Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Storm Term Paper

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Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Storm

Just Cause & Desert Storm

There are underlying similarities and differences between both the operations. A study in detail of operation Just Cause which was launched in December 1989 involved deployment of personnel form very distant military bases and striking objectives within a twenty four hour time frame. The operation brought into play the role of projection, speed massing and precision that the American military was capable of. The success of the mission was attributed to better planning and training. Over twenty six thousand personnel were deployed in the war, and the rapid deployment of the forces from various stations contributed to the success. (Brown, 2006)

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The mission in the operation was to bring down the government of the dictator General Manuel Antonio Noriega, who was the Panama Defense Forces commander. The theater of was South America, a little closer to home. The war in the Persian Gulf on the other hand was at a much larger scale with the use of very sophisticated weapons and systems that involved satellite communication technology, stealth fighter crafts, and laser guided missiles. Better available technology like Global positioning systems, thermal imaging, and the Abraham tanks fitted with better technology proved that technically the U.S. army was prepared for any war. The war was fought many miles across the sea at a hostile country to where troops had to be landed. Again the campaign was against another dictator hostile to the U.S. The aim was to liberate Kuwait and topple Saddam Hussein. (Watson, 1995)

Military preparedness in Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Storm

TOPIC: Term Paper on Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Storm Assignment

The scenario at the beginning of the war in operation desert storm which began on the seventeenth of January 1991 began from the aerodrome at Al Jouf. Multiple aircrafts crossed the border of Iraq. The targets were radar stations, followed by strategic strikes at Baghdad Some oil bases near the Jordan border and enemy missiles were also targeted at the first phase of the attack. Air power was demonstrated to the full. Enemy missile base at Al-Abraq is destroyed. That is the way the war opened up at the desert. (Hutchison, 1995) on the other hand 'operation just cause' symbolizes the years of planning, training and experience the U.S. Army had put in the troop and combat readiness schedules (Donnelly; Roth; Baker, 1991)

We must also bear in mind that the operation was in collation with the armies of the other countries that also participated and was largely a combined effort. In contrast the operation at Panama - Just Cause was an all American Affair. Operation Just Cause demonstrated that the capabilities of the army were enhanced with training and coordination. The control structures and the training of personnel were proved to be flawless. However the planning and conflict strategy still needed refinement. The engagement was without use of very sensitive weapons and missiles and was an operation largely dependent on the maneuverability of the personnel. It was conducted by the U.S. without any coalition presence all by its own resources. (Special Operations Association, 2005)

Even in the Desert storm operation there was some drawbacks. However if we are to analyze the preparedness of the U.S. forces in sudden demands and situations that require immediate intervention, we can look at the operation Eagle, which speaks volumes about the state of affairs. While in the case of desert storm, the army had forewarnings and was prepared enough for the conflict, the poor preparations and difficulty in getting the required field assembly was visible in the earlier operation Eagle. Just before the later hostilities with Iraq, the U.S. embassy in Tehran was attacked and the personnel were taken hostage. A rescue operation was attempted. At the onset the task proved some glaring inadequacy in the army and controls. A sudden demand for deployment caused some personnel and material to be "cobbled" from the Army Air force and Navy to rescue the hostages. One hundred and twenty personnel were ferried to the Masirah Island and it is well-known that the mission ended in great disaster and was aborted at the airstrip even before entry in to the enemy territory. A freak accident destroyed men and material which goes to show that in the event of a crisis that requires immediate deployment, the U.S. army can be quite unprepared. In both the operations there were many factors that caused human failings, and avoidable calamities, had there been a system of preparedness for the army and a system that could call up the resources without having to "cobble " them as and when emergencies are perceived. (Adams, 1998)

2. The root factors affecting the U.S. military readiness to perform its primary function during initial stages of the conflicts

One of the most important factors that affect readiness to perform is the perception of the threat or risk. Hitherto, the enemy was always without in Panama, far away Iraq, or Afghanistan. The real threat is where there is a direct attack on U.S. soil, not by the professional soldiers from an enemy state, but by a single minded terrorist. The theater and the nature of the enemy have changed now, especially after September Eleven. It is now the terrorist who are the major threat, and to be prepared means to be prepared for events within the U.S. And outside operations. If the internal security is not in a state of through preparedness a single attack can damage the civilian morale. Therefore preparing for the worst is the best method of keeping things in control. Future warfare is likely to take the shape of the September Eleven attacks. The U.S. homeland stands unprotected from such dangers, and response now is critical, not only for aggression outside, but toward incidents inside the country. (Rudman, Hart; Flynn, 2002)

Taking the experience of U.S. combatants in the operations, the commander of the third army in the Desert Storm operation could not obtain staff support to plan for post conflict issues that would crop up after the operations. This led the Lt. General John Yeosock to complain that his job involved handling a "dripping bag of manure." There was no plan for postwar operations and one of the reasons for this is attributed to the fact that the Third Army was the only field army that went to war after a long gap- exactly after the Korea war. U.S. leaders focus primarily on winning wars, and are loath to give thought to the post war scenario. (De Toy, 2004)

The problems in the army could relate to the declining budget shares, and resending funds earmarked for weapon testing and other systems to military operations. The President of the U.S. is the authority on policy and the use of the military force. However the funding for military issues from the Congress. Unfortunately these three institutions, the President, Congress and Military hierarchy often take antagonistic stands. Many observation sand recommendations have been given following the scrutiny of the functioning of the Army after General Colin Powell's initiatives. The civil authorities contend on transforming the forces, while in truth the forces comprise of multicultural units that are not amenable to transformations as needed. Today the consideration is to go even beyond information wars, and wars with collaboration. The U.S. army is a huge multicultural organization with individual operational packets and therefore reorganizing it into a single unit is almost impossible. (Worley, 2006)

The obstacles that are seen are not really logistical but the operational planning flaws and post war adaptation. For example the U.S. presence in Iraq takes a toll of lives even after the war ended. In Panama there is still instability. The ventures of the army abroad considers to making it the soft targets in those places which it did successfully win, only to be the victim of the ire of the civil discontents in the region. We have also to note that while the war is the business of the army, diplomacy and planning are not. The key to neutralization after the operation is more diplomatic than military, and if that diplomacy failed, the military operation could cause more in terms of loss and engagement after the operation. To drive home this point we may look up the aftermath of the Panama invasion: In the case of JUST CAUSE, after the attack on Panama in December 1989, the stability and nation building strategies for Panama were spelt out simultaneously with the plans for the operation. But things that were unforeseen - "American troops in the midst of combat operations had to contend with refugees and looters." (Yates, n. d.)

This along with similar complications put the troops in situations where they had to do a lot of "stability tasks for which they were ill-prepared. Compounding the problem, the pre-invasion failure to integrate the conventional war plan and the civil-military operation plan or CMO OPLAN precluded a smooth transition from an emphasis on combat operations to stability and nation-building operations. So, too, did the U.S.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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