Publication:
The Battle of al-Khafji

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Authors
Williams, Scott
Subjects
Advisors
Robinson, Glenn E.
Date of Issue
2002-06
Date
Publisher
Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
The battle for the Saudi coastal town of al-Khafji, was the first major ground battle of Desert Storm. Despite the fact that Iraqi forces were being systematically destroyed by the allied air campaign, the Iraqis were nonetheless able to mount a rather sophisticated ground attack and seize the Saudi town with relative ease. The Iraqi attack came as an absolute surprise despite the coalition's technological advantages in reconnaissance equipment and the impressive array of coalition forces defending the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Saddam Hussein attempted to use the surprise attack into Saudi Arabia as a method to advance several strategic-level political and military objectives. First, he was able to use the attack as a propaganda mechanism to rally domestic and Arab nationalistic support. Next, he endeavored to destabilize or destroy the coalition arrayed against him. Lastly, he sought to dampen American enthusiasm for the war by generating American casualties, thus demonstrating to the American public the unappealing potential for, and disastrous results of a protracted ground conflict. Ultimately, the Iraqi incursion was a failure in that it neglected to achieve Saddam's strategic objectives of disrupting the coalition forces arrayed against him.
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Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
National Security Affairs
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NPS Report Number
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Format
x, 67 p. ;
Citation
Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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