Throughout this January and February America and its allies everywhere have been recognizing and commemorating the 20th anniversary of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Over the last two decades this conflict has come to represent many things, both inside and outside the military. It will continue to be studied by military leaders, students, and historians for years to come, as it signified a major change in the way war is conducted, with with new weapons and tactics ranging from precision munitions to stealth aircraft and C4ISR assets. It proved that joint and coalition forces could operate together to devastating effect. It also brought to prominence a new breed of men and women, for this was the first time that the latest generation of soldiers, sailors and airmen had been thrust into an all-out, full-scale war against a formidable opponent. Many new technologies had been developed since Vietnam, but never had they been tested in true combat situations.
The war also had a broader impact, for never had a military operation been placed so directly under the media spotlight. To many it was the defining event in modern news coverage, credited with bringing CNN to global prominence. Billions worldwide watched as the U.S. military and its allies, equally adept at handling both the Iraqis and the media, carried out Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm with precision and accuracy.
To coincide with the 20th anniversary, we have published a special commemorative digital magazine entitled Desert Shield – Desert Storm: 20th Anniversary of the Gulf War, developed from articles in our publishing archives. Over the past two months, Defense Media Network has also been publishing many new stories devoted to commemorating the anniversary, and we encourage you to read those as well, as a way of remembering the service and sacrifice of those within our armed forces and the armed forces of other nations who joined together to free Kuwait.