When Will We Listen?
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
Pagination or Media Count:
The purpose of this paper is to determine if there were indicators of the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq on 2 August 1990, that were not accurately assessed by allied decision makers in time to make a difference. Moreover, based on historical precedence, these indicators were hypothesized to be available from open not classified sources. Using only a small sampling of the public speeches of Saddam Hussein and the pronouncements in the Iraqi press as reported by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service FBIS, this research indicates the 2 August invasion should have been assessed as a near-certainty as early as 17 July. Furthermore, research of the memoirs of some the key participants as well as books chronicling the actions of decision makers during the weeks prior to the invasion, indicate that although the information identified during the research was available, it was dismissed as rhetoric rather than being recognized as indications of intent. Moreover, the research points to a continuing tendency by both analysts and decision makers to discount open-source pronouncements, even when they are congruent with empirical evidence from classified sources, because the decision makers and analysts believe the impending action would be unthinkable.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics