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Desert Shield And Desert Storm And Weinberger's Tests For The Uses Of Military Power

Desert Shield And Desert Storm And Weinberger's Tests For The Uses Of Military Power


CSC 1992


SUBJECT AREA National Military Strategy





Title: Desert Shield and Desert Storm and Weinberger' s

Tests for the Uses of Military Power


Author: Major Stanley L. Hill, United States Air Force


Thesis: The Bush Administration met the six tests for the

use of military power as outlined by Casper Weinberger,

during the Persian Gulf War.


Background: The United States has had problems using the

military element of national power since World War II. The

problems have been twofold. First, the use of military

force has not been in concert with the other elements of

national power. Second the military has been given tasks

which it is ill-equipped to perform. During the Reagan

Administration, Secretary of Defense, Casper Weinberger,

refocused our attention to the proper use of military power

in his six tests.


The recent use of military power in Southwest Asia has

received favorable reviews: Our country "feels good" about

itself and our military. This is in stark contrast to the

way we felt post-Vietnam. I believe one of the reasons the

military was used effectively and received wide public

support, is the result of passing the tests defined by

Secretary Weinberger.


While I found no comments by anyone in the Bush

Administration that there was a conscience effort to apply

the Weinberger tests before the use of military force began

the Administration passed all six tests. The support of

this position is documented by review of the information

available in the national media at the time. The use of

military power, in support of government objectives, with

the backing of the American people, helped to make Desert

Shield and Desert Storm an example of how governments should









Thesis Statement: The Bush Administration met the six tess for the

use of military power, as outlined by Casper Weinberger, during

the Persian Gulf War.


I. Background leading to Weinberger tests


II. Test one, our vital interests must be at stake


III. Test two, the issues involved are so important for the future of

the United States and our allies that we are prepared to commit

enough forces to win


IV. Test three, we have clearly defined political and military

objectives, which we must secure


V. Test four, we have sized our forces to achieve our objective


VI. Test five, we have some reasonable assurance of the support

of the American people


VII. Test six, U.S. forces are committed to combat only as a

last resort








"It' s a proud day for Americans. And, by God, we've

kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all." (104:223)

President Bush's statement at the end of the hostilities

against Iraq was a summation most military professionals had

worked their entire career to hear. Since Vietnam, the

military has fought to ensure there would be no more

Vietnams. However, the key is a government which knows how

to use military force effectively. The Reagan

Administration took many steps to prepare the United States

for war. One of the most important steps taken was by

Secretary of Defense, Casper Weinberger, when he focused on

the use of military power. He did this in his remarks to

the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on November 28,


Our politicians have had difficulty in the use of


military power since World War II. This has been a major


concern, given the fact that the United States had become a


world power. In Korea, we were unprepared. The remarks by


Secretary of State, Acheson, which omitted Korea as an area


of our strategic concern, appeared to be a political


invitation for the use of military force by the North


Koreans. The United States responded by introducing


military forces which achieved early success. However,


changing political and military objectives turned success


into retreat, and eventual stalemate. The ensuing two years


of almost stationary battle, as the politicians talked,


resulted in confusion back home. How could a third world


force stagnate a world power? We were sacrificing


American's most precious commodity, our young men's lives,


and we were not committed to winning the war. The resulting


political, military, and public debates lead to the relief


of one of America's most highly regarded war generals,


Douglas MacArthur, and aided in President Truman's failure


to be re-elected.(33:352) We did not win the war and we did


not win the peace; Korea remains divided over 40 years later


-- not a desired effect from the use of military force.


In Vietnam, politicians once again used military force


poorly and suffered accordingly. President Johnson met the


same fate of President Truman, no re-election; one of the


key reasons, his inability to effectively use military


force.(51:335) Personally, I saw friction in our society


which appears to have been matched only by the Civil War.


It was during the later part of the Vietnam War that I


entered the U.S. Air Force Academy and felt part of


America's frustration being vented on me. I remember


vividly preparing to go to football games and being told to


expect to be spit upon to have my uniform desecrated and to


have students at other higher education institutions want to


start fights with me. I watched our forces return from


combat to be shunned by society, a society for which the


soldier thought he was risking his life. We did not win the


war and we did not win the peace; Vietnam remains under


communist rule -- not a desired effect from the use of


military force.


