This narrative is designed to provide an overview of the role of the United States Army in the conflict with Iraq that took place from August 1990 through February 1991. We hope that this study will fill an immediate need by charting the major changes in the Army since the Vietnam years, by showing the scope of the Army's involvement in the Gulf war, and by highlighting the most significant aspects of that participation, to the extent that we could recognize them just after the war.

The initial draft of the manuscript was completed by a team of historians late in 1991, less than one year after the war ended. With one exception, all of the authors were employed at the U.S. Army Center of Military History. The team was divided nearly evenly between civilian and uniformed historians.

This work is based on such sources as were immediately available to the authors. Members of the team used a broad range of official documents and interviews as well as press accounts in assembling this narrative. Each author created a specialized collection of records and other materials according to the needs of each section and the individual author's approach to research. Unless otherwise indicated in the notes, all of the unpublished documents cited remain on file at the Center of Military History.

We do not consider this work definitive. As more documentation becomes available and the passage of time provides different perspectives, other researchers will probe more fully some of the topics and issues mentioned in this book. In fact, it is already plain that questions we did not even raise are becoming the focus of considerable discussion and analysis. Nevertheless, we hope that this volume adequately explains the broad outlines of Army participation in the war and shows the way to further research.

Our involvement in this project was very gratifying. We thank Brig. Gen. Harold W. Nelson, Chief of Military History, 1989-1994, for the opportunity to participate in this endeavor. We also thank the authors and the numerous others without whom it would have been impossible to do the book so quickly or to do it well. We have tried to list in our acknowledgments all of the people who helped, knowing that such mention is in many cases inadequate, but we are indebted to so many people that we saw no reasonable alternative. We alone are responsible for any errors. The views expressed in this book are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. government.


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