The Gulf: Military Message

With a new emphasis on Third World conflict, the Pentagon will have to trim some desires to fill its needs

America's amazing August charge into the desert of Saudi Arabia could have been a military disaster. The first troops to arrive were ill-equipped and vastly outnumbered by the Iraqi tank army poised in occupied Kuwait. Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division were told to expect to go directly into combat, though they carried nothing more effective against tanks than puny Dragon rockets and risky-to-use TOW missiles.

"If Saddam Hussein had struck during those early days," says Dave McCurdy, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, "our troops would have been slaughtered." Since then, at least 40,000 American soldiers and Marines...

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