Publius / January 18, 2016

Gulf War Started 25 Years Ago Sunday

America is still responding to past mistakes.

Sunday, Jan. 17 marked the 25th anniversary of the start of Operation Desert Storm, a response to when then-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein refused to end his occupation of Kuwait. The first shots came from two teams of Apache helicopters, which flew low over the desert floor to blast a hole in Saddam’s air defense 20 miles wide. What came next was a barrage from U.S. air power, a six-week campaign of airstrikes that, in the words of Air Force Magazine, “introduced stealth, precision-guided munitions, widespread use of space assets, and parallel warfare to the practice of modern war.” But while weapons technology progressed, Operation Iraqi Freedom is what happens when you don’t finish the job the first time. The rise of the Islamic State is what happens when a commander in chief who doesn’t finish the job the second time retreats from Iraq.

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