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The eye of the storm.

AS THE WORLD held its breath, the Desert Storm cease-fire took hold. Allied forces shifted their focus to routing the defeated Iraqi military and reconstructing a shell-shocked Kuwait.

Part one of this article, which appeared in the September issue, detailed events leading up to the cease-fire. In part two, Major Charles H. (Sandy) Davidson (ASIS Foundation staff director) and Colonel Michael W. Beasley (partner in the law firm Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe and ASIS member) recount their experiences from the liberation of Kuwait to their return to the United States in May.

During that time, both men served with the Combined Civil Affairs Task Force (CCATF). This unit, largely made up of reservists from the 352nd Civil Affairs Command, worked with the Kuwaiti government to provide emergency services in Kuwait City and to begin resurrecting the country's infrastructure.

Davidson, who had been serving as a civil affairs liaison officer to the Islamic units that comprised the Eastern Area Command, was one of the first American soldiers to arrive in Kuwait City after the cease-fire. Beasley followed shortly thereafter in the lead vehicle of a 240-vehicle emergency convoy he commanded as director of logistics for CCATF. What happened when you actually got to Kuwait City?

Davidson: When we moved in, Kuwait City was a very poignant scene. People were ecstatic. They were thrilled to have the world come to their rescue.

Most of the troops I was with were Islamic, so when the few Americans started arriving, the expressions of joy became even more profound. The Kuwaitis began to realize that US ground forces actually were in their country. It was very touching.

Beasley: The convoy I traveled with north from Saudi Arabia arrived at the Kuwait International Airport on the outskirts of Kuwait City at around 2:00 am. The stories about what had happened at that airfield during the war weren't lost on us. It had been one of the most contested battlegrounds in the country. We had no idea what we would be witnessing.

We closed into an area of the airport that had unexploded cluster bombs sprinkled everywhere. Several parts of the compound were declared off-limits because we didn't know who was there or what had been left behind. It was a very eerie sight: Everywhere you looked tanks were smoldering and cars were overturned and on fire. Had you been in the city yet?

Beasley: We had seen as much of the skyline as you could through smoke in the middle of the night. We could see there was no electricity, but we hadn't really seen the citizens.

Davidson: We went in to appraise the situation from a civil affairs point of view, but then settled into our base of operations, Camp Freedom, a schoolbook repository compound near the airport. There was room to maneuver, and the compound could be easily secured.

Beasley: The book warehouse was located just outside [of] the airport. We slept in open-air warehouse bays, using books to build walls and makeshift cubbyholes.

We had to shake off any numbness we felt and start doing some work early the next day. The compound had been occupied by the Iraqi military just 24 hours before we arrived, and we found abandoned equipment, bedrolls, food, and large amounts of munitions and weapons everywhere. What were your responsibilities?

Beasley: CCATF was in Kuwait to support the officials of the Kuwaiti government. My job as director of logistics was to coordinate all resources flowing into the CCATF operation, which included food and supplies coming to the American army and other military components.

Additionally, on behalf of the US and allied forces, we responded to requests from the US Department of State and the US ambassador. We also received all emergency resources that had been purchased by the Kuwaitis through private contracts prior to liberation. Who did you work with in the Kuwaiti government?

Beasley: I worked with US military civil affairs personnel in support of the ministers of the various departments of the Kuwaiti government, including interior, defense, commerce, telecommunications, and petroleum.

Our immediate concern when meeting with the Kuwaiti officials was to begin distributing food, water, and medical supplies and to assess what emergency services were required in the city as well as the countryside. Had the Kuwaiti officials in exile in Saudi Arabia made plans for reentering the city?

Beasley: Yes. They had maintained a shadow cabinet during the entire occupation by Iraq and had also met frequently in Washington, DC, with US representatives. The Kuwaiti emir and the crown prince stayed in Taif, Saudi Arabia, where the Saudi royal family maintains palaces. Other officials were working out of a hotel in Dammam on the east coast of Saudi Arabia. The senior Kuwaiti government officials came north two to five days after the city was liberated.

Sandy, did you continue to be assigned to the islamic division?

Davidson: No. Once we arrived in Kuwait City, I left the Islamic division and rejoined the headquarters of the CCATF . I then became one of three liaison officers assigned to the general staff of the Kuwaiti army. The Kuwaiti commander, Major General Jabber, had recently established a command center at a military hospital in Kuwait City.

The general staff was trying to reconstitute all the assets of the Kuwaiti army. Many were not seasoned soldiers but public-spirited, highly motivated civilians who had been trained briefly in Saudi Arabia or the US. They had no assets and no vehicles. The only arms and ammunition they possessed had been purchased recently from the US. The Saudis even had to loan them uniforms.

The Kuwaiti military faced myriad tasks. First, they had to establish a police function to control civil unrest. They had to decide how martial law would be administered and applied to the various sectors of the Kuwaiti population.

A sizable Palestinian population remained in Kuwait in addition to Iraqi "pilgrims, " or civilians who had been brought in by the Iraqis after the August invasion. Then there were third-country nationals-Filipinos, Sudanese, Yemenis, and others-who hadn't been able to leave.

