The Guns of August 1990

Vance Serchuk

The Weekly Standard | 2015

Vance Serchuk reflects on the 25th anniversary of the Persian Gulf War:

To leaders and policymakers at the time, it was taken for granted that the invasion of Kuwait, and the international response with which it was met, would carry far-reaching strategic consequences. Today, by contrast, the significance of the Gulf war is less obvious. In a world of transnational terrorist networks, resilient insurgencies, and hybridized warfare, much about the conflict seems like a relic from a bygone age​—​from its tank battles to the very notion that a war could be decisively won or lost over a couple of days by conventional armies clashing on open ground. For this reason, there is a temptation to remember Desert Storm a bit wistfully, as America’s last great triumph of the 20th century, rather than the opening act of the 21st.

Image courtesy U.S. Department of Defense (WikiCommons)

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