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The Failure of Third World Air Power : Iraq and the War with Iran

By Major Douglas A. Kupersmith, USAF

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Book Id: WPLBN0002170817
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 629.71 kb
Reproduction Date: 10/23/2012

Title: The Failure of Third World Air Power : Iraq and the War with Iran  
Author: Major Douglas A. Kupersmith, USAF
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Military Science, Iraqi Air Force
Collections: History, Science Fiction Collection, Military Science, Naval Science, Science, Authors Community, Bibliography, Finance, Economy, Political Sociology, Literature, Political Science, Education
Publication Date:
Publisher: Air University Press
Member Page: Air University Press


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A. Kupersmith, Usa, M. D. (n.d.). The Failure of Third World Air Power : Iraq and the War with Iran. Retrieved from

This paper explains why the Iraqi performance in Desert Storm was predictable: Nonindustrialized, third world nations are incapable of fielding a decisive, conventional air force. To illustrate the point, this essay studies Iraq’s performance in the war against Iran. During the conflict, the Iraqi air force obtained all the equipment and training money could buy, but after eight years of combat experience it still made only minor contributions in a war effort against an equal foe. The in- ability of third world nations to independently organize, train, and equip air forces to decisive levels is inevitable. Avoiding large, wasted sums of money fielding a force of questionable value should lead these countries to alternative forms of aerial warfare.

Table of Contents
1 ORGANIZATION 1 Origins of the Ba’athist Movement 1 Iraqi Military Political Involvement 2 Organization of the Air Force 3 Organizational Summary 5 Notes 6 2 TRAINING 7 Importance of Training 7 Public Education in Iraq 8 Iraqi Military Training 9 Foreign Training 10 The Training Factor 11 Notes 13 3 EQUIPPING 14 Expanding the Military in Iraq 14 Growth of the Iraqi Air Force 15 Iraq’s Money Supply 17 Problems of Acquisition 18 Notes 20 4 EMPLOYMENT. 21 Prewar Air Power Balance 22 Start of the War 22 Air Power in the First Two Years 25 Export War 27 Targeting Iran’s Will 33 Air Support of the Army 37 Summary of Iraqi Air Combat 41 Notes 42 5 CONCLUSION 45 Failure of the Iraqi Air Force 45 Limits of Third World Air Power 46 Alternatives to a Large Air Force 46 The Future 48 BIBLIOGRAPHY 49


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