Operation Desert Storm and a New Paradigm: Ground Forces in Support of Air Operations
Master's thesis 1 Aug 1992-4 Jun 1993
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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This study examines the influence of ground forces on the conduct and outcome of the Desert Storm air operations. This influence took three distinct forms. First, Coalition ground forces were instrumental in fixing the Iraqis in static positions in the Kuwait Theater of operations. These positions were vulnerable to air attacks, as they were initially concentrated in relation to the Coalition units in Saudi Arabia, rather than dispersed in honor of the air threat. Next, the Coalition ground offensive seized the strategic initiative by forcing the Iraqis to consume supplies much faster than their logistics system could support, due to the effectiveness of air interdiction. The resulting increase in the tempo of operations provided additional opportunities for air power. Finally, the ground offensive produced an insoluble predicament for the Iraqis they could leave their prepared positions to counter the maneuvering surface forces, thereby facing additional exposure to air attacks or they could attempt to evade air attacks by remaining in their positions, thereby succumbing to the ground attack. The thesis concludes that there is a requirement for doctrinal change, which would take advantage of situations in which round forces may support air operations. DESERT STORM, Air operations, Parallel warfare, Campaign Planning, Joint Doctrine.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics