the gulf war
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FRONTLINE's "The Gulf War" is a comprehensive and critical analysis of the 1990-1991 war in which more than one million troops faced off against each other in the deserts of the Gulf states. From the Allied coalition's air war, to the ground assault, to the liberation of Kuwait, and the fallout of Saddam Hussein's retaining power, "The Gulf War" deconstructs what really happened, how it happened and why.

This program and companion web site (both first broadcast/published on January 9, 1996 on the five-year anniversary of the Gulf War) draws on in-depth, remarkably candid interviews with those who planned Operation Desert Storm and those who fought its battles. These include key decisionmakers such as Colin Powell, Norman Schwarzkopf, former Secretary of State James Baker, former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev. It also includes vivid commentary by U.S and British commanders on the ground and, interviews with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz and a top Iraqi intelligence official.

"The Gulf War" chronicles how the war began with miscalculations in Washington and Baghdad, and was fought with mistakes, disgreements and infighting among both the decisionmakers in Washington and American generals in the field.

In addition to first-hand accounts of top-level participants, this special report presents the harrowing war stories of U.S. and British pilots who became POWS; examines the unprecedented technology and weaponry used in the war; and offers detailed analysis by two experts on the war, Rick Atkinson and Bernard Trainor. This web site also offers a chronology, maps and a special BBC RADIO series on the war.

The seven-month long Persian Gulf crisis may seem now a distant memory. However, this unique recapitulation of the war - through the eyes and in the words of major political and military participants - offers an authoritative, fresh look at some of the major assumptions and events, ranging from the performance of certain weapons, to the inconclusive victory, to the ghost of Vietnam which continuously shrouded the US military's decision making.


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