U.S. Airstrikes Against ISIS Already Comparatively Less Than Daily Strikes During Gulf War


Counter terrorism expert Patrick Poole noted on Twitter Monday night after reports surfaced the United States hit up to 20 ISIS targets that the U.S. led Gulf War campaign was hitting 1,000 targets a day in 1991.

In fact, according to a 1999 Washington Post piece, the Gulf War campaign also dwarfed the allied forces air war against Yugoslavia:

Although NATO leaders have designated air power as their exclusive weapon against Yugoslavia, the allied force employed so far falls far below that unleashed in the Persian Gulf War and has been further reduced by persistent clouds and limits on what can be bombed.

As NATO rushes to widen its attacks and augment its fleet of more than 400 planes, the 10-day-old air campaign continues to involve only a fraction the number of aircraft – 2,700 – employed by the U.S.-led coalition against Iraq during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

The rate of strike sorties, or flights – averaging about 50 a day during the first week over Yugoslavia, compared with about 1,000 in the gulf war – also has suggested a relatively constrained attack plan against the Yugoslav forces of President Slobodan Milosevic.

“It would seem we could use a lot more firepower, particularly if we’re trying to achieve both the tactical objective of beating back Serb forces in Kosovo and the strategic objective of hitting Belgrade targets of high value to Milosevic,” said an Air Force colonel who teaches strategy.


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