Vietnam and Korea were the two major uses of military


force since World War II and both failed to use military


force properly to achieve our stated national objectives.


This failure has been a topic of much discussion within our


society. It has been a topic of particular interest to the


military, who initially was the target for most of the


frustration the United States citizens felt. Since the


initial frustration, most citizens now understand the


military was executing the strategy conceived, and directed,


by our government.


It is this key link of political objectives to military


objectives which failed. It is the theory of Carl von


Clausewitz revisited. He states in Book One of "On War, `War


is merely the continuation of Policy by other means.' "(106:87)


Additionally, Clausewitz identifies the critical connection


between the people, the government, and the army.(106:89)


By going back to these basics, Casper Weinberger refocused


the United States on the use of military force. By tying these


early writings of Clausewitz to our society, Weinberger has


given us some excellent guidelines as we view the use of


military force as an element of national power.


A year after Desert Shield and Desert Storm is still


somewhat early to be attempting a critical, unemotional


evaluation of what happen. However, the essence of my


interest is rooted in an emotional issue, the support our


military forces had prior to hostilities and the heroes


welcome they received upon returning home. This stark


contrast to the welcome home for our troops from Vietnam


needs to be a major lesson learned from the Gulf War.


I believe military professionals need to be well-versed


in the understanding of how military power works as an


element of national power. Use of the Weinberger tests not


only aids the politicians, it aids the military. Following


Weinberger' s speech, much was written about his tests, both


pro and con. The Marine Corps Gazette contained an exchange


of views between Major John Otis, USMC, and Captain John


Byron, USN. In his article, Captain Byron wrote:


Military officers should distance themselves from

discussions of the criteria for the use of force,

leaving these debates to the civilian leaders, and

concentrate instead on proficiency and

professionalism as warriors. A more proper stance

for the military is "We are ready now, sir," not

"Let's see if the six tests are met."(17:18)


I agree military professionals should not be debating


whether we will follow orders if all six tests are not


passed. However, the Goldwater-Nichols Reorganization Act


of 1986 makes the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff the


primary adviser to the Secretary of Defense and the


President on topics concerning the military. While a key


topic is proficiency and readiness, "professionalism"


requires the military advisory to be able to ensure the


politicians are given accurate portraits of what military


force can, and cannot, do. The Weinberger tests help when


considering the use of military force.


It is my contention the Bush administration met the six


tests for the use of military power as outlined by Casper


Weinberger. I have come upon no source in which anyone in


the Administration has said definitively they applied the


tests, yet many of the Administration's actions satisfy the


requirements. I realize there were many factors which


contributed to the attitude of the United States citizens


towards their returning warriors. I am not stating that the


use of the Weinberger tests resulted in the overwhelming


support of our troops. I do believe the tests help the


civilian leaders to focus on a clearer use of military force


in achieving national objectives. This focus results in the


military being given appropriate objectives. This in turn,


allows the public to evaluate the military on its ability to


accomplish the assigned mission. This differs from the


Vietnam era where I was judged based upon a failure of


political, not military, objectives.


The Weinberger tests primarily deal with the conditions


leading up to the use of military force. As such, I will


address the six tests and how I view events which supported


them. Without the years of hindsight, and the many


historians, political and social science experts to put this


in perspective for me, I will examine these events as they


were reported in our national media leading up to, and


through, the swift conclusion of the ground offensive.




First, the United States should not commit forces

to combat overseas unless the particular engagement

or occasion is deemed vital to our national

interest or that of our allies. That emphatically

does not mean that we should declare beforehand, as

we did with Korea in 1950, that a particular area

is outside our strategic perimeter, (108:441)


The first test, as it pertains to Southwest Asia, is


quite complex. It is complex because there were three


different issues concerning what was vital to our national


interests. The first scenario was the defense of Kuwait.


The second scenario was the defense of Saudi Arabia. The


last scenario dealt with removing Saddam Hussein from power


in Iraq. Before we examine the three cases, let us first


examine the last part of test one, not declaring beforehand


our strategic perimeter.


