In February 1991, a single Iraqi Scud splashed harmlessly into the waters of the Arabian Gulf 150 meters from the massive commercial pier at Al Jubayl in Saudi Arabia. Had this missile landed on the ammunition-laden pier, or been part of a volley of multiple missiles, the results could have been catastrophic. With another possible Gulf War looming, defending vulnerable ports from such a threat is more important than ever.
The United States transported "the equivalent of the entire population of Alaska, along with their personal belongings, to the other side of the world, on short notice," in preparation for the war to liberate Kuwait in 1990-91. 1 This movement occurred as if little menaced its safety, but real threats existed. In the decade since, such threats have proliferated worldwide, with the potential to deny U.S. military access to critical areas of the world. One Gulf War incident at Al Jubayl in Saudi Arabia illuminates the reality of such menaces to the planned projection of U.S. forces, and the need to address the antiaccess threat.