Defense For A New Era
Lessons of the Gulf War

House Committee on Armed Services

March 30,1992


                      U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
                      COMMIITEE ON ARMED SERVICES
                           Washington, D.C., March 30,1992


This material is the product of an effort by the Ranking Republican
member, Mr. Dickinson, and myself to make an assessment of the lessons
of the Persia Gulf war. It is intended to serve as a precursor to a
subsequent committee print that will reflect the views of other
committee members.

                                Les Aspin
                                Chairman, Committee on Armed Services

Approved for printing






The New Battlefield Balance                            		 xii
Mix of Forces                                                    xii
Communications That Work                               		 xii
Tactical Missile Defenses (TMD)                        		 xiii
Makeup of the post-Cold War Navy                       		 xiii


Introduction                                                      3

        Historical Legacy                                         4
        Prelude to War: No Rotation Policy Limits Choices         6

Air Power: The Most Significant Factor in Winning War             7
        Air Power as an Instrment of War                          8
        The Air Tasking Order                                     9
        Tank Plinklng and Other Operation Desert
	 Storm Innovation     					 10
         Interservice Fights Avoided                             11

Ground Campaign Ultimately Forced Iraqi Military Out of Kuwait   12
        Deception Works                                          12
        Plans to Fight in Europe Created Problems
	 in Southwest Asia    					 13
        Using Ground Contingency Units                           15
What the War Reveals About Our Military                          16
        High Tech Works                                          16
        Benefits of High Tech in the Air Campaign                17
        Benefits of High Tech on the Ground                      19
        U.S. Troops Most Qualified Ever                          21
        Communications Hampered by Old, Incompatible Equipment   22
        Tactical Missile Defenses Succeed 
        Politically, Raise Technical Questions                   24
        Minehunting on Land and at Sea                           25
        Counting the Iraqi Army                                  29


         Table I : Accounting for the Iraqi Army                  32
         Table II: Accounting for the Iraqi Troops:
                    A Rough Estimate of Enemy Strength            33

The New Battlefield Balace                                        34
        New Thinking About Tooth to Tail                          34
        Complexity of Warfare Requires Sophisticated Support      36
        Striving for a Balanced Military                          38
        Balace in the Force Structure                             39
        Balance Within Weapon Systems                             39

Goldwater-Nichols Played a Crucial Role                           41
        Goldwater-Nichols Fosters Jointness                       41
        Unity of Commad Was Key                                   42
        Jointness Problems Still Remain                           42


The All Volunteer Force (AVF)                                     45
       Background                                                 45
       How Would the AVF Fight                                    46
       But is it Fair?                                            47
       Women in the Services                                      48

The Guard & Reserve                                               49
        Background                                                49
        Planing for World War III                                 49
        Mobilization -- In Pieces by Improvisation                50
        The Shift to an Offensive Option                          51

Army                                                              52
        The Mobilization                                          52
        Evolution of the Call-Up                                  53
        Making Units Ready and Measuring Them                     53
        What Happened?                                            58
        Large Combat Units A Special Case                         59
        Overall Impact of Army Guard and Reserve                  60


Marine Corps                                                      61
        The Mobilization                                          61
        How the Marine Mobilization Evolved                       62
        Caught in Midst of Revitalization                         62
        Making Units Ready for Deployment                         63
        In-Theater Training                                       64
        Into Combat as Smaller Units                              66
        Combat Support and Service Support: A Special Case     	  66
        Overall Impact of Marine Reserve                          67

Air Force                                                         68
        The Mobilization                                          68
        Tailored to Meet Requirements                             69
        Reserve After Active                                      70
        Overall Impact of Air Force Guard and Reserve             70

Navy                                                              70
        The Mobilization                                          71
        Tailored to Meet Needs                                    72
        Overall Impact of Navy Reserve                            72


Introduction                                                      75
        The Naval Quarantine                                      76
        Typical Interdiction Operations                           77
        Importance of Training                                    77
        Command and Control of MIF Operations                     77
        MIF Stopped Flow of Prohibited Items                      78
        MIF Effect on Iraqi Warfighting Uncertain                 78

Introduction                                                      83
        CENTCOM' s New Pl:ning Focus                              83
        Planning the Air Campaign                                 84
        Planned Air Campaign Had Four Phases                      86
        Planing for the Ground Offensive                          87
        Low Casualties the Highest Goal                           88



     In August 1990, Iraqi forces directed by Saddam Hussein poured
over the border into Kuwait. The ensuing crisis led to war -- the
first major military clash of the post-Cold War era.

     For 43 days in early 1991, the armed forces of the United States
and a multi-national coalition fought a successful military campaign
to expel Saddam Hussein's forces from Kuwait.

     It is vital that we fully understand the lessons of the war in
Southwest Asia and what they mean for our future. In the months after
hostilities ceased, the House Armed Services Committee conducted
hundreds of interviews with nearly 1,000 individuals who experienced
the war first hand.

     The committee is grateful to Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney,
for making the military personnel who planned and implemented
Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm available for interview. Without
his assistance and that of the staff within the Office of the
Secretary of Defense, our effort would not have been possible.

     One of the most important lessons to be learned is that this war
was unique in many ways. Many of its most salient features -- not
least the foolhardiness of our adversary -- are not likely to be
repeated in future conflicts. Nevertheless, we strongly believe that
Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm has given us, as we say in our
report, "an unprecedented and invaluable opportunity to measure,
challenge and adjust the policies and assumptions that will drive U.S.
defense budgeting and strategy in the years ahead."


     The publication of these Findings -- Defense For A New
Era/Lessons of the Gulf War -- is part of a continuing effort by the
House Armed Services Committee to understand the momentous changes
taking place in the world and to contribute to the debate on how we
should respond to these changes.