Soon after the invasion, people in the United States


began asking how Saddam Hussein thought he could get away


with "annexing" Kuwait. In Washington, the question was


whether someone had made the same mistake with Kuwait that


Secretary of State, Acheson, had made with Korea. By the


first week in October, Congress was holding hearings into


that question and much attention was paid to Ambassador


April Glaspie. On July 25 she had met with Saddam Hussein


and forwarded President Bush's message that he "personally


wants to expand and deepen the relationship with Iraq." She


added, "We don't have much to say about Arab-Arab


differences, like your border differences with Kuwait. All


we hope is that you solve those matters quickly."(77:54)


I'm sure this conversation will be analyzed by every author


who writes about the Gulf War. Its role as a catalyst


appears to be insignificant if one considers the many public


statements Saddam made after his invasion of Kuwait. He


never mentioned the U.S. as having any influence on his


decision to invade Kuwait.


Prior to the invasion, the U.S.'s strategic perimeter


had obviously included the Gulf Area. Since President


Roosevelt, no matter which political party held the


Presidency, the Gulf Area was of strategic importance to the


U.S. (102:1216) In 1985 Assistant Secretary of Defense,


Richard Armittage, highlighted the Gulf Area as not only


"vitally important to the U.S., but to the economies of the


entire Free world."(2:7) The focus on the Gulf continued


into the Bush Administration. General Schwarzkopf,


Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command, in a May/June


1990 Defense article, cited President Bush's reaffirmed


"commitment to protect its (the U.S.'s) vital regional


interest throughout Southwest Asia. "(83:27) Given we were


concerned with the Gulf Area in general, let us focus


specifically on the events leading up to the Iraqi invasion


of Kuwait on August 2, 1990 and the subsequent issues.


We had warning time prior to the invasion of Kuwait.


Politically, Saddam had made threats toward his fellow Arab


brothers which provided an indication of what was to


come. (50:47) Militarily, the logistical preparation had


been spotted with a resulting change in the military


estimate of what could happen which provided warning


time. (77:54) We had warning time, but did not use it. Once


the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait began, it was completed so


fast, that there was little we could do with conventional


forces to stop it. Kuwait was invaded, the question was,


what do we do now?


During previous situations, the United States had


demonstrated that Kuwait could fall within our strategic


perimeter. When Kuwaiti tankers were threatened by Iran


during the Iran-Iraq war, the U.S. used its military forces


to protect the tankers. Secretary of Defense, Weinberger,


stated, "...the free movement of important commerce on


international waters was vital to our security. "(108:402)


Additionally, he stated the U.S. military was not committing


forces to combat, although that may happen. The key point


here is that the U.S. had not defined Kuwait as our


interest, but free movement on international waters. Even


though this appeared to set a precedent, we should remember


Weinberger had also stated "...judgments about vital


interests will sometimes depend on circumstances of the


specific case and trends, as well as intrinsic


values."(109:7) This left the Bush administration free to


define our vital interest during this Persian Gulf Crisis.


President Bush's initial responses to the Iraqi invasion


were mixed; however, when he started to focus, his focus was


on Saudi Arabia. (6:20)


While President Bush may have sent mixed signals about


the invasion of Kuwait, his response concerning Saudi Arabia


was clear. With the Iraqis moving within five miles of the


border with Saudi Arabia, President Bush did not rule out a


counterstrike and warned Saddam that Saudi Arabia was a


"vital interest" of the U.S.(102:1216) Even House Speaker


Thomas Foley warned that an attack on Saudi Arabia "would


call for direct military response by the United States. "(71:22)


With the build-up of Iraqi forces continuing on the Saudi


border, combined with the unpredictability of Saddam Hussein,


the Saudis asked for and received U.S. forces to assist in Saudi


Arabia's defense. Attention now turned to Kuwait.


The determination of our vital interest in Kuwait was


not in the country itself, but to an ideal. Just as in the


Kuwaiti reflagging mission, Kuwait was not the issue, the


ideal was. This time the issue was whether one country can


overrun and annex another. President Bush warned early that


Saddam's aggression would not stand. The U.S. would stand


for an ideal, and Kuwait was the place where we would stand.


