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Airpower Advantage: Planning the Gulf War Air Campaign 1989-1991 (The USAF…

by Diane T. Putney

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American air power is a dominant force in today's world. Its ascendancy, evolving in the half century since the end of World War II, became evident during the first Gulf War. Although a great deal has been written about military operations in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, this deeply researched volume by Dr. Diane Putney probes the little-known story of how the Gulf War air campaign plan came to fruition. Based on archival documentation and interviews with USAF planners, this work takes the reader into the planning cells where the difficult work of building an air campaign plan was accomplished on an around-the-clock basis. The tension among air planners is palpable as Dr. Putney traces the incremental progress and friction along the way. The author places the complexities of the planning process within the con- text of coalition objectives. All the major players are here: President George H. W. Bush, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, General Colin Powell, General Chuck Horner, and Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney. The air planning process generated much debate and friction, but resulted in great success - a 43-day conflict with minimum casualties. Dr. Putney's rendering of this behind-the-scenes evolution of the planning process, in its complexity and even suspense, provides a fascinating window into how wars are planned and fought today and what might be the implications for the future.… (more)

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American air power is a dominant force in today's world. Its ascendancy, evolving in the half century since the end of World War II, became evident during the first Gulf War. Although a great deal has been written about military operations in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, this deeply researched volume by Dr. Diane Putney probes the little-known story of how the Gulf War air campaign plan came to fruition. Based on archival documentation and interviews with USAF planners, this work takes the reader into the planning cells where the difficult work of building an air campaign plan was accomplished on an around-the-clock basis. The tension among air planners is palpable as Dr. Putney traces the incremental progress and friction along the way. The author places the complexities of the planning process within the con- text of coalition objectives. All the major players are here: President George H. W. Bush, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, General Colin Powell, General Chuck Horner, and Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney. The air planning process generated much debate and friction, but resulted in great success - a 43-day conflict with minimum casualties. Dr. Putney's rendering of this behind-the-scenes evolution of the planning process, in its complexity and even suspense, provides a fascinating window into how wars are planned and fought today and what might be the implications for the future.

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