How Kuwait was won: Strategy in the gulf war

Lawrence Freedman, Efraim Karsh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This chapter demonstrates how the strategies of both sides in the Gulf War were governed by a sensitivity to its political context, both domestically and internationaly. In the Gulf, the administration was obliged to follow a version of graduated response in order to develop a domestic and international consensus supporting direct military action. US forces were initially committed to the Gulf in order to deter a perceived threat to Saudi Arabia following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990. So was the Iraqi strategy, which was based on threatening the United States with a “second Vietnam” and absorbing the air offensive. By the time Desert Storm began, the basic elements of the Iraqi order of battle as well as the essential elements of its communications and supply networks were well known to its opponents. Iraq’s defensive preparations in Kuwait convinced Coalition leaders that Saddam Hussein was preparing for the long haul.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Iraqi Aggression Against Kuwait
Subtitle of host publicationStrategic Lessons and Implications for Europe
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages38
ISBN (Electronic)9781000230772
ISBN (Print)9780367293253
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1996 Taylor and Francis.


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