Hollow Victory: A Contrary View of the Gulf War

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9780028810461: Hollow Victory: A Contrary View of the Gulf War

In this text, defence analyst Jeffrey Record targets the conventional view of the Gulf War victory. In his characteristically provocative style, he answers controversial political, military and strategic questions raised by the war and its aftermath. Could the war have been avoided altogether? Why were US assessments of Iraqi capabilities so inaccurate? Could a better general than Saddam Hussein have derailed the Coalition assault? Did air power win the war? Were US military planning and operations really free of meddling by civilian authorities? Did the US armed services work together harmoniously? For those who think they understand what happened in the war, the book should challenge their conclusions.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A thoughtful and provocative commentary on the causes, conduct, and consequences of the Gulf War. While characterizing the Desert Storm campaign as a remarkable feat of arms, defense analyst (and Baltimore Sun columnist) Record argues that the mother of all routs failed to yield any significant diplomatic gains. In this cautionary context, he addresses an ad rem assortment of issues, ranging from the possible avoidance of hostilities through the efficacy of sanctions; miscalculations of Iraq's resources as well fighting spirit; the relative contributions of air, ground, and naval power to the outcome; and the lessons to be learned or ignored from the walkover. Given the home-front problems confronting Saddam in the wake of an enervating conflict with Iran, Record believes that a clash was inevitable- -and, in light of political imperatives, he thinks that economic pressures alone would have been insufficient to bring the dictator into line within an acceptable time frame. The author notes that UN/US forces, in addition to operating within a remarkably favorable staging area (Saudi Arabia), were facing an enemy led by a man ``with the prudence of Custer and the strategic grasp of Mussolini.'' Record concludes that the aerial assaults mounted by the UN, though undeniably spectacular and effective, weren't decisive in the conflict, and he's equally dubious as to the post- Vietnam harmony putatively achieved by American military commanders and their civilian masters. At the close, moreover, the author argues that Iraq remains a serious menace in the Middle East, meaning that future historians may regard the 1990-91 belligerency as ``a complete failure.'' Worldly-wise observations, affording valuable perspectives on a famous victory. -- Copyright 1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

"Was it really a war," he asks, "or little more than a live-fire exercise?" In this plain-spoken analysis of the 1990-1991 conflict, defense expert Record ( Beyond Military Reform ) cuts through the post-Gulf War euphoria to remind us that Operation Desert Storm was a distinctly one-sided affair. He assesses Iraqi fighting power and Saddam Hussein's qualities as generalissimo and concludes that both were grossly overestimated. Highly critical of prewar U.S. diplomacy toward the Iraqi dictator, Record counts Saddam's survival and postwar behavior as a major American political defeat. Though he agrees that Desert Storm validated the merit of the all-volunteer military and the wisdom of the Pentagon's strategy of relying heavily on reserve components, he warns that there will be "more Iraqs"--bids by other Third World states for regional supremacy at the expense of U.S. security interests--and that the enormous advantages enjoyed by the U.S. military in the Gulf War are unlikely to recur. Record's intelligently skeptical appraisal of the so-called great victory of the Allied Coalition is a bracing antidote to the self-congratulatory literature on the war.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Record, Jeffrey
Published by Brassey's Inc (1993)
ISBN 10: 0028810465 ISBN 13: 9780028810461
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Jeffrey Record
Published by Brassey's Inc (1993)
ISBN 10: 0028810465 ISBN 13: 9780028810461
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