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Case Study In Failure: The Iraqi Air Campaign, 1991
CSC 1992
SUBJECT AREA History
			EXECUTIVE SUMMARY	
Title:  Case Study in Failure: The Iraqi Air Campaign, 1991
Author: Robert L. Knight, GS-13, Central Intelligence Agency
Thesis: Using the methodology developed by Eliot A. Cohen and John
Gooch in their book Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in
War, an analysis of the Iraqi air campaign in the Persian Gulf War
reveals that Baghdad suffered a catastrophic failure consisting of
three elements: a failure to learn, a failure to anticipate, and a
failure to adapt.
Background: Cohen and Gooch identify five types of failure that a
military force can suffer in a campaign. The three types of "simple
failure" include a failure to learn, a failure to anticipate, and
a failure to adapt. The two "complex failures  are l) an aggregate
failure, which involves a combination of two simple failures, and
2) a catastrophic failure, which consists of all three types of
simple failures occurring at the same time or sequentially. In the
case of the Iraqi Air Force, they failed to learn from their own
experiences in the Iran-Iraq War and from the experiences of
others, including the U.S. in Vietnam. Baghdad failed to anticipate
the level of violence and complexity that they would have to face
in the Allied  air  campaign.  Finally,  Iraq  was  not  able  to
successfully adapt to the situation presented them, with the result
that much of their combat air power was either destroyed on the
ground or else was forced to flee to Iran.
Recommendation: The methodology proposed by Cohen and Gooch should
be studied and employed by military historians and officer students
to better understand the components of military disaster and to
identify weaknesses in our own planning and training for combat.
              CASE STUDY IN FAILURE: THE IRAQI AIR CAMPAIGN, 1991
                                    OUTLINE
THESIS: Using the methodology developed by Eliot A. Cohen and John
Gooch in their book Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in
War, an analysis of the Iraqi air campaign in the Persian Gulf War
reveals that Baghdad suffered a catastrophic failure consisting of
three elements: a failure to learn, a failure to anticipate, and a
failure to adapt.
I.	The Air War
        A.    	Iraqi air in the Iran-Iraq war
        	l.  	Initial strength
               	2.  	Opening weeks of war
        	3.  	Iranian superiority, Iraqi weaknesses
        	4.  	Iraq resurgent, Western aid
           	5.  	Command and control problems
        	6.  	Air defense
	B.	Iraqi air in the Persian Gulf War
        	l.  	Initial strength
        	2.  	Layers of air defense
        	3.  	Allied attack, Iraqi air defense collapse
        	4.  	Iraqi/Allied losses
II.   	Analysis of Iraqi Failures
      	A.    	Failure to learn
	B.	Failure to anticipate
	C.	Failure to adapt
INTRODUCTION: FAILURE IN WAR, A METHODOLOGY FOR ANALYSIS
     	"Why do competent military organizations fail?"(1) This is
the question Eliot A. Cohen and John Gooch -- visiting faculty
members of the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island in
1985 -- asked themselves as they attempted to develop an
understanding of operational failure in war. Assuming that one
side in a campaign is not totally outmatched in size or
material  by  the  other or  does  not  suffer  from grossly
incompetent  leadership, what  factors might  result  in  its
suffering a humiliating defeat. Why do "misfortunes" occur in
battle and who, or what, is to blame?
     	Cohen and Gooch were not satisfied with the time-honored
expedient of automatically blaming the commander when his army
met with  defeat.  The  breadth of  the modern  battlefield
combined  with  the  complexity  of  current  warfighting
technologies has subordinated the influence of any one man --
even the commander -- to that of the organization which has
been developed to actually oversee the day-to-day conduct of
war. (2 )Furthermore, the organization, or bureaucracy, that has
grown up to conduct war reacts in its own unique way to the
setbacks  and  potential  disasters  encountered  on  the
battlefield.(3) Cohen and Gooch argue that by studying how
selected military organizations have unsuccessfully prepared
for, and reacted to, the stresses and surprises of modern
combat, the student/soldier can identify potential weaknesses
in  his  own  military   and,   hopefully,   avoid   future
"misfortunes."
