Wednesday, 25 September 2013

STORM 111 Extract

No. 111    Public Information Bulletin of Australian National Action    Decembis 2012
ANA accept no responsibility for information provided/inferred. STORM is an information source only

Schwarzkopf: The man, the mission, the triumph by Richard Pyle (London: Mardarin Books, 1991). 270 pp Cover blurb boasts: ‘the first biography of Stormin’ Norman’. Early breaking news, like rush job book, often reveal more than intended. US General Stormin’ Norman’ was Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the 1990-91 First Gulf War. Here’s a summary:

“On 27 February [1991] General H. Norman Schwarzkopf (HNS) explained to 200 reporters how his half-million strong international military force had overwhelmed an Iraqi Army that outnumbered them by 2:1 (p.3-4). He ticked off the Iraqi loses:
21 infantry divisions [8-10,000 men each]; five armoured divisions & three mechanized divisions destroyed out of 42 divisions committed to the occupation of Kuwait. 3,000 of Iraq’s 4,200 tanks destroyed; 50,000 Iraqis were POWs (p.5).
One newspaper called it ‘the Mother of All Briefings’. HNS’s performance that evening set a new standard for events of the kind. Reporters who’d covered half a dozen wars conceded they’d never heard anything like it: an information blitzkrieg to match Desert Storm itself, one of the most successful, one-sided operations in modern military history.

In contrast, the Vietnam War’s US CO, General Westmoreland, never gave so detailed or lucid account of any military operation. Instead he did only occasional, stiff, self-serving performances in an attempt to portray bad situations as good. His successor General Abrams never presented a group press briefing, let alone an hour-long ‘show-and-tell’. Stormin’ Norman’s dynamic briefing went out live on the noontime TV news on the US East Coast & at nine am on the West Coast. The whole country was abuzz. ‘Who was this guy?’ Six months earlier he’d been an obscure officer running an obscure headquarters in West Florida. Now he was centre-stage” (p.7-8).              But first some background.

“The name H. Norman Schwarzkopf had been a household name nearly 60 years prior. On March 1st 1932 Charles A. Lindergh Jnr, infant son of aviation hero Charles A. Lindbergh Snr, was stolen from his bedroom in New Jersey. H. Norman Schwarzkopf Snr, a 1917 West Point graduate & former WWI cavalry Colonel, headed the investigation. In 1921, at age 25, HNS Snr had been hired to establish & then run New Jersey’s new State Police force. (p.11). A son of German immigrants, he built the 81-member NJSP along para- military lines. HNS Snr made himself chief investigator of the Lindbergh kidnapping. Kidnapping was not yet a federal offence but later became one after passage of the so-called Lindbergh Law.

A four-year enquiry became increasingly politicised amid claims of police corruption and falsified evidence. In the end Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a German-born carpenter who barely spoke English, was sent to the electric chair on purely circumstantial evidence. Many believed Hauptmann was railroaded, including New Jersey governor Harold G. Hoffmann. He wrote to HNS Snr complaining: ‘ordinary police methods were not used’. Hoffman later refused to reappoint HNS Snr as NJ State Police Chief (p.14) so HNS Snr moved into the media. His next job was hosting the weekly radio show, Gang-busters, a dramatization of real-life crime stories (p.15).

In 1942 HNS Snr re-enlisted in the US Army, again with the rank of Colonel. He was sent to Iran, tasked with building a security force to protect what was now a major base for US resupply of the Soviet Union in its battle against Hitler”.
[Fact: Hitler attacked Stalingrad to cut the Volga River. This vital transport link with the US provided 60% of the USSR’s foreign war material. The rest came through British convoys to Murmansk. Without US/UK aid Russia could’not have survived 1942. Hitler’s estimate of the Russians in 1941 was correct. They would have fallen. He could not have anticipated US aid to the USSR. Who could foresee capitalist America saving Bolshevik Russia? RE].

“The US 30,000 had military personnel in the Persian Gulf Command, mainly logistics specialists & engineers. They laid roads to run the supplies north and built harbours such as Khorranshar & Bandar Abbas. For decades the US had attempted to gain influence in the Gulf Arab states but been thwarted by imperial Britain. After 1942 the US ran civilian advisory missions in Iran in the areas of finance, health and farming. No ‘adviser’ was more important than Colonel - and later Brigadier General – HNS: building the Iranian National Police Force (p.16). The war ended in 1945. The USSR was to removed its troops from North Iran, but refused. Instead they fomented a rebellion by tribesmen in Iran’s Azerbaijan province, bordering the USSR. HNS Snr’s 21,000-man constabulary was instrumental in suppressing the Azeri revolt. At this time young HNS Jnr arrived, aged twelve, to join his father.

After his victory over the Communist Azeri’s HNS Snr was rewarded in 1948 by being made Deputy Provost-Marshal, Berlin. The as yet un-divided Berlin was a centre for Cold War intrigue and espionage. Successful there, HNS Snr was returned to Iran in the early 1950’s in the role of ‘security adviser’ to Fazollah Zahedi, a rightist politician. By 1951 Moh. Mossadegh, a Soviet protégé, had become Iranian Prime Minister. He quickly exiled the Shah and nationalized the country’s petroleum industry, ousting the British from their lucrative monopoly. Soon after both the British Mi6 & America’s CIA began to plot his overthrow. HNS Snr was widely regarded at the time as having played a crucial role [our emphasis].

