From Saigon To Desert Storm

How the U. S. military reinvented itself after Vietnam

It’s hard to remember now, but the outcome of the 1991 Persian Gulf War stunned the world. Few people even at the Pentagon expected it to be as one-sided as it was. Before Operation Desert Storm, Iraq’s armed forces were widely seen as a formidable adversary, hardened by years of war against Iran and supplied with the best equipment Saddam Hussein’s oil riches could buy. Iraq had 900,000 soldiers—more than the U.S. Army—and they had had months to entrench themselves in Kuwait and southern Iraq.

Soldiers learn desert warfare at the Army’s National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California, in 1982.
 
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