     	After an in-depth review of twentieth century warfare,
Cohen and Gooch -- in their book Military Misfortune: the
Anatomy of Failure in War -- have identified three simple, and
two complex types of military failure:  failure to learn,
failure to anticipate, failure to adapt, aggregate failure (a
combination of two simple failures), and catastrophic failure
(a combination of  all  three simple  failures).(4)  The case
studies that the authors use to demonstrate their methodology
are convincing,(5) but the true test of a methodology is it
applicability to new situations. This paper will focus on the
Iraqi air campaigns  in the Iran-Iraq War and the recent
Persian Gulf War to see if the Iraqi defeat in 1991 can be
categorized using the Cohen and Gooch system.
     	First, however, some caveats are in order. Cohen and
Gooch developed their methodology by studying well-researched
campaigns for which information was readily available from
both sides of the action. In the case of the Iran-Iraq War,
most information on the actual fighting came from the official
propaganda organs of the two belligerents, neither known for
its adherence to Western standards of truthful reporting. In
the case of the Persian Gulf War, the same situation held true
for the Iraqi side, i.e., we have little objective information
on the Iraqi high command's (the Revolutionary Command Council
-- RCC) thought processes during the war. We know they failed
miserably but we do not  know their concept for how the
campaign was supposed to go. Second, Cohen and Gooch developed
their methodology to explain why, given evenly-matched and
competent opponents, one side or the other fails in a big way.
This explains their use of the term "misfortune. "(6) Were the
Iraqis and the Allied forces evenly matched? Were the Iraqis
competent? Certainly before the war many commentators and
military experts viewed the Iraqi military as a capable and
worthy opponent. Now, with the aid of perfect hindsight, many
argue that the result was a foregone conclusion  Even if the
Iraqis were doomed from the beginning, can the methodology
still be applied to give us insight into what factors brought
this situation into being?  Finally, Cohen and Gooch argue that
the seeds of misfortune and failure in modern warfare are
planted in the organization, not in the individual commander.(7)
But does this apply in the case of a dictatorship such as
Iraq. Can Iraq's defeat be squarely laid at the feet of Saddam
Hussein? While the argument can be made that this is the case
at the strategic level of national policy, at the operational
level the military machine that Saddam built must be judged on
its own shortcomings.
     	With these considerations in mind, analysis reveals that
the Iraqi Air Force learned -- or, more precisely, mislearned
-- lessons from their marginally-successful conduct of the
Iran-Iraq  War  that  almost  certainly  guaranteed  their
subsequent  defeat   during  Desert   Shield/Desert   Storm.
Specifically, they misread the value of strategic and tactical
airpower and their effect on the conduct of highly mobile,
combined-arms warfare. Furthermore, they failed to anticipate
the results of the military renaissance the U.S. had undergone
in the aftermath of Vietnam with the development of the air-
land battle doctrine and its integration with new military
technologies. Finally, Baghdad's attempts to adapt to the
challenge  of  the Allied  air  campaign  proved  completely
ineffective with the result that much of the Iraqi Air Force
fled across the border into the hands of their enemy, Iran, or
else were destroyed  inside their concrete shelters.  This
failure  to  learn,  anticipate,  and adapt  set  Iraq up to
experience a catastrophic failure as defined by Cohen and
Gooch.
THE AIR WAR
IRAQI AIR IN THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR
     	The lessons Iraq learned in its eight-year war with Iran
concerning the employment of aircraft and the conduct of an
air campaign did not prepare it for what it would face on the
night of January 17, 1991. Baghdad began the Iran-Iraq war
with   approximately  372    aircraft,  mostly   of   Soviet
manufacture.(8) The quality and training of Iraqi pilots was low
principally because, as with all Iraqi military officers,
their selection and chances for promotion were based not on
demonstrated technical proficiency and aggressive spirit, but
rather on their  loyalty to Saddam Hussein and the Baath
Party.(9)
     	In the weeks prior to the start of the war, Baghdad
dispersed its aircraft to other countries on the Arabian
Peninsula to prevent their loss to a surprise, Iranian attack,
an early indication that Iraq was more afraid of  losing
aircraft than in employing them to best advantage.(10) Iraq did
begin the war with a surprise attack on Iranian airfields, a
1a the Israeli preemptive strike against Arab air forces in
the 1967 war. But because of poor intelligence preparation and
reconnaissance,  little damage was done. Iraq's failure to
devote enough sorties to this strategic opening gambit, and
failure to follow up with restrikes until the job was done,
was  characteristic  of  her  conduct  of  rest  of  the  air
campaign.(11)
     	In the initial stage of the war, from September 1980 to
March 1981, Iraq and Iran engaged in heavy air-to-air combat.
