In the fall of 1990 the United States, in conjunction with a number of other nations, including several Middle Eastern states, launched an offensive against Iraq and its leader, Saddam Hussein. The assault was a response to the Iraqi invasion of neighboring Kuwait. This offensive was the first direct involvement of American troops in the Middle East since World War II. The war was over within the prescribed 100 hours, with a military victory declared by the United States and its allies. The stated goal of removing Iraqi forces from Kuwait had been achieved, and much of the credit was given to the commander of the Middle East operation, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf. This is an analysis the leadership exercised by General Schwarzkopf, its origins, how he wielded his power, and the leadership style that infuses his command. Schwarzkopf demonstrates the important leadership qualities of intelligence, capability, the ability to learn from past mistakes, and the ability to assess a situation and solve a problem.
General Schwarzkopf came to prominence during the Desert Storm operation and proved to be a strong presence before the television cameras as well as on the battlefield. This was not the first time he had been in the spotlight, however. He had been seen by the public before under difficult circumstances. He was a battalion commander at the time of the accidental deaths of several American soldiers in the Vietnam War. The incident was chronicled under the title F
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