As for the remaining issue of removing Saddam Hussein


from power, this objective was widely discussed in the


media, but never endorsed by the Administration. It was


discussed in mid-August as a potential hidden agenda and


editorials continue to this day as to whether the U.S.


failed to complete the job by removing Saddam from


power. (56:22) President Bush repeatedly stated before and


after the war that Saddam's rule in Iraq was an issue for


the Iraqi people, not for the U.S. The President determined


Saddam' s being in power was not vital to our national


interests and Saddam was not a military objective. The


President had determined our national interest based upon


the situation. The first test was passed.




Second, if we decide it is necessary to put combat

troops into a given situation, we should do so

wholeheartedly, and with the clear intention of

winning. If we are unwilling to commit the forces

or resources necessary to achieve our objectives, we

should not commit them at all. Of course if the

particular situation requires only limited force to

win our objectives, then we should not hesitate to

commit forces sided accordingly. When Hitler broke

treaties and remilitarized the Rhineland, small

combat forces then could perhaps have prevented the

holocaust of World War II.(108:441)


The President was committed to the mission from the


start. By mid-August the Administration's strategy was


maturing and President Bush's vow of "This aggression will


not stand" was supported not only at home, but throughout


the world. While support for the Administration's strategy


would fluctuate somewhat throughout operations in the Gulf,


the support of the overriding principle to stop naked


aggression was always strong. When it appeared force would


be needed to accomplish the objectives, the military had the


full support of its Commander in Chief to win the war.


While the President had other issues at home and abroad


that did take his time, his number one topic was the Gulf.


He kept the world's attention focused there. There were 30


issues of Time magazine between August 2, 1990, when the


invasion began, and February 27, 1991, when the President


announced we had met our objectives and ordered the


suspension of offensive military operations. During that


time, 15 cover stories were devoted to the Gulf and all 30


issues contained major articles referring to it.


We used all elements of national power in dealing with


the Persian Gulf Crisis. The focus of diplomatic and


political power was at the U.N. Through the U.N.`s embargo,


the world's economic power was focused against Iraq. As for


military power, the ever-building ability to take military


action against Iraq continued.


The military situation reached a point where political


commitment would be tested early. The test came in two


ways. First, the question of casualties was continually


asked. The lethality of today's battlefield, combined with


what we knew of the Iran-Iraq war, lead to estimates of


causalities which are best exemplified by former Chairman of


the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral William Crowe, "a


terrible price."(3:29) Those who tried to estimate the


numbers went up as far as hundreds of thousands. Faced


with these numbers, the Administration held firm to its




The second test of political commitment was the


mobilization of our reserve forces. Because of the way our


military is now structured with the Total Force policy, all


branches of the military needed their reserve forces. In


addition, the Air Force needed the Civil Reserve Air Fleet


to accomplish the assigned tasks. The President supported


early activation of the reserves and Civil Reserve Air Fleet


in August. We were committed.


The size of the committed force was based upon the


assigned task. Unlike Weinberger's comparison to Hitler's


forces at the start of World War II, Saddam's forces were


not small to begin with. Saddam had the largest military in


Southwest Asia and the fourth largest in the world. When


the military objectives were to deter Iraqi aggression and


defend Saudi Arabia, our force was structured accordingly.


When the President wanted the option to use military power


to enforce the U.N. resolutions if the economic embargo


failed, we resized our force. The second test was passed.




Third, if we do decide to commit forces to combat

overseas, we should have clearly defined political

and military objectives. And we should know

precisely how our forces can accomplish those

clearly defined objectives. And we should have and

send the forces needed to do just that. As

Clausewitz wrote, "No one starts a war--or rather,

no one in his senses ought to do so--without first

being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve

by that war, and how he intends to conduct it."

War may be different today than in

Clausewitz's time, but the need for well-defined

objectives and a consistent strategy is still

essential. If we determine that a combat mission

has become necessary for our vital national

interests, then we must send forces capable to do

the job--and not assign a combat mission to a force

conf igured for peacekeeping. (108:441)


This is by far the easiest of the tests to evaluate.


We had clearly defined political and military objectives.


The political goals were stated plainly in U.N. resolutions


from the start. First, U.N. Security Council Resolution 660


stated Iraq was to leave Kuwait.(100:2) Second, U.N.