The Iranian Air Force,  in much better condition following
Khomeini's revolution than Iraqi intelligence had been led to
believe,  slowly gained air superiority.  Rather than risk
further losses, the Iraqis avoided contact and waited for the
arms embargo that had been instituted against Tehran by its
traditional Western suppliers to take effect.(12) During this
early period -- in particular the first 45 days of the war --
Iraqi pilots flew a large number of interdiction missions,
mostly within the battlefield area. Again, the nonexistent
Iraqi reconnaissance capability resulted in strikes against
fixed targets, such as bridges and railroads, as opposed to
Iranian troop reinforcements moving to the front.(13)  This
effort quickly wound down as Baghdad grew concerned with
losses. Doctrinally, close air support (CAS), was not a high
priority for the Iraqi Air Force primarily because of the
lessons learned from the Israeli experience in the 1973 Yom
Kippur War, in which surface-to-air missiles had exacted a
heavy toll among CAS aircraft. Additionally, poor air-ground
communications resulted in early losses to Iraqi antiaircraft
gunners.(14) Therefore, Iraqi helicopters took on the bulk of
CAS missions until late in the war, saving the valuable fixed-
wing aircraft for strategic strike missions.
     	By mid-1985, Iraq had gained air superiority as a result
of Iran's failure to obtain aircraft and spare parts. Iraq, on
the other hand was receiving French Super Etendard attack
aircraft -- complete with Exocet missiles -- and Mirage F-l
fighters.  Even  with  Western  aircraft;  advanced  aerial
munitions such as the Super R-550 Magic air-to-air missile,
fuel-air explosives, and TV-guided air-to-ground bombs; and
French-supplied  training,  the  Iraqi  pilots   showed  only
marginal improvement.(15) Iraq began to focus its efforts on
strangling the Iranian economy by attacks on Tehran's oil
production and transshipment facilities -- particularly Kharg
Island -- as well as on tankers carrying Iranian crude. Here
again, though the Iraqis were occasionally able to interrupt
the flow of oil from Kharg, poor reconnaissance, tactics, and
battle damage assessment resulted in an inordinate amount of
effort to achieve limited results. Many Iraqi strikes on high-
value targets were conducted by single aircraft or sections of
two aircraft operating at high altitude to avoid antiaircraft
fire.(16) From 1987 on, Iraq was able to conduct a credible
strategic bombing campaign against Iranian cities and economic
targets using aircraft and missiles. Iraq, however,  seemed
ever eager  to accept  cease fires  whenever  the  Iranians
responded  by  launching  SCUD  missiles  of  their  own  at
Baghdad.(17)
     	In  1988,  with Iranian military and civilian morale
crumbling because of economic hardship and fear of Iraqi
chemical warfare, Baghdad was able to mount a series of
successful counterattacks on the ground, regaining territory
lost to Iran in 1982. During this campaign, the Iraqi Air
Force made its presence felt in the CAS role. But, once again,
results were not  impressive.  Since the  Iranian Army was
predominately infantry, their well-developed positions offered
few lucrative targets. The RCC saw little value in risking
expensive aircraft in attacks on troops and trucks.(18) Early in
the war, the RCC had taken the helicopters away from the Air
Force and had created the Army Air Corps in order to improve
CAS coordination with the ground forces. Starting with Soviet
Mi-24s,  the  Iraqis  added  Western-built  Super  Frelons,
Gazelles, and MBB BO-l05s to their inventory. Helicopters
proved consistently more responsive to Iraqi ground commanders
than their fixed-wing comrades.(19)
     	Throughout the war, Iraqi command and control  proved
overly centralized and inflexible. Political considerations
often dictated the level of effort put forth in the air
campaign. Iraqi concerns about the loyalty of its pilots, the
loss of expensive aircraft, and the need to keep the war
within bounds detracted from their ability to utilize the air
component  to  its  fullest  capability.(20)  Furthermore,  the
separation of  command between the air and ground forces
inhibited effective combined arms operations.  By 1987-88,
improvements  were being made to the command and control
structure, but Iraq was still far behind the West in fielding
a truly integrated doctrine for the conduct of modern mobile
warfare.