In 1953 Mossadegh was overthrown in a CIA-backed coup. HNS Snr’s patron, Zahedi, served briefly in government till the Shah was restored to power (p.18). His job complete, HNS Snr returned to New Jersey in 1954 to head an investigation into alleged corruption at the Division of Employment Security, an organization headed by his old foe, Hoffman. Hoffman died not long after, purportedly from a heart attack (p.18). Thus avenged on his old foe HNS Snr himself died four years later, in 1958. In memory of HNS Snr a square in Tehran, was renamed Schwarzkopf Square” (p.19).
From this we can see HNS Snr was a highly-skilled Cold Warrior. What of his son?

“US Central Command [CentCom] evolved in 1983 from the Carter Administration’s Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force. This had come to grief in the aborted 1980 US Embassy rescue in Iran. RDJTF’s first commander was General PX Kelley (1980-81) followed by General RC Kingston (1981-85), & General G B Crist (1985-88). In November 1988 it was HNS Jnr’s turn. He had a Masters degree in missile engineering, (p.29) was a top-grade strategic thinker, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Planning, senior Army member of a UN committee & delegate to US-USSR Arms Reduction talks (p.50) [our emphasis].

HNS Jnr found himself in charge of a Command covering nineteen countries - an area 3,000 miles wide by 3,000 miles long. CentCom’s overall mission was to: ensure US retained access to Persian Gulf oil; maintain an effective & visible US military presence;  help friendly states build & maintain their armed forces; deter threats by other states especially the USSR (p.53). To these ends by 1988 US engineers had built a number of airbases in Saudi Arabia. Another AFB was built at the southern end of Bahrain Island. It was supposedly for use by Bahrain’s Air Force but its runway was eight miles long, far too long for the small Bahrainis jets. As CentCom Commander General Crist repeatedly begged Arab leaders for a permanent base for US forces in their region, but to no avail.                                                                 [It was up to HNS Jnr to obtain this. RE].

In 1980 Iraq baited Iran into war [on US orders. RE]. The Gulf States all sided with Iraq. The US Navy already had 4-6 ships based in the Gulf, the Middle East Force (MEF), on station since 1949. MEF operated out of Bahrain with a permanent dock space allotted to their command vessel, USS La Salle. MEF was so low-profile that locals assumed they were British (p.59). This all changed late in the Iran-Iraq War. On 17 May 1987 an Iraqi warplane, on route to attack Iranian shipping, instead attacked the USS Stark, almost sinking it. Iraq hoped to draw the US into the war. 37 US sailors died in the attack [Our emphasis].

In response, US President Reagan tripled the size of the MEF providing a battleship group in addition to the two carrier groups already on station just outside the Gulf. Two months later, in July 1987, Reagan authorized ‘reflagging’ Kuwaiti tankers with US flags. This meant that any Iranian attacks on Kuwaiti ‘reflags’ would legally be an attack on the US. This would allow the US Navy to provide escorts. Even this gesture wasn’t sufficient to persuade Gulf States to provide the US with naval bases. CentCom CO General Crist was so desperate that he leased two enormous construction barges and had them anchored them off the North Saudi coast. These were used as bases for US Navy patrol boats & helicopters that flew only night missions (p.62). This is the situation HNS Jnr inherited in Nov 1988.

Under his direction, things changed. On 23rd July 1990, HNS Jnr had 350 CentCom officers assemble at Hurlburt Field & Elgin Air Base in Northern Florida. Their five-day ‘command post exercise’ would be called Internal Look ’90. The exercise was written by HNS Jnr himself. It postulated a crisis. A regional dictator endangers US access to the Gulf oilfields (p.71). All those participating immediately identified Iraq as IL’90’s hypothetical aggressor. As for the victim, who better than Kuwait? They all knew Iraq had borrowed US$15 billion from Kuwait during the 1980-88 war and couldn’t repay it. Schwarzkopf’s war game exercise proved chillingly prophetic. Questions remain about whether the US Ambassador to Iraq unwittingly encouraged Saddam to take over Kuwait by indicating Washington ‘would not interfere’ (p.73). Less than a week after Internal Look ’90 – on August 2ndIraq did exactly what the scenario had foretold.

General Schwarzkopf got a telephone call from the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell. He said: ‘the Iraqi forces that have been marshalling for days in Southern Iraq and along Kuwait’s border have invaded’ (p.74). Internal Look ’90 moved from exercise table to planning conference. Military units pre-designated to be called in a crisis [at Internal Look ‘90] were alerted: 101st Airborne, 82nd Airborne & 24th Infantry Division, Schwarzkopf’s own former command” (p.75) [our emphasis].  

This review attempted to answer the question: why’d the US attack Iraq in 1990? To obtain permanent US bases in the Middle East, the one region they were lacking any.  After Libya and Syria, Iran will be next. 

[three days after this issue was sent to the USA, NHS was found dead of a 'heart attack'. RE].

P O Box 635 Strathpine PS 4500 Australia phone 07 3205 8543

No comments:

Post a Comment