ON WARFARE - GULF WAR 1991
Appendices:-AArmy Deployment Comparison.
BArmament Used In Gulf War.
CSatellites Used In Op"Desert Storm".
DAnti - Tank Weapons Used In Op "Desert Sabre".
1. "On the battlefield of the future enemy forces will be located, tracked and targeted almost instantaneously through the use of data-links, computer-assisted intelligence evaluation and automated fire control. With first-round kill probabilities approaching certainty and with surveillance devices that can continuously track the enemy, the need for large forces to fix the opposition physically will be less important. I see battlefields that are under 24 hour real or near-real-time surveillance of all types. I see battlefields on which we can destroy anything we locate through instant communications and almost instantaneous application of highly lethal firepower".
2. This quotation is from a speech made on 15 Oct 69 by Gen William Westmoreland, the then US Army's Chief of Staff, to the Association of the US Army. The General's vision has become a reality today because of the stupendous impact Toffler's "Third Wave" technologies like micro-electronics, composites, stealth, etc have had on warfare, and what better example to corroborate the fact than Saddam Hussein's `Mother of all Battles' or in popular parlance `Gulf War 1991'. Never in the history of warfare has technology unleashed such awesome power or delivered results as it did in the 43 day war. The blow-by-blow account and ring-side view of the war, the whole world was treated to in their sitting rooms, demonstrated the impact science and technology (S&T) has had on warfare.
3. The influence of technology on warfare is not something new. It has occurred from time immemorial. For example, the use of iron enhanced striking power as well as improved protective means; stirrups on horses greatly improved mobility; the crossbow was an incremental advance in firepower from the longbow; and later the invention of gunpowder, the aeroplane, tank, radar, nuclear weapons etc had a profound impact on the very nature of war and became the force that drove operational concepts and doctrines.
4. One of the findings of a study by the House Armed Services Committee, US Congress, led by Les Aspin, on the Gulf War states that the effective use of high technology was a key reason for both the high level of performance of air and ground forces, and minimisation of Allied casualties. The Congressional study elaborates this finding by the following facts:-
(a) A new precision in the delivery of weapons made them more effective than in the past and reduced collateral damage.
(b) Survivability of ac and aircrew was enhanced by stealth, defence suppression, increased use of pilotless weapons and stand-off weapons. High availability rates for ac were promoted by maintainability in new systems. These factors, in turn, increased sorties rates and allowed the air campaign in particular to develop and sustain a devastating momentum.
(c) Greater tgt acquisition ranges and more effective firepower enables ground forces to engage enemy forces at distances beyond the range of enemy sensors.
(d) Night vision devices enabled round-the-clock operations for Army ground forces.
(e) Land Navigation through the use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) enabled commanders to execute the so called "Left Hook" through open, nearly featureless desert with unprecedented speed and precision.
5. The Gulf War was a space-age war in its unprecedented use of satellites which provided surveillance, weather data, navigation-support, threat warnings; and timely and secure communications. The war demonstrated that improvements in satellite and sensor technologies have made it possible for the battlefield to be increasingly transparent by day as well as...