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INSTANT THUNDER
Note: The following is a reproduced version of the actual working document drawn up by the planners of the air campaign.

PROPOSED STRATEGIC AIR CAMPAIGN



STRATEGIC AIR CAMPAIGN
INSTANT THUNDER

Leadership Key
Production
Infra-
Structure
Population Fielded
Force
Hussein regime
– incapacitate
Electricity Railroads Psyops
– Iraqis
– Foreign
workers
– Soliders
in Kuwait
Destroy strat
air defense
Telecommuni-
cations & C3
– Civil
– Military
Internal
distribution &
storage
Destroy strat
offense
– Bombers
– Missiles
NBC research
facility
Military research
production,
and storage



STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENT

– Overwhelming worldwide condemnation of Hussein regime
– Cut off from sources of military resupply
– Time is on side of aggressor
– If military forces used, must provide quick, decisive victory (days, not weeks)
– Initiative, surprise, and deception – all key
– To succeed must go to heart of problem


STRATEGIC AIR CAMPAIGN
INSTANT THUNDER

CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS: Conduct powerful land and focused attacks on strategic centers of gravity in Iraq over a short period of time (days not weeks)

– Target Hussein regime, not Iraqi people
– Minimize civilian casualties and collateral damage
– Minimize American and allied losses
– Pit U.S. strengths against Iraqi weaknesses


CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES

Phase 1 (Strategic Air Campaign)

– Incapacitate, discredit, and isolate Hussein regime
– Eliminate Iraqi offensive/defensive capability
 – Make military reconstitution long-term and difficult
– Create conditions leading to Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait
 – Sever supplies and command

Phase 2 (Battlefield Air Operations)

– Destroy the Iraqi army in Kuwait


ESSENTIAL TARGET SETS

– Strategic Air Defense
 – Render Iraq defenseless and minimize threat to friendly forces
– Strategic Offense Capability
 – Reduce threat to adjacent states ... now and in the future
– Hussein Regime
 – The most important center of gravity
– Telecommunications and C3
 – Rupture Hussein's link to people and military
– Electricity
 – Cripple production and create confusion
– Oil (refined products)
 – Paralyze domestic and military internal movement
– Railroads
 – Complicate movement of goods and services
– Nuclear/Biological/Chemical Research Facility
 – Reduce long-term international threat
– Military Research, Production and Storage
 – Limit offensive capability – short and long-term


STRATEGIC AIR CAMPAIGN

Total Targets: 84

Strategic Air Defense – 10
Strategic Chemical – 8
National Leadership – 5
Telecommunications – 19
Electricity – 10
Oil (Internal Consumption) – 6
Railroads – 3
Airfields – 7
Ports – 1
Military/Support Production & Storage Depots – 15


FORCES

(Air Force, Navy, and Marine)

– Long-range Conventional Bombers
– Fighter/Attack
– Specialized Aircraft (such as F-117)
– Psychological Operations
– Unconventional Operations
– Multinational Air


PSYCHOLOGICAL AND
DECEPTION OPERATIONS

– Psychological operations – critical element of campaign
 – Destroy Iraqi TV and broadcasting system – substitute US  broadcasts
 – Separate regime from support of military and people
 – Exploit Arab cultural emphasis on appearance and status

– Deception operations
 – Reduce casualties
 – Facilitate military operations


EXPECTED CAMPAIGN RESULTS

– Hussein regime destroyed or impotent
– Iraq's strategic offense (missiles and long-range aircraft) eliminated for extended period
– Iraq defenseless against air attack
– Iraq army neutralized
– Internal economy disrupted
– Iraq's capability to export oil not significantly degraded
– Foundation for subsequent successful military operations by Arab forces against Iraqi forces in Kuwait, if required or desired


CONTINGENCIES

– 4 A-10 squadrons engage (96 A/C)

– Held in operational reserve
 – 3 SQDN AV-8s (72)
 – 3 SQDN F-16s (72)
 – 3 SQDN F/A-18s (72)

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post

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