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THE POST'S DESERT STORM ARCHIVE

MILITARY

National Security Directive 54 (NSD-54)
On January 15, 1991, President George Bush sent a top-secret memo – National Security Directive 54 – to his top aides outlining his objectives for the coming conflict with Iraq. Among the important areas for the president: maintaining access to Persian Gulf oil, authorizing military action to effect the immediate withdrawal of all Iraqi forces from Kuwait, restoring Kuwait's legitimate government, and destroying Iraq's chemical, biological, and nuclear capabilities. The document was recently released under a Freedom of Information Act request.


Instant Thunder Strategic Air Campaign
In response to the invasion of Kuwait, Air Force leaders in August 1990 developed a top-secret plan for an air campaign against Iraq. The plan, known as Instant Thunder, aimed to destroy 84 strategic targets in Iraq in a single week. In contrast to Operation Rolling Thunder's gradualistic approach in bombing Vietnam, Instant Thunder had the objective of moving quickly – paralyzing the Iraqi leadership, degrading military capabilitiies, and neutralizing the Iraqi military's will to fight. Eventually, Instant Thunder formed the basis for Phase I and Phase III of Operation Desert Storm, the Allied coalition's comprehensive war plan.


Gulf War Airpower Survey
  • A report on how the Iraqis have rebuilt damaged installations since the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
  • A statistical overview of the air war assesses damage incurred on Iraqi installations from airstrikes by the U.S. military.


  • Distinguished Flying Cross Citations
    Nineteen declassified medal citations given to F-117 Stealth pilots for attacks on Baghdad targets.


    Collateral Damage Assessment
    A list compiled by William Arkin of Baghdad collateral damage reports.


    Heart of the Storm:
    The Genesis of the Air Campaign against Iraq by Col. Richard T. Reynolds, USAF


    INTERVIEWS & DOCUMENTS BY KEY PLAYERS

    Col. David A. Deptula
  • "Firing for Effect: Change in the Nature of Warfare,"
    AEF Defense and Airpower Series
  • Deptula at a glance


  • Retired Gen. Charles Horner
  • Interview with PBS "Frontline"
  • Interview with washingtonpost.com
  • Horner at a glance


  • General Buster Glosson
  • Interview with PBS "Frontline"
  • Impact of Precision Weapons on Air Combat Operations,"
    Airpower Journal, Summer 1993.
  • Glosson at a glance


  • Col. John A. Warden III, USAF
  • "The Enemy as a System,"
    Airpower Journal, Spring 1995.
  • Chapter 4, "Air Theory for the Twenty-first Century," in
    Battlefield of the Future: 21st Century Warfare Issues
    (Air University Press)
  • Warden at a glance



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