Inchon in the Desert: My Rejected Plan

The voice squawked from the loudspeaker in the Pentagon's command center: "We have an event.

Issue: Summer 1995

The voice squawked from the loudspeaker in the Pentagon's command center: "We have an event. We have an event. The latitude is. . . the longitude is. . . the missile is heading towards Tel Aviv. Arrival in six minutes and seventeen seconds. . . ."
Those disembodied words, spoken in the early evening (Washington time) of January 16, 1991, were the first indication of a Scud missile attack by Iraq on Israel. It was to be followed by many more, against both Israel and Saudi Arabia.

During all of this I was the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, on leave from Stanford University business school and the Hoover Institution. My responsibilities were to support the undersecretary of defense for policy, Paul Wolfowitz, and Secretary Dick Cheney on political-military matters throughout most of the world including the Middle East.

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