Operation Desert Storm Was Not Won By Smart Weaponry Alone
Technology has long been a deciding factor on the battlefield, from powerful artillery to new weaponry to innovations in the seas and the skies. Twenty-five years ago, it was no different, as the United States and its allies proved overwhelmingly successful in the Persian Gulf War. A coalition of U.S. Army Apache attack helicopters, cruise missiles from naval vessels, and Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk “stealth fighters” soundly broke through Saddam Hussein’s army defenses in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm, which became known as the “100-hour war”.
But for all the possibilities that this “Computer War” offered, Operation Desert Storm was not won by smart weaponry, alone. Despite the “science fiction”-like technology deployed, 90 percent of the pieces of ammunition used in Desert Storm were actually “dumb weapons”. The bombs, which weren’t guided by lasers or satellites, were lucky to get within half a kilometer of their targets after they were dumped from planes. While dumb bombs might not have been exciting enough to make the headlines during the attack, they were cheaper to produce and could be counted on to work. But frequency of use doesn’t change why history will remember Desert Storm for its smart weapons, rather than its dumb ones.
Adapted from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/ operation-desert-storm-was-not-won-smart-weaponry-alone- 180957879/