General Chuck Horner commanded the U.S. and allied air assets—the forces of a dozen nations—during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and was responsible for the design and execution of one of the most devastating air campaigns in history. Never before has the Gulf air war planning, a process filled with controversy and stormy personalities, been revealed in such rich, provocative detail. And in this revised edition, General Horner looks at the current Gulf conflict—and comments on the use of air power in Iraq today.
Clancy's second study in high command of the U.S. armed forces (after Into the Storm, written with Army general Fred Franks) focuses on Air Force general Chuck Horner, the fighter pilot who was overall air commander for Desert Shield/Desert Storm. This book is less about the Gulf War than about the making of a modern fighter general and the remaking of a modern air force. Horner was part of a new Air Force generation that rejected the Strategic Air Command model of "predictability, order and control" in favor of a holistic approach to air power and air command. A firm believer in central control of air assets, Horner also regarded traditional distinctions between "strategic" and "tactical" air as no longer relevant. What mattered was the appropriate situational use of air power in an integrated war plan. The main text demonstrates Horner's success in implementing his concepts over Iraq. Though the narrative offers no startling insights or revelations, the authors make the important contribution of presenting command friction as a natural consequence of interaction among senior officers with high intelligence and strong wills. The implication is clear: to succeed in an unpredictable international environment, America's armed forces will need tigers at their head. Tigers are dangerous. They challenge each other. They take issue with higher wisdom and higher authority. And, according to the authors, they can be replaced by safely neutered house cats only at the country's peril. 500,000 first printing; $500,000 ad/promo; BOMC main selection; author tour.
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This book really tells about the thought process of the men who plan, direct and execute a major military operation. It shows how many years of "learning the ropes" of your perticular business can pay off in ways that are nothing short of miraculous.