Security Council Resolution 662 demanded the restoration of


the legitimate government of Kuwait.(101:1.3) Third, we were


committed to the security and stability of the Persian Gulf.


And our fourth and final objective, was the continued


protection of American citizen abroad. These objectives


were made clear during the President's speech to the nation


on August 8, 1990.(102:1216)


There was a discussion in the national press during


mid-November that the President was changing the objectives


of the war. (44:30) This did not occur. The U.N.`s


objectives had not changed; neither had those of the U.S.


readjustment of the elements of national power occurred


during that time period. The military had accomplished the


first objective it was given: Iraqi aggression had been


deterred and we had aided in the defense of Saudi Arabia.


When it appeared that the economic and diplomatic elements


of power might not work, the Administration wanted the


option of using military force, the third element of


national power. This gave the military a new objective, to


be capable of conducting offensive operations. It was not a


change in national objectives, but a change in an element of


national power to accomplish the objective,


The objective that caused the largest problem was the


elusive "security and stability" of the Persian Gulf. Here


is an area of the world that has been involved in turmoil


since history began. From Biblical accounts, this area


appears to be the cradle of civilization. In the Bible, the


first family to live in this area had a problem between


their two sons, Cain and Abel, and the trouble has not


stopped to this day. It is no wonder the Administration had


problems in trying to define this objective. Granted, the


third objective given by the President caused some concern


in being clearly defined. However, overall the primary


objectives were clearly defined. The third test was passed.






Fourth, the relationship between our objectives and

the forces we have committed--their size,

composition and disposition--must be continually

reassessed and adjusted if necessary. Conditions

and objectives invariably change during the course

of a conflict. When they do change, then so must

our combat requirements, We must continuously keep

as a beacon light before us the basic questions:

"Is this conflict in our national interest?" "Does

our national interest require us to fight, to use

force of arms?" If the answers are "yes," then we

must win. If the answers are "no," then we should

not be in combat. (108:442)


While the essence of our objectives in the Gulf


remained stable, as discussed in test three, there was some


"reassessment and adjustment" on the margins of the


objectives of our force. Weinberger points out that


conditions and objectives change. I believe in this case,


as the U.S. and the world became more informed about Saddam


Hussein, this knowledge changed the conditions. We replaced


the assumptions we had made at the start of the invasion of


Kuwait with knowledge about the nature of the Iraqi leader


and made adjustments. We can look at this test with broader


meaning than just military force. If you take Weinberger's


first sentence and take "force" to mean all the elements of


national power, you can see we did continually reassess and


adjust our forces. As diplomatic and political forces were


maneuvered at the U.N. and throughout the world, so too were


economic forces. Kuwaiti and Iraqi assets throughout the


world were frozen, the oil pipelines out of Iraq were


shutdown, and an embargo was enforced. All of these moves


were adjustments of force.


While these other elements of national power were being


employed, the military was also assessing and adjusting.


When the presence of our troops, deployed to deter Saddam


Hussein, did not accomplish the objective of getting him to


withdraw from Kuwait, the U.S. reassessed. By deploying a


force large enough to take offensive action, we made the


adjustment needed to meet the President's next tasking, the


use of military force to meet our national objectives.


While the actual combat phase of the operation was


relatively short, we constantly reassessed our operations.


This is particularly true of the air campaign. We also


evaluated ground operations when they started. With modern


technology, the President and his warfighting Commander in


Chief can be in contact in a moment's notice. This ability


to communicate allowed the President to halt the operation


at any time he felt our national objectives had been met.


He did just that. During President Bushes address to the


nation on February 27, 1991 he stated:


After consulting with Secretary of Defense

Cheney, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,

General Powell, and our coalition partners, I am

pleased to announce that at midnight tonight,

Eastern Standard Time, exactly 100 hours since

ground operations commenced and six weeks since the

start of Operation Desert Storm, all United States

and coalition forces will suspend offensive combat

operations. ( 103:222)


In this case, our objectives remained clear and


focused. On an on-going basis, we adjusted our forces to


accomplish the objectives assigned to them by the President.


Test four was passed.