     	Finally, with regard to air defense, a component that
would play a major role in the Persian Gulf War, Iraq began
the war with a mix of Soviet surface-to-air missile systems --
predominately SA-2 and SA-3 high-altitude, and SA-6 medium-
altitude SAMs. Once the war began, they imported French-built
Crotale and Roland missile systems. Fortunately for Baghdad,
the Iranians posed  little threat at  the high and medium
altitudes after the opening days of the war, since the Iraqis
appear to have had difficulty in making the systems work.
There was little integration between the launcher sites and
the early-warning system and the Iraqis suffered from poor
training and maintenance standards.(22)  The bright spot in the
air defense arena were the large numbers of antiaircraft
artillery (AAA) which the Iraqis used with success against
low-flying fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft as well as
against troop formations. By the end of the war, Iraq had
about  4,000  AAA  pieces,  most  of  the  optically-guided
variety. (23)
IRAQI AIR IN THE PERSIAN GULF WAR
     	The saga of Iraqi airpower in the Persian Gulf War is a
much shorter story since it ceased to be of any importance
after the first week of the Allied air campaign. Iraq began
the war with approximately 591 combat aircraft, including 116
Mirage F-ls, 48 MIG-29s, and 20 MIG-25s.(24) In the five months
of  Desert  Shield,  Iraqi  aircraft  had  reacted to Allied
aircraft probes toward the Kuwaiti border by staying well
within their own airspace. This cautious response gave the
Allies ample opportunity to map out  the locations of Iraqi
early warning and fire control radars using sophisticated
electronic reconnaissance means.
     	By 1991, the Iraqis had established a nominal integrated
air defense system (IADS) in which fighter aircraft, SAMs, and
AAA were centrally controlled from national-level command
centers. Soviet-built Tall King early-warning radars fed data
on incoming aircraft to the national command centers which
then alerted missile batteries  to turn on their  target-
acquisition and fire-control radars. Fighters were vectored to
intercept the enemy aircraft using a Soviet-developed system
known as ground-controlled  intercept  (GCI).  Beneath this
national layer were two additional air defense systems:  a
system of short-range missiles controlled by the Republican
Guards emplaced around strategic national targets, and an army
air  defense  system  consisting  of  AAA  and  short-range,
shoulder-fired missi1es.(25)
     	Using a combination of F-117 stealth attack aircraft,
Apache helicopter gunships, and standard suppression of enemy
air defense (SEAD) tactics, the Allies were able to put the
national-level command centers out of action within the first
two hours of the air war. Intensive jamming of Iraqi radar-
guided AAA  forced  the gunners  to  fall  back  on  optical
guidance; but,  because the first attack took place on a
moonless  night,  this  too  proved  ineffective.  With  the
national-level command and control centers wiped out, Iraqi
fighters were essentially useless. Allied aircraft were then
free to operate over Iraq at high and medium altitudes using
SEAD tactics to attack targets defended by the low-altitude
missiles and AAA. After the first night, the Iraqis were never
able to reconstitute their national-level  system,  either
because they did not have sufficient spare equipment sets or
else because they did not have the technical expertise to
develop work-arounds.(26) Moscow had been the major supplier of
equipment  and  technical  assistance  to  Baghdad.  But,  by
agreeing to abide by the United Nations embargo on arms to
Iraq, the Soviets left their clients out on a limb.
     	During the air war, Allied aircraft shot down at least
36 Iraqi fixed-wing aircraft and seven helicopters.(27) Allied
losses due to enemy action were approximately 40 aircraft of
all types, most lost to AAA and short-range SAMs.(28) No Allied
aircraft were lost in air-to-air combat with the Iraqis. As it
became clear that the air war was lost, Iraqi aircraft began
fleeing to Iran. By the end of the war, approximately 150
aircraft, including many front-line fighters, had made the
dash to safety.(29), It  is still uncertain whether this mass
exodus was planned by Baghdad in order to get the aircraft to
a place of safety for possible use later in the war, or rather
was an attempt by Iraqi pilots to save themselves. In any
case, once in Iran, the aircraft were no longer a factor. Many
aircraft that remained behind in Iraq were destroyed inside
their reinforced concrete shelters.  The Iraqis faced the
unenviable choice of "use and lose" or "don't use and still
lose."
