The Battle So Far, So Good

The air war gets off to an impressive start, but Iraq's dug-in positions in Kuwait and missile hits on Israel threaten trouble ahead

War is an exercise in the unpredictable and often uncontrollable, following a course that cannot be foreseen hour to hour and leading to consequences that neither side ever intended. Battle scenarios are crisp and clear-cut; actual battles are anything but, and invariably bring surprises. No matter that the war starts on live television. Or that the deadline for combat is set six weeks in advance and is publicized more intensively than any other in history. Or that the attack proceeds in precisely the fashion that had all but officially been proclaimed in advance, with massive air attacks. The unexpected still occurs.

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