From Storm to Freedom analyzes and assesses the strategic interaction between Iraq and the United States from 1990 to 2009, from the perspective of a single, if discontinuous conflict. With this longer-term perspective, covering both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, the book clarifies the long road of war against Iraq. This work recounts presents the evolution of counterinsurgency operations from 2003 to 2009, explains the misunderstanding and miscommunication between government leaders in Iraq and the United States throughout the period and describes the ineffective nature of the UN sanctions, the inefficient efforts of the Clinton Administration and the impact of the preemptive strategy of the Bush Administration that led to conflict in 2002.
The book first identifies the influence of the Vietnam era on the use of U.S. military power and the decision for war in 1990. The book then outlines the important factors of Iraqi history and culture which dominated relations between the two nations during the 1980s and 1990s. In subsequent chapters, the 1991 campaign of Desert Storm is analyzed from both the U.S. and Iraqi perspectives; then the military, economic and diplomatic actions of the period between the two more conventional, military parts of the conflict are assessed. The final chapters analyze the highly successful, 2003 conventional campaign from both perspectives; the ineffective post-war stabilization operations in Iraq which began with the failure to transition under the Coalition Provisional Authority; and the eventual development and implementation of a more effective strategy in Iraq – combining new doctrine and a “Surge” of forces to protect the population in a renewed counterinsurgency campaign. In a concluding chapter, the key lessons for the future are reviewed, including the importance of effective strategic decision-making and the mindset required to prosecute modern war.