     	Meanwhile, the Allies enjoyed the benefit of free skies
in which to operate. They got to do all the missions that
modern air forces are supposed to do once air superiority is
won: CAS, battlefield air interdiction, strategic bombing,
aerial resupply, and reconnaissance.
ANALYSIS OF IRAQI FAILURES
     	According to the Cohen and Gooch methodology, any one
simple failure can lead to defeat. However, simple failures
also can be overcome  if the organization conducting the
campaign recognizes what has gone wrong and moves quickly to
correct the deficiency in its operation. An aggregate failure,
on the other hand, typically requires more heroic efforts to
rectify. This type of failure usually combines a failure to
learn  with  a  failure  to  anticipate.  If,  however,  the
organization involved can successfully adapt to the situation
at hand, and still retains sufficient resources and morale to
carry on,  this failure too can be overcome.  Catastrophic
failure -- where all three types of simple failures occur
simultaneously or sequentially -- is almost  impossible to
survive. This failure usually results in complete defeat for
the afflicted party unless outside aid is forthcoming.(30) No
such aid materialized for the Iraqis in the Persian Gulf War.
The following is a discussion of each type of failure as
experienced by the Iraqi Air Force.
FAILURE TO LEARN
     	The concrete lessons Baghdad failed to learn with respect
to the proper utilization of airpower in its eight long years
of war with Iran are legion. They include -- but certainly are
not limited to -- the following:
     	--The most expensive and complex aircraft and missiles
        	are only as good as the training and skill of the men
        	who employ them. Party loyalists in positions of
        	command insure a loyal military, not an efficient
        	military.
     	--Strike planning, whether for strategic or tactical
        	targets, requires proper reconnaissance beforehand and
        	honest battle damage assessment afterward. Some targets
        	require a maximum effort, sometimes several maximum
        	efforts.
     	--Commanders must be willing to accept reasonable losses
        	if they expect results. Combat aircraft too valuable to
        	lose in combat belong in museums.
     	There were other lessons the Iraqis should have been
considering once it became obvious that their invasion of
Kuwait  would  not  go  uncontested.  On  a  strategic  and
operational level, these were the most important failures:
     	--Baghdad misread the lessons of Vietnam. The United
        	States may have been forced out of that war, but not
        	before devastating North Vietnam with two major air
        	campaigns -- Rolling Thunder and Linebacker II.
     	--U.S. air doctrine was designed specifically to defeat
        	the type of Soviet-style integrated air defense system
        	that Iraq had installed. More importantly, it was
        	designed to defeat a system manned by people who
        	knew what they were doing.
     	--Third World countries cut off from their major sources
        	of military equipment and technical assistance tend to
        	lose. Iraq had seen the truth of that statement
        	firsthand in its war with Iran.
FAILURE TO ANTICIPATE
     	The failure to anticipate is closely tied to the failure
to learn.  In the case of Iraq,  by focusing on the wrong
lessons  of  the  U.S.  experience  in  Vietnam as  well  as
overestimating their own performance in the Iran-Iraq War,
Baghdad failed to anticipate the level of violence that it
would suffer at the hands of a rejuvenated, confident U.S.
military.
     	Could Iraq have anticipated the sheer intensity of the
aerial operations that would be directed at her, let alone
their degree of complexity and technical skill? In the early
days of the Iran-Iraq war, the Iraqi Air Force averaged 65
sorties per day. By 1984 they were up to 150 sorties, and by
the end of the war had achieved an average of 250 plus sorties
per day.  In eight years of war,  Iraq flew approximately
400,000 sorties of all types. (31) From January 17 through 6
March, 1991, the Allied air forces flew 114,000 sorties of all
types -- 28 percent of the Iraqi  total in less than two
months.(32) During the initial stage of the war,  the Allies
averaged nearly 2,000 sorties per day, many of which were
highly-sophisticated airborne command and control-, airborne
radar reconnaissance-, and electronic jamming missions for
which   the   Iraqis   had   neither   counterparts   nor
countermeasures. (33)
     	Iraq's air defense system was never really targeted
during the Iran-Iraq War, yet it is hard to understand why
Baghdad had not anticipated the need for redundancy within its
command and control system. Perhaps this can be blamed on
their assumption that the Soviet advisors would always  be
there to make the system work.