Fifth, before the U.S. commits combat forces

abroad, there must be some reasonable assurance we

will have the support of the American people and

their elected representatives in Congress. This

support cannot be achieved unless we are candid in

making clear the threats we face; the support

cannot be sustained without continuing and close

consultation. We cannot fight a battle with the

Congress at home while asking our troops to win a

war overseas or, as in the case of Vietnam, in

effect asking our troops not to win, but just to be

there. ( 108:442)


This is the test I felt the Bush Administration was not


going to pass. It was not the lack of support from the


American people which was at risk, it was the support of


Congress that could not be assured. The interaction between


the Congress and the Administration can be confusing to


someone not familiar with our democratic system. The


President had the support of the American people, he had


rallied world support, and yet, he could not count on the


support of Congress. Of all the tests, this is the one


which ties the people, the government, and the army together


as Clausewitz had discussed. Based upon our history, most


wars we were involved in started with support of the people


back home. It is after we get involved and see the


associated risks and costs that support falters. Perhaps,


this is why many politicians were cautious in their support


of military action, regardless of what the current public


opinion polls were showing.


The public opinion poll measures the American pulse on


any issue. These polls were conducted continuously by


several major news organizations throughout our involvement


in the Gulf and were used to evaluate American sentiment.


In this respect, we probably could not have had a better


enemy than Saddam Hussein. His actions proceeded to build


support against him. Detaining foreign nationals,


exploiting a child in a media ploy, and threatening the U.S.


all worked against him. The reports of the destruction


Iraqi troops were inflicting upon Kuwait coupled with the


reports of Saddam's use of chemical weapons on his own


people at an earlier time, reinforced the belief that this


man had to be stopped. The repeated comparisons to Hitler


gave people someone to measure Saddam against and the


opinion polls showed the public's reaction. A "Time" poll in


August 1990 showed 75 percent of those polled supported the


commitment of troops to Saudi Arabia. (56:21) At this point


many people hoped our mere presence in the Gulf would cause


Saddam to back down. That did not happen. By January, the


use of military force to free Kuwait was becoming more


probable. While the use of military force was rapidly


approaching and the loss of life was expected to be high,


the polls were reporting Americans were concerned with


whether President Bush had done enough before we went to


war, not "if" we should go to war. The majority felt


President Bush had done enough. (67:36) At different times


the opinion poll numbers went up and down; nevertheless, the


support of the American people was there.


The part of the test I felt was most in danger of not


being met was the support of Congress. Just as the military


had learned many lessons from Vietnam, so had Congress. In


recent years, Congress has been exerting more influence into


international affairs. One of the ways it has exerted this


role is in the War Powers Act. The legality of the act and


its implications are much too complex to address here, but I


mention it to reinforce the ongoing struggle within our


government for control of the military instrument of


national power. The point is, Congress wanted a voice in


the use of military force. However, to make the hard choice


and commit to the use of force, Congress would then be


jointly responsible for the results. By accepting


responsibility, it would then make it harder for Congress to


blame the Administration later if operations did not go


well. While the Constitutional power to declare war was


never questioned, who could commit forces to combat was


extensively discussed.


I believe the Administration was somewhat perplexed


with the situation of having the support of the American


people and the international community and yet Congress


could not be counted on for support. This vulnerability


could undermine the support the President had built. The


Administration initially avoided the issue of the need for


Congressional approval to start operations. (39:33) As, the


start of offensive operations approached and with the world


community supporting military operations, the Administration


sought and received Congressional support. (60:32) Finally,


with the support of Congress, and the American people, the


fifth test passed.






Finally, the commitment of U.S. forces to combat

should be a last resort.(108:442)


While I stated test five was the one test I felt the


Bush Administration would fail to meet, this last test is


the hardest to say we met. When Saddam stopped offensive


action, he put the decision to resume the use of military


force on the U.S. We now had to make the decision to begin


offensive operations to reclaim Kuwait. Was the use of


military force the last resort? While the question leads to


great speculation, its answer can never be known.


What we do know is tremendous amounts of time and


energy were spent looking for a solution other than the use


of military force. Economic sanctions had been tried.


