Bravo Two Zero
Hornets over Kuwait
It Doesn't Take a Hero
Storm over Iraq : Air Power and the Gulf War
Into the Storm : A Study in Command
George Herbert Walker Bush.
*While in high school, George Bush and his classmates were lectured on the horrors of appeasement by Henry Stimson, who eventually became Roosevelt's Secretary of War. George Bush remembered this lesson and became the youngest Navy pilot in the Pacific while his classmates were at college. These lessons he learned about war and appeasement are certain to be shaping his current Gulf policy.
Faced with the toughest test of his life, President Bush has performed virtually without flaw in the Persian Gulf Crisis. Although some fault him for ignoring problems at home, his personal diplomacy has aligned the world in its opposition to Saddam Hussein. He appears at ease with his decision to send in the troops, a decision he reportedly made some time before hostilities broke out. His resolve was demonstrated as he carefully but firmly rejected the last-minute peace opportunities that were designed by the Soviet's to give Iraq a face-saving way out of the crisis.
President Bush has received high marks for his management style during the entire crisis. The formation of the coalition and the rallying of world support are widely regarded as a direct result of the President's emphasis on personal diplomacy. In addition, he was able to silence the leakers and in-fighters within his own administration with a no-nonsense directive straight from the Oval Office to those who would speak out of turn. The firing of General Dugan, Air Force Chief of Staff, for his comments on the conduct of the air war sent shock waves throughout the national defense and foreign affairs community in Washington so that everyone knew George Bush was in command.
Bush's management style with the military in this crisis should be regarded as a role model for future President's. Bush refused to interfere in purely military matters as Lyndon Johnson did in Vietnam and many attribute this to the professional way in which the war was fought. His one major operational command of the military during the war, the calling of a cease-fire, was done only after he was told it could be done by the military professionals in the Pentagon and the Gulf.
Politically, President Bush seems unbeatable in 1992. There is no Democrat who can beat him on the national security or foreign affairs platform, and if he is able to bring about an economic recovery in the next year, it is likely most serious democrats will sit out the 1992 elections. At the end of the war, President Bush's approval rating was 91%, the highest for a President in decades.
Through default, leadership, luck, and skill, President Bush can now be called the leader of the free world. As the leader of the only true superpower remaining in the world, President Bush is going to have to pay considerably more attention to the state of the world to see what role the United States is to play in the "New World Order." Some fear the "safety is off" as it applies to the use of military force, but no one has ever accused Bush of not being cautious.
Bush was defeated 18 months after the Gulf War by an electorate more concerned with the economy than the state of world affairs. His legacy lived on in the signing of a peace agreement in the Middle East by President Clinton during the early days of his administration. Bush traveled to Kuwait after the electoral loss, where an attempt was made on his life by Iraqi agents. In response, President Clinton launched a minor cruise missile strike against Iraq.