     	In the first phase of the Allied air campaign, Iraqi
command, control, communications,  and intelligence systems
were successfully neutralized. The precise targeting of these
vital facilities should not have come as a shock to Baghdad;
the U.S. had demonstrated its capability to conduct this type
of  precision attack  in  1986 against  Libya.  Furthermore,
Baghdad reportedly had received assistance from U.S. national
strategic reconnaissance means during its war with Iran.(34) It
could logically have assumed that almost every site of any
importance within its own borders had been thoroughly analyzed
and targeted.
     	Finally, on a basic human level,  Iraq's decision to
publicly display the dazed and battered Allied pilots shot
down during the first days of the war was a monumental failure
to  correctly  anticipate  U.S.  public  reaction.  Far  from
weakening U.S. resolve to carry on with the campaign, this
callous display galvanized world support for President Bush
and confirmed the depiction of Saddam's regime as an outlaw
gang for whom no pity was necessary.
FAILURE TO ADAPT
     	Once a belligerent has ignored the lessons from its own,
and others'  experience; after it has built- its erroneous
assumptions about the course the war will take, either because
of poor reasoning or intelligence on its part or excellent
deception on the part of its enemy, or a combination of all
three; it must be able to adapt quickly and successfully to
the true state of affairs or else it will lose decisively.
Iraq lost decisively.
     	The Iraqi national-level air defense system went down on
the first night of the war. It never came back up. Without the
GCI system to direct them, the Iraqi fighters that did launch
were, with few exceptions,  always the hunted,  never the
hunters. Iraqi SAM and AAA sites could only react to Allied
aircraft when they came within range of the local target-
acquisition radars; there was no early warning or coordination
within air defense sectors. In short, the skies over Iraq
belonged to the Allied air forces.
     	The adaptations the Iraqis did make were almost totally
negative. Twenty-five percent of Iraq's combat aircraft were
flown to Iran. A large number of auxiliary aircraft also fled.
Whether this was planned by the RCC,  or simple suicide
prevention on the part of the pilots, those aircraft ceased to
play a role in the war.
     	The most valuable aircraft that remained behind were
hidden  in  steel-reinforced  concrete  shelters.  The  less
valuable aircraft huddled within open revetments. Neither were
safe. The two primary reasons any aircraft survived at all
were 1) that the Allies knew that the Iraqis were not going to
come up and give battle, and 2) that the Allies were running
short of precision-guided munitions with which to wreck the
shelters. The Iraqis were not even able to save aircraft from
being captured by Allied ground forces operating in southern
Iraq. The only sure adaptation that the Iraqis were able to
come up with was the deployment of aircraft within civilian
housing areas and around archeological sites.
CONCLUSION: THE COHEN GOOCH METHODOLOGY CONFIRMED
     	The Iraqi Air Force was thoroughly victimized in the
Persian Gulf War. The genesis of their defeat lay in their
failure to learn the right lessons from their own air campaign
against Iran, as well as from the experiences of other air
campaigns, in particular, the American effort in Vietnam and
the that of the Israelis'  in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The
political nature of the Iraqi high command further insured
that the remedial steps needed to improve the performance of
the air component would not be taken unless they conformed to
the wider goals of the Baath Party.
     	Overly optimistic assessments of their own capabilities,
coupled with a contempt  for American military might  and
national will based on the Vietnam experience, prevented the
Iraqis from logically anticipating the type of campaign they
would have to face. It Is impossible to tell whether this
wishful thinking permeated the entire Iraqi military or was
centered at the top political levels. In any case, it seems
hard to believe that had Iraq anticipated the completeness of
its impending defeat, it could not have found a face-saving
way out of the situation.
