Desert Storm's Siren Song,
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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British military historian Sir Michael Howard once stated that whatever strategy a military adopts in times of peace will be to some degree wrong. Still, Howard says that a military organization must strive to select a course during an age of peace that is not too wrong. According to many airpower proponents, Desert Storm represents a revolution in warfare and serves as a beacon to safely guide the American military through the current fog of peace. They therefore advocate pressing ahead with a strategy that mirrors the air-dominant Desert Storm model. This article, while acknowledging Desert Storm as a praiseworthy event, discredits the logic of labeling it a revolution. At this point, calling Desert Storm a revolution in warfare is an emotional reaction that advances a tentative hypothesis to the force of theorem without the proper verification provided by rigorous testing. Die-hard air enthusiasts will likely dismiss this argument, declaring that it is necessary to act now on the assumption that Desert Storm was a revolution. They will argue that change occurs so rapidly in todays information-based society that the United States must be proactive in incorporating the lessons of Desert Storm into its future defense plans. Actually, this view is dangerously myopic. Abundant evidence exists to suggest that the twenty-first century could be dominated by culturally based conflict. The strategy of paralysis is ineffective against such an amorphous threat. Therefore, creating a US military force that is overly dependent on a high-technology alr arm would be, to use Howards words, too wrong.
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics