A Less than Splendid Little War
The Persian Gulf War's legacy is not what it seemed in the immediate afterglow of victory, argues Andrew Bacevich, but rather a series of problematic consequences that will trouble the nation well into the 21st century.
Nearly a decade after its conclusion," observes Frank Rich of the New York Times, "the Persian Gulf War is already looking like a footnote to American history." Rich´s appraisal of Operation Desert Storm and the events surrounding it manages to be, at once, accurate and massively wrong.
Rich is correct in the sense that, 10 years on, the war no longer appears as it did in 1990 and 1991: a colossal feat of arms, a courageous and adeptly executed stroke of statesmanship, and a decisive response to aggression that laid the basis for a new international order. The "official" view of the war, energetically promoted by senior U.S. government figures and military officers and, at least for a time, echoed and amplified by an exultant national media, has become obsolete.
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