A League of Airmen: U.S. Air Power in the Gulf War (Project by James A. Winnefeld, Dana J. Johnson, Preston Niblack

By James A. Winnefeld, Dana J. Johnson, Preston Niblack

A complete account of the contributions and boundaries of air energy within the Persian Gulf battle. gains 32 pages of newly published pictures.

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124-132. The wounds that the Vietnam experience inflicted on the American national psyche have been slow to heal. But even at the height of the Vietnam-induced malaise and the beginning of the recovery from it, there was evidence that a re­ action would set in. The American public's attention span is short and its out­ look fundamentally forward rather than backward looking. The trauma of the Iranian hostage experience in 1979-1980 worked to produce a nadir in public confidence in the ability of the United States to influence events overseas and in The End of the Post-Vietnam Era As these trends moved to their convergence point in the summer of 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait.

Kenney, General Kenney Reports. : Office of Air 23See Mark Clodfelter's The Limits of Air Power: The American Bombing of North Vietnam, New York: The Free Press, 1 989; also his "Of Demons, Storms, and Thunder," Airpower Journal, Winter 1 991, pp. 1 7-32; Caroline F. Ziemke, "Promises Fulfilled? The Prophets of Airpower and Desert Storm," paper presented before the Washington Strategy Seminar series on Airpower and the New Security Environment, January 1992, pp. 14-15; and Earl H. Tilford, Jr. S.

17. 24 Their views were to be put to the test of combat in the Gulf War, since they provided much of the intellectual under­ pinnings for both the Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC) organi­ zation of General Charles Horner and the master strike plan for the first few days of the war. 25 To understand how matters stood in early August 1990, one must go back to the Vietnam experience. 23 There were echoes of the Korean War experience, in which the Air Force interpretation of the importance of air power in that conflict after the winter of 1950-1 951 was at variance with opinions held by many other ob­ servers.

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