There were those like Senate majority leader George Mitchell


who in mid-January were still arguing against the use of


military force and for the continued use of economic


sanctions. While the sanctions were having some effect, the


effects did not appear to be of such magnitude that they


would force Saddam to withdraw from Kuwait. As we waited,


the plundering of Kuwait continued. Additionally, the more


time we gave the Iraqis, the better their military defenses


became. Economic sanctions appeared to have failed. (70: 40)


The search for a diplomatic solution continued up


until, and through, the start of the U.N. counterattack


against Saddam. Many attempts were made to try to provide


some movement towards peace. Saddam Hussein was determined


not to give up Kuwait. What the world had hoped was


rhetoric, Saddam's statement that Kuwait was part of Iraq,


was his objective. (49:13) This was unacceptable to the


world community as demonstrated in multiple U.N.


resolutions. Saddam and the World's views were mutually


exclusive. The reluctant reality of the situation was made


gainfully clear during the meeting in Geneva between


Secretary of State James Baker and Iraqi Foreign Minister


Tariq Aziz on January 9, 1991. A flurry of diplomatic


activity occurred during the final days before the U.N.


deadline of January 15, 1991. Even President Gorbachev


tried to intervene one last time, but his warning to Saddam


was too late. (27:18) More realistically, the warning would


seem to have been unheeded, like all the warnings before it.


Diplomacy appeared to have failed.


The use of military power in the defense is an easy


Decision; in the offense, it is difficult to say all other


options have failed and we are at our "last resort." This


is the hardest test, for there will always be those who say


you can do more before using military force. What we need


is something similar to our legal concept of the "reasonable


man." Would a reasonable man consider other options


exhausted and the only thing left was military force to use


a last resort? The deadline for Iraq to leave Kuwait


helped to focus the efforts to avoid war. As British


Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd stated: "The advantage of


having a deadline is that it creates the maximum pressure


for a peaceful solution."(58:25) After five and a half


months, I believe the reasonable man would conclude we


were at the last resort. The last test had been passed.


There is not a panacea for the use of military force.


Each time a country elects to use it, there are consequences


which that country did not plan. It is therefore of the


utmost importance that we not make the decision to use


military force lightly. Based upon what Casper Weinberger


had seen in examining the use of military force, he believed


the United States was losing that focus.(108:159) His


speech to the National Press Club has set the stage for a


critical look before we elected to use the military element


of power. The uses of military force in Desert Shield and


Desert Storm are being hailed as great successes. By


complying with Weinberger's six tests, even if in a defacto


state, I believe we set the stage where competent commanders


could be successful.


While never directly stating it was attempting to


follow Weinberger's tests, the Bush administration did pass


all six tests. However, there is a risk associated with


proclaiming Weinberger's tests as doctrine. The risk is in


the failure to pass one of the tests. If the Administration


was not assured of Congressional support, would it have used


military force? From all of the statements before Congress


by key members of the Administration, I believe the answer


is yes, the implications of that act would have just added


to the War Powers Act controversy. By openly accepting the


tests as doctrine, a precedent would have been set which the


executive may not want.


What we wanted, and received, was a successful


operation, both overseas and at home. I believe the


teachings of Clausewitz helped to make this happen. The


Administration demonstrated the maxim that war is merely the


continuation of policy by other means. While understanding


the concern for military professionals to avoid becoming


involved in politics, they must be involved with policy. To


quote Clausewitz one last time:


The first, the supreme, the most far-reaching

act of judgment that the statesman and commander

have to make is to establish by that test the kind

of war on which they are embarking; neither

mistaking it for, nor trying to turn it into,

something that is alien to its nature. This is the

first of all strategic questions and the most

comprehensive. (106:88)


By understanding why, and for what, we are going to war, we


can understand war's nature.


We understood the nature of the war in the Gulf. We


had a President who used military force wisely. We had


professional officers who employed the force with expertise.


It is for these reasons, my fellow military professionals


and I, were judged by the American people to be worthy of


their support. The experience of being in uniform in 1991


was a dramatic change from 1973. This too, is a vivid




Having employed the military well this time does not


guarantee we will do as well next time. Of the many things


we did correct in the Gulf war, keeping the focus-provided


by Weinberger's tests was a keystone. It provided the


bridge between our military forces, our government, and our


people. It is a link in assuring "no more Vietnams."




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