     	Finally, once the war began, Baghdad failed to adapt in
any meaningful  way.  Fight  or  flight  were  equally  poor
reactions to the violence and complexity of the Allied air
campaign. Had the war gone on much longer, and had the Allies
had a larger inventory of precision-guided munitions, the only
aircraft the Iraqis would have retained would have been those
serving as roadblocks inside civilian neighborhoods.
     	Until more thorough  information is available on the
decision-making process within the Iraqi high command and on
the role of Saddam Hussein in the day-to-day preparations for
the Persian Gulf War, it will be impossible to answer the
question of how much blame should accrue to the leader. As to
whether or not this case represents evenly-matched opponents,
the answer is no, although 591 jet aircraft and thousands of
missiles and AAA pieces in the hands of some countries could
indeed have been a daunting challenge. In any case, definite
elements of the three types of simple failures are evident and
they  combined  in  the  end  to  produce  an  overwhelming
catastrophe for the Iraqi Air Force. The methodology that
Cohen and Gooch developed is a viable tool for analyzing past
defeats and for guarding against future misfortunes
                                   ENDNOTES
1.   	Eliot A.  Cohen and  John Gooch, Military Misfortunes:  The Anatomy
of Failure in War (New York: The Free Press, 1990), p. vii.
2.   	Ibid., p. 3.
3.   	Ibid., p. 22.
4.   	Ibid., pp. 25-26.
5.   	Cohen and Gooch use the U.S. Navy's unsuccessful antisubmarine
campaign of 1942 to demonstrate a failure to learn.  The near disaster
Israeli forces suffered in the opening days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War
exemplifies a failure to anticipate. The ill-fated Suvla Bay landing
during Britain's 1915 Gallipoli campaign is used to demonstrate a
failure to adapt. The case study used for an aggregate failure is the 
1950 defeat of the U.S. Eighth Army in Korea. In this case the simple
failures encountered were a failure to learn and a failure to anticipate.
Finally, catastrophic failure is exemplified by the collapse of the
French Army in 1940.
6.   	Ibid., p. 3.
7.   	Ibid., p. 34.
8.   	Anthony H. Cordesman and Abraham R. Wagner, The Lessons of
Modern War, vol.  2: The Iran-Iraq War (Boulder, CO.: Westview Press, 1990),
p. 465.
9.   	Maj. Ronald E. Bergquist, The Role of Airpower in the Iran-Iraq War 
(Maxwell AFB, ALA.: Air University Press, 1988), p. 22.
10.  	Samar al-Khalil,  Republic of Fear:  The  Inside Story of Saddam's
Iraq (New York: Pantheon Books, 1989), pp. 279-80.
11.  	Efraim Karsh, The Iran-Iraq War: A Military Analysis (London:1155
Adelphi Paper No. 220, 1987), p. 36.
12.  	Cordesman and Wagner, p. 465.
13.  	Bergquist, p. 61.
14.  	Ibid., p. 60.
15.  	See  Cordesman and Wagner, pp. 456,474 and Anthony H. Cordesman,
The Iran-Iraq War and Western Security 1984-37 (London: Jane's, 1987),
p. 75.
16.  	Karsh, p. 37.
17.  	See Ibid., p. 38, and Cordesman and Wagner, pp. 486-89.
18.  	Cordesman and Wagner, p. 482.
19.  	Ibid., pp. 492-93.
20.  	Bergquist, p. 64.
21.  	Cordesman and Wagner, pp. 494-95.
22.  	Ibid., pp. 459-60.
23.  	Ibid., p. 463.
24.  	Norman  Friedman,  Desert  Victory:  The  War  for   Kuwait
(Annapolis, MD.: Naval Institute Press, 1991), p. 308.
25.  	Ibid., pp. 148-51.
26.  	Ibid., p. 152.
27.  	Ibid., pp. 357-59.
28.  	Ibid., pp. 353-56.
29.  	Ibid., p. 162.
30.  	Cohen and Gooch, p. 26.
31.  	Cordesman and Wagner, p. 478.
32.  	Friedman, p. 402.
33.  	James Blackwell,  Thunder in the Desert:  The Strategy and Tactics
of the Persian Gulf War (New York: Bantam Books, 1991), p. 129.
34.  	Gary Sick, "Trial by Error: Reflections on the Iran-Iraq War." The
Middle East Journal 43:2 (Spring 1989):239.
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