                                       Les Aspin William L. Dickinson



... ... ... ...

(3) The war with Iraq also demonstrated technology-related problems.

     --U.S. forces, particularly in the air campaign, could have been
more effective had there been a greater ability to process and
disseminate target and other information, especially the assessment of
damage done by allied air strikes.

     --One-target, one-round precision, coupled with long ranges and
inadequate ability to distinguish between friend and foe, produced one
of the most distressing problems of the war: casualties of friendly
fire. U.S. forces lack effective means to distinguish between enemy
targets and friendly forces in the midst of battle.

     --In many instances, the readiness rates and operating tempos of
primary platforms such as aircraft, tanks and fighting vehicles
outpaced the ability of support structures and equipment. For
instance, aerial tankers became a limiting factor in air operations.


     --Communications are still plagued by incompatibilities between
services, inadequacies between levels of command, as well as by
technical limitations.

     --The military effectiveness of our existing defense against
tactical ballistic missiles has been questioned. The Patriot
antimissile system performed well in its intended role of point
defense of installations such as ports and airfields. Most of the
questions focus on the issue of how well the Patriot system defended
population centers -- a job for which it was not designed.

xi ISSUES FOR THE FUTURE ... ... ... Tactical Missile Defenses (TMD). Independent of the debate over the degree of success that the Patriot missiles had in their TMD role against Iraqi Scuds, the political and military utility of mobile theater defenses was demonstrated unequivocally during Operation Desert Storm. Although some critics contend that the lessons leamed from the employment of the Patriot missile in a TMD role are negligible due to the low-tech nature of 20 year-old Scud technology, it should not be forgotten that the Patriot is, itself, based on 20 year-old technology. The global proliferation of ballistic missile technology and weapons of mass destruction has become one of the most immediate and dangerous threats to U.S. national security in the post Cold War era. Over time, this threat will most likely evolve from today's shorter-range, inaccurate missiles in the direction of more sophisticated, longer-range and increasingly accurate systems. Therefore, the question of how the U.S. can modernize its TMD capabilities to best ensure that its forward deployed and power projection forces possess effective defenses against future tactical ballistic missile threats is paramount.
Operation Desert Storm Examined: Conduct of the War in Southwest Asia Page 3 INTRODUCTION In exploring the lessons of the Persian Gulf war, it is essential first to establish the applicable caveats and limit the usefulness of lessons learned to future contingencies. As a senior U.S. commander, not without hyperbole, said: Desert Storm was the perfect war with the perfect enemy. The enemy leader was universally despised and his troops offered very little resistance. We had the perfect coalition, the perfect infrastructure and the perfect battlefield. We should be careful about the lessons we draw from the war. While this may overstate the point, it highlights the need for caution in drawing the right lands of conclusions about this war and then applying them universally to the conduct of future conflicts. On the other hand, it is equally important to acknowledge that certain aspects of this war are directly applicable to the type of conflicts U.S. forces might face in the future. For instance, the strategic air campaign against the Iraqi network of fixed, heavily defended targets provides a strategy that will likely apply to a variety of scenarios the U.S. military may face. Similarly, Iraq's centrally controlled military offers a potential model of the threat posed by previous Soviet clients. A final factor to consider is that others are analyzing the stunning U.S. military success as well. Many adjustments are likely to be made in the equipment and tactics of military forces around the world in the hope that they do not meet Iraq's fate.
Page 16 WHAT THE WAR REVEALS ABOUT OUR MILITARY High Tech Works Technology gave U.S. forces and their equipment the mobility, precision and battlefield awareness to bridge the historical gap between planning objectives and battlefield results. U.S. forces accomplished what they set out to do. Virtually every frontline weapon system used in the war had come under criticism at least once during its history for being overly complex, too dependent on temperamentai technology or not dependable enough to perform reliably under the rigors of combat. Unlike our experience in previous military conflicts, the performance of U.S. equipment and forces in Operation Desert Storm exceeded even the most optimistic expectations.
Page 24 Tactical Missile Defenses Succeed Politically, Raise Technical Questions Long before the air campaign began on January 17, the United States was concerned about the threat posed by Sadaam `s Scuds. By the time the air campaign commenced, the United States already had deployed several Patriot batteries to Saudi Arabia to defend various high-value civilian and military targets. In an effort to draw Israel into the war and destroy the international coalition arrayed against him, Saddam launched nightly Scud attacks against undefended Israeli population centers beginning on January 18. While some Scuds missed their intended targets, others landed in Tel Aviv and Haifa, causing substantial damage. Iraq's capacity to use Scuds to deliver chemical warheads added to the psychological impact of the Scud attacks. On January 19, the Israeli Government accepted the U.S. offer to deploy Patriots to various positions in Israel to defend against the Scud attacks. The Frrst Patriot batteries, manned by U.S. troops pending training of Israeli technicians, arrived from Europe and were declared operational on January 20,1991. Page 25 Since the war ended, controversy has erupted surrounding the question of Patriot's effectiveness intercepting and destroying Iraqi Scuds aimed at military facilities in Saudi Arabia and civilian targets in both Saudi Arabia and Israel. In fact, Patriot successfully defended critical military facilities in Saudi Arabia such as ports and airfields, and ensured that the Scuds had a minimal impact on coalition military operations. In Israel, Patriot took on the more demanding job of defending population centers a job for which it was not designed. While its technical success in this role has been questioned, its political impact was decisive in reassuring Israeli leaders of the U.S. committnent to their security, which in turn helped keep the coalition intact by keeping Israel out of the war.