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Decisive Factors in the Gulf War From the IDF Lesson Learning Perspective

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The Gulf War was a laboratory for modern conventional warfare. However, from the Israeli prospective, the war is perceived as a luxury war. The Americans had unlimited time to gather forces and had the ability to dictate the time and location of the battle. This study examines the decisive elements of the war, including an analysis of the objectives of the U.S. led coalition, a review of the strengths and weaknesses of the Iraqi forces and the coalition forces, and an analysis of the interrelationships between these strengths and weaknesses. It further analyzes the air and ground phases of Operation Desert Storm with particular emphasis on the reasons for the American success. The study considers the differences between the conditions under which the war took place and the conditions under which the Israel Defense Forces operate. By way of example, the study notes that the U.S. possesses the worlds greatest economy, and with the financial assistance of the worlds other great economic powers, was able to bring almost unlimited resources to bear. In contrast, Israel lacks the financial resources for such a campaign. Additionally, the U.S. forces had strategic depth in the event of an Iraqi offensive. Because of the location of its population centers, Israel cannot permit an enemy to cross its borders. Nevertheless, as set forth in the Summary and Conclusion of this study, many lessons can be learned by the Israel Defense Forces from the Gulf War.

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  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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