Air Power And The Gulf War Essay

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Air Power And The Gulf War Essay, Research Paper Air Power and the Gulf War An acknowledged aerospace historian, Mr. Richard P. Hallion is an associate for the Smithsonian Institution employed in the research division. A former Charles A. Lindbergh Professor of Aerospace History, Mr. Hallion has written or edited thirteen other books, including The Wright Brothers: Heirs of Prometheus (1978), Test Pilots: The Frontiersmen of Flight (1988), and The History of Battlefield Air Attack, 1911-1945 (1989), while professor at the Army War College. Mr. Hallion writes Storm over Iraq from an academic perspective, using military history and the ascendancy of air power as the focus point for his book. Mr. Richard P. Hallion’s Storm over Iraq opens with the origins of air power since

World War I and its subsequent development into the current aircraft and weaponry of the 21st century. Mr. Hallion traces the history of air-combat techniques employed in the battle over Iraq, analyzes the weaponry used (including the remarkable F-117A stealth fighter), and points out the shortcomings in the Allies’ performance, notably in combat search and rescue. Mr. Hallion makes it a point to directly correlate these Walker-2 technological advancements in military machinery to the route of Allied victory in the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91. Mr. Hallion illustrates that these advancements in air power, used in the Gulf War, had to overcome a series of misfortunes, not only because of unsatisfactory performances in previous combat missions, but also due in part to political

interference. Mr. Hallion stresses that the doomed relationship between using air power for exercises it was never designed to do and individuals’ political agendas, undermined the effectiveness of air power for several decades (Hallion 52). This black eye over the effectiveness of air power was laid to rest when the Allies were able to force Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait almost entirely by aerial suppression. In the first chapter of Mr. Hallion’s book, he examines the history of air power going back to World War I and the very first primitive aerial assault aircraft, the U.S. Army’s 1908 Wright Military Flyer. He then proceeds to discuss the inter war years (1919-1939), World War II (1939-1945), the Korean War (1951-1953), the Vietnam War (1964-1975), Operation ‘Just

Cause’ (1989), and the Persian Gulf War (1990-91). Mr. Hallion uses detailed examples to illustrate the progression of air and fire power from World War I to the Gulf War. Examples of the air and fire power include such weapons as the ’smart? bombs, the Patriot surface-to-air missile, the A-10 “wart hog”, and the BGM-109 Tomahawk. Walker-3 Other notable technological advancements that played such a key role in the Allies control of the skies over Iraq are the Army AH-64 apache gunship and the sophisticated F-117A Stealth fighter. In Mr. Hallion’s book, he argues this one fundamental point. The Gulf War confirmed that the technological advancements in air power, made it not only possible, but also realistic in win a “limited war” with air power alone (Hallion 74).

Mr. Hallion makes several references to Vietnam and the Gulf War and discusses how different the two were in relation to each other. Before the wake of Desert Storm, many U.S. Allied commanders doubted the effectiveness of this new technology and still firmly believed ground troops would be called upon to secure victory in the occupied territory (Hallion 108). Mr. Hallion attributes this lack of confidence in air power to the lack of success the U.S. had with past conflicts, namely the Korean War and Vietnam. He argues that this lack of confidence wasn’t the fault of air power, but instead it stemmed from two outside influences that hindered the effectiveness of tactical air power to suppress and expel enemy ground forces (Hallion 117). These two outside influences included the