Accession Number:

ADA621159

Title:

The Imperfect Storm: Intelligence-Operations Integration in the Gulf War

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2014-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

121.0

Abstract:

This thesis explores intelligence-operations integration in the planning and execution of the Gulf War air campaign. Ultimately, the problems between intelligence and operations experience can be attributed to an unhealthy command climate ineffective communication and excessive compartmentalization. The Air Force achieved success in the Gulf War in spite of significant intelligence-operations process deficiencies deficiencies that in a different conflict, time, place, and context might result not in major success, but in overwhelming failure. These problems first revealed in Washington with the Air Staff planning conducted by Checkmate, and later in Riyadh with the Black Hole, had an inordinate influence on subsequent problems building a cogent intelligence-operations team. These problems led to the inability of intelligence and operations planners to create a seamless intelligence-operations planning team, despite organizational changes meant to better integrate the two functional areas. As the Airmen kicked off the DESERT STORM strategic air campaign, the problems of command climate, communication, and compartmentalization endured and transitioned from planning to execution. Identifying these process deficiencies is important due to the invariable aura of infallibility ascribed to the Gulf War air campaign due to a successful outcome attributed to unprecedented airpower decisiveness. In future wars, the Air Force may not be able to overcome process problems through overwhelming force, favorable terrain and weather, and enemy incompetence as it did during the Gulf War. In personnel and resource constrained environments, the Air Force may not have the mass and depth necessary. Therefore, it is essential to get the process correct to make successful outcomes easier to attain. This includes ensuring healthy command climates, effective communication, and minimal compartmentalization to enable better intelligence-operations integration.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Intelligence
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE