Corps and the Euphrates River.

Feb 27
  • However much of the Hammurabi Division escaped
  • Throughout the fighting Schwarzkopf had been
    pressing VII Corps commander Frederick Franks to
    pursue faster while Franks felt he still had
    enemy in contact to deal with
  • The two never effectively communicated and a gap
    in the encirclement was the result

Franks and Schwarzkopf would provide conflicting
versions of events in their post-war writings
  • Cessation of hostilities declared was declared at
    801 a.m. on Feb 28
  • Many would later argue that the US should have
    pressed on to Baghdad but there would have been
    several problems with that
  • The UN mandate was to liberate Kuwait, not
    replace Saddam
  • The coalition would have likely fractured over
    this expanded mission
  • More US casualties would have been inevitable
  • The US would have then been saddled with
    responsibility for governing Iraq

  • Ground war emphasized mass, speed, and maneuver
  • Still largely a linear battlefield
  • Iraqi Freedom would be much more nonlinear and
    trade mass for speed
  • Renewed Air Force arguments about the relative
    superiority of air power
  • Technology, low casualties, short war would lead
    to increased demands for use of military
  • Importance of media
  • Felt somewhat used
  • Would lead to embedded journalists in Iraqi
  • Limited objective (liberate Kuwait) left Saddam
    in power and the Republican Guards largely in
  • Set stage for Iraqi Freedom

Legacy of Desert Storm
  • Won with an operational concept that sought in a
    single climatic operation to destroy the enemys
    center of gravity
  • In 100 hours of combat, American forces destroyed
    or captured more than 3,000 tanks, 1,400 armored
    carriers, and 2,200 artillery pieces
  • The Great Wheel swept over and captured almost
    20,000 square miles of territory
  • Only 140 soldiers died in direct combat
  • Erased the Vietnam Syndrome
  • Scales, Certain Victory, p. 382-383

  • MOOTW Beirut, Weinberger Doctrine, Somalia