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Historical Account Of The War Between The Bushes(Iraq) - A Survey Of The Use Of Airpower

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The various US administrations since the end of the Persian war wanted regime change through military and non military action in Iraq. It was a general belief by the various US governments that this change would be of great benefit to the Iraq people through what they called the “ousting of an oppressive regime,” and the” promotion of peace and democracy throughout the Middle East.” It was also in line with the US desire to control the Middle Eastern politics for the purposes of its vast oil resources and its likelihood to contain terrorist groups.

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This interest continued for more than eleven years culminating into an attack in 2003. From the time of the Persian war until the final US attack in 2003 a lot of attempts, were made to bring about regime change in Iraq. The UN Security Council imposed a number of sanctions on Iraq. These included economic sanctions like imposing restrictions to the exports to Iraq of civilian equipment as well as banning on exports to Iraq of military useful goods which could help in building up Iraq Military strength.

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One of the strategies mostly used during this period, by The UN Security Council and the US was the use of Coercive airpower strategy. Defined as, “the use of force, either to compel the enemy to stop an unwanted action or to deter him starting one,” Wessley, P. Ð' (2003) The airpower employs strategies like: Denial: which seeks to deny the enemy an opportunity to attack, Punishment: which increases (even though may be imaginary) the costs of further non compliance to the enemy state, Risk: which employs the strategy of creating fear of terrible consequences as a result of non compliance in the enemy camp and Decapitation: Ð' which seeks to eliminate the enemy leadership with the conviction that with the elimination of the head, the entire organization is severely crippled that it may not continue to operate further. This strategy uses techniques like the elimination of leaders of the enemy groups through assassinations.

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The coercive airpower strategy was used extensively during the period between 1991 and 2003.The United States and its allies under the Umbrella of the UN security forces enforced a no fly zone in certain regions in Northern and Southern Iraq. It resulted from the condemnation of the UN Security Council ff the repression of a number of Iraq Civilians. Ð' In August 1992, George H.W. Bush, the then president of the US announced that a decision had been reached by a coalition of UN forces to begin “surveillance operation in Iraq below the 32nd parallel, (Global Security, 2008) The United Nations Security Council made a resolution to protect Iraq civilians who were in opposition to Saddam Hussein.

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As a result of Saddam’s disobedience to the UN Security Council directive, The then president of the United States, George W. Bush, on behalf of other members of the Council made an announcement that U.N forces were going to start surveillance in Iraq to ensure that Iraq was coerced into complying with the U.N Security Council’s directive. This operation was known as “Operation Southern Watch.” To ensure effective surveillance process, the UN barred all Iraq fixed and rotary wing aircraft from flying over the area under surveillance. The U.N forces were to report directly to the U.S command implying that the operation was under the command of the United States military. Within 24 hours of the announcement special force was formed, the Joint Task Force South West Asia. The force was to monitor the operation of the U.N Forces participating in the operation Southern Watch. The force consisted of six sections. The First sections were the command section. Subsequently the five other sections were”J-1 which was concerned with personnel, J-2 was concerned with intelligence operations, J-3 was in charge of the military operation’s J-4 was in charge of logistics and lastly, J-6 which was in charge of communications, public and legal affairs.

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This tactic worked for sometime as Saddam did comply with the UN directive and so did not operate on the area under surveillance. However, Saddam changed tact and started attacking aircraft that were in operation in the region. There were the two operations “operation provide comfort I” and the “Operation provide comfort II.” While the first one was by a large extent a humanitarian mission to provide food to the neglected Kurds of the northern part of Iraq, the Second one was more of a military one since the U,S, forcefully protected the Kurds in addition to supplying them with supplies of aid. This was a US initiative to provide comfort to the millions of Kurds who were starving and freezing to death in the mountains having opposed Saddam. ( In November 24, 1992, the Iraq military violated the directive and an Iraq Air Force plane MIG-25, was spotted by an American pilot in operation in the restricted no-fly-zone. The American pilot destroyed the plane on an air to air missile attack. This was a case of continued use of airpower in Iraq even after the end of the gulf war. In a swift reaction, Saddam positioned surface-to-air missiles directly below the restricted airspace.(Global Security, 2008). The UN Security Council ordered Saddam to remove the missiles as they were a direct threat to the UN council planes that were enforcing the UNSCR 688. However Saddam refused to comply with these regulations.

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As a result of this, In January 6th 1993 four member countries of UN Security Council the United States, Russia, France and the United Kingdom signed an agreement to unite in ensuring that Iraq complied with the UNSCR 688. One week after this agreement, on January 13th the surface to air missiles which had been positioned by Saddam Hussein were destroyed by the coalition forces’ warplanes. It is reported that over 100 U.S, U.K and French forces took part in this exercise (Press For Conversion, 2008) This shows that, the UN members, with the chief influence of the United States, continued to use airpower in Iraq so as to coerce Saddam into complying with its preset directives.

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At the same time, the coalition forces continued to demand that Saddam destroy all weapons of mass destruction. There was an air attack by 46 U.S cruise missiles, on Eight Buildings in Baghdad on January 17th 1993. These were buildings were alleged to be in connection with the Iraq Nuclear program. After these attacks,

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