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War as a Strategic Tool of Policy/ To what extent did the outcome of the 1991 Gulf War serve the political objectives of the pri - Essay Example

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Name of of Professor An Analysis of the Outcome of the 1991 Gulf War Even though the Gulf War of 1991 was dominantly an American venture, it was approved as a United Nations (UN) operation, and its purpose or objective was stated by UN Security Council Resolution 678…
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War as a Strategic Tool of Policy/ To what extent did the outcome of the 1991 Gulf War serve the political objectives of the pri
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Download file to see previous pages This essay analyses the outcome of the Gulf War of 1991 and whether it served the political objectives of the principal participants, particularly the United States and the coalition. Wars are waged for political objectives. Policy defines the type of war to be waged and the degree of effort that have to be exerted to the realisation of its objectives. In other words, policy establishes the objective and creates the strategy; military tactic is the design to attain the chosen objectives with the existing resources. Seldom, though, can the exercise of military force alone accomplish all the objectives established by policy.2 Hence, military tactic should transform the political objectives into necessary and achievable military goals, secondary and favourable to the political objectives. Therefore, to evaluate the conduct and result of war, it is important, mainly, to recognise the naturally vicious character of military force and to understand what military force can and cannot accomplish. Overview President Bush, seeing the strange character of the wartime alliance he had formed, did not turn away from his initial and narrow objective of removing Iraq from Kuwait. Hence Bush’s policy was made up of the quest for narrow goals, but with limitless means proportionate to those objectives. Bush tried to fend off the temptation to slaughter more Iraqi soldiers and to apply a more intensive air and land military tactic to overthrow Saddam Hussein. U.S. officials expected Saddam Hussein to perish immediately after the disgrace meted out on him by Desert Storm. This assumption was incorrect. In 1992, President Bush had to run for re-election, and the surprising result of the national politics of the two nations was that Saddam lasted longer than Bush as president.3 Several of the detractors of Bush during the war claimed that the coalition should have hunted Saddam until his last breath and prevented the UN from taking over Iraq. Rather, the U.S. adhered to its original UN goal and abandoned the war with a large number of Saddam’s forces still in one piece and with his political influence and authority unbroken. On the contrary, by following his initial policy objective, Bush had sustained the odd assortment of political allies who took part in the military mission to emancipate Kuwait. Prolongation of war against Iraq until the complete collapse of its government would have been broadly detested by political blocs in the Muslim and Arab countries.4 This is still the case although Saddam’s attempt to symbolise his military crusade under the socio-political cover of Pan-Arabism was denounced by Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other allies. Removing Iraq from Kuwait did not evoke Western domination in a manner that occupying the Iraqi government with a U.S.-led military alliance would have.5 Nevertheless, it appeared that the judgment of Bush about policy objective was correct. He was able to avoid the error committed by Truman in Korea—letting positive military events affect war strategy. Within the framework of a narrow political objective, the U.S. and its partners had exercised merciless military techniques. Persistence of the air offensive until important enemies had been almost annihilated disheartened Iraqi forces and removed the national command-and-control structure from its forward units. Disabled by coalition bombardments ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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