Many smaller military actions against Iran, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and other regimes that have been involved in international terrorism are also included. Diplomacy, religion as it pertains to Middle East conflict, and social/cultural developments are other key subjects of analysis, as is the interplay of politics with military policy in the United States and other nations involved in the region.
Spencer C. Tucker, PhD, is senior fellow in military history for ABC-CLIO and the author or editor of more than 40 books and encyclopedias, many of which have been recognized by awards.
Schwab's work is five-part analysis of US policy and strategy in the Persian Gulf from 1990-2003. He begins the work by analyzing the prominence of the Persian Gulf in US global strategic thinking during the last decade of the Cold War. By that time, gulf oil had secured a paramount place in the minds of the Reagan and Bush administrations. Part two dissects the relationship that individuals and regional governments in the Persian Gulf shared with the US. Here, Schwab also examines US perceptions of those entities and demonstrates how they helped shape US policy and define the status of those nations in the eyes of US policymakers. When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, the paradigm shifted dramatically. Part three examines US decision-making in the period immediately after that invasion. Schwab demonstrates that while forging a broad coalition to turn back Iraq was a significant diplomatic achievement, the international determination that defined the conflict in 1990-1991 eroded and gave way to a cumbersome policy of containment. That policy ultimately resulted in the dissolution of the coalition forged by the first Bush administration and burdened his successors as they struggled to achieve the longstanding goal of creating stability throughout the region. Part four explores the efforts of the Clinton and second Bush administrations in the Gulf. Saddam was one of the primary concerns of the Clinton administration, but so too were al-Qaeda, North Korea, China, and especially Yugoslavia. Indeed, his was the first administration to truly attempt to deal with these kinds of problems in a post-Cold War world. Despite their differences, there was a tremendous amount of continuity in the policies pursued by Clinton and George W. Bush. September 11 changed that, however, as Schwab chronicles in part five. In that section he explores how the current administration's adoption of a more proactive strategy of retaliation and preventative war has given rise to a new national security regime increasingly designed to fight asymmetric war while eliminating perceived threats to our national security and interests.
The Persian Gulf War served as the first live-combat test of much of the United States' then-new high-tech weaponry. The war also held many lessons about the play of national interests, the process of coalition building, the need for effective communication and coordination, and the role of individuals in shaping history. This book addresses all key battles, the nations involved, strategies employed by both sides, weapon systems used, the role of the media, the role played by women, and environmental and medical issues associated with the conflict.
A detailed glossary is included, as are discussions of ranks and military awards and decorations. Divided into conflict periods, each chapter includes a detailed chronology, reference-entry sidebars, statistical information, primary-source documents, and a bibliography.