Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM provided a significant challenge to the Defense Intelligence Agency and to the Defense Intelligence Community. During the early stages of DESERT SHIELD, the United States and our allies faced a significant threat with only limited infrastructure and minimal command, control, communications, and intelligence assets in the region. During DESERT STORM, Coalition forces swiftly liberated Kuwait and defeated the fifth largest army in the world without suffering significant losses.
The United States and our allies benefitted tremendously from superior national and theater intelligence during the war. Intelligence was recognized as a significant force multiplier and contributed directly to the Coalition victory and the speed with which it was achieved. In the words of General Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ``No combat commander has ever had as full and complete view of the adversary as did our field commander. Intelligence support to Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM was a success story.''
We continue to strive for better intelligence support to operational commanders and national consumers. Starting before the end of DESERT STORM, DIA conducted a thorough examination of our performance in all aspects of intelligence support. Working closely with the Defense Intelligence Community, the Military Intelligence Board, and US Central Command, DIA compiled a comprehensive list of lessons learned. In the six years since the end of the war, we have incorporated those lessons into plans, programs, products, organizations, and joint intelligence doctrine.
The US Intelligence Community has directly benefitted from many of the improvements in crisis intelligence support made by Rear Admiral James M. McConnell (J-2 during the war) and many other intelligence professionals as a result of lessons learned from the Gulf War. Our intelligence support of US, UN, and allied forces during numerous crises in the past few years has greatly improved as a result. The Intelligence Community activated Intelligence Task Forces, deployed National Intelligence Support Teams, and synchronized intelligence support for US and multi-national forces in Haiti and Bosnia.
As new generations of intelligence officers face what undoubtedly will be formidable future challenges with fewer available resources, the critical contributions of the US and allied Military Intelligence Community during the Gulf War must not be forgotten. In a fast-paced world beset with trial and uncertainty, we are often forced to react with little time to study and adapt what we have learned. We need to apply what we learned in DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. It is imperative, therefore, that we document our accomplishments while the events are fresh in our minds and the records are still in our possession.
I fully support historical documents of this kind that record the critical role of Military Intelligence in a dangerous and rapidly changing world. This extensive chronology, the first of several unclassified publications, is a guide to day-to-day support provided to the warfighter. It is for soldiers and strategists, policymakers and scholars, but most importantly, the practitioners of intelligence -- our Nation's first line of defense.