The situation was made even more intense by the fast retreat of the Iraqi soldiers. They abandoned huge caches of small arms, rocket-propelled grenades, and hand grenades. All the T55 tanks we found had ammunition on board; some even had tank rounds in the breech. There were antiaircraft guns and machine guns in a variety of calibers, all loaded, charged, and ready to go. Literally thousands of AK47s and loose ammunition were everywhere.

The Iraqis had obviously realized they could not sustain a supply effort in the face of unrelenting air attacks. So they serviced their forward combat forces by pushing materiel and resupply to the front, assuming the units would find a way to get to it. In the collapse, not only did the soldiers abandon tanks and armored personnel carriers, but they simply walked away from these ammunition stores.

As a result, huge numbers of AK47s and the like were picked up by civilians-Iraqi deserters, Iraqi pilgrims, Palestinians, and Kuwaiti citizens. Whatever their motives, the net effect was that everybody had a weapon. To me that fact was catastrophic and a real security nightmare. Were you surprised that there wasn't more violence among citizens?

Beasley,: There was a lot of violence. At first, a sense of euphoria and relief set in, and everyone's energy was directed toward celebration. Then, as resentment and grudges started to surface, more violence occurred; we were just lucky that very little of it was directly against Americans. We literally had no enemies. Attitudes toward the American soldiers reflected the goodwill genuinely felt by everyone toward President Bush and General Schwarzkopf.

Where did you start in your efforts to help the Kuwaitis put their government back together?

Davidson: CCATF's mission was to reconstitute essential services-sanitation, water, and electric power-as well as municipal services, such as police protection, traffic control, crowd control, fire services, and rudimentary telecommunication services along with plans to reopen the schools. How did the civil affairs task force work?

Davidson: CCATF was composed of reservists and active-duty soldiers with expertise in specialties, such as power plant engineering, sewage engineering, systems engineering, management, and telecommunications.

In many instances, civil affairs personnel acted as a catalyst-identifying problem spots and knowing what and who to ask for within the US army system to begin delivering services. The work often involved expediting deals with private contractors-like the oil-well fire specialists. The same structure was true in just about every municipal and state service, from archival research to [the] monument restoration. In addition, generalists like myself served in liaison functions with various elements of the Kuwaiti government. Had the iraqi leaders who had been occupying Kuwait long since left?

Davidson: No major figures were captured in theater, although I think the 7th Corps captured several officers, simply because the heavy armor overran them as they were retreating. But the modus operandi for the majority of the Iraqi senior officers, civilian operatives, and the Mukhabrat (intelligence forces and secret police service) was to expeditiously get out of town.

My impression of the Iraqi troops that had been in our sector is that they were not first echelon-no Republican Guard units. Our preinvasion intelligence had led us to believe that a rather notorious Iraqi special forces division was located in the city. I have no evidence that we actually found that unit. The people who had occupied the positions we overran seemed to be ragbags-secondand third-echelon troops. Their practices were slovenly, and their general behavior was undistinguished and unsoldierly. Was there a lot of destruction in the city?

Davidson: The oil-well fires created a sinister backdrop. But the physical appearance of the city was not that bad. We were prepared for levels of destruction that were far beyond anything we witnessed. Kuwait City was 95 percent intact, in my estimation.

Personally, I was expecting it to be in the 30 to 40 percent range. We expected to engage in hand-to-hand, house-to-house combat with armor in the city, tanks slugging it out, and a slow Iraqi defeat. We thought there would be major destruction.

Instead, we found cosmetic damage to buildings in the city and not much damage in the neighborhoods. But the Iraqis had done a very effective job of trashing anything that was institutional. They destroyed the police, fire, and municipal services and all public records. Any hardware or software that related to telecommunications or broadcasting was destroyed. Schools were shut down because the libraries were taken and the laboratories were smashed. The banks, the courts were ruined.

Did you see evidence of civilians having been tortured or maimed?

Davidson: Yes. While the abuse wasn't pervasive, the Iraqis perpetuated a barbaric occupation of Kuwait. Kuwait is a very genteel society, and I'm sure the effect of the occupation was even more searing because of that. The Iraqi soldiers had a peasant mentality and a brutal jealousy of the Kuwaitis. They just trashed everything they encountered.

Curiously, the Iraqi officer corps seemed to have exercised some control over the troops because most Kuwaiti neighborhoods were unmolested. If a neighborhood had strategic value-it overlooked a main thoroughfare-or a dwelling offered an outstanding field of fire against an invasion route, it was occupied. But only obviously abandoned homes or homes under construction had been reinforced for military purposes or to house iraqi soldiers. They had used cinder blocks to build pillboxes and gun ports. Otherwise, there was not much evidence of the occupation of privately owned property.

What were your specific duties?

Davidson: My duties centered on enemy tank recovery, policy development for the disarmament of civilians and other nonmilitary personnel in the city who had acquired small arms, and enemy graves registration. This last duty involved coordinating with the Saudis to remove dead Iraqi soldiers. Their location would be made known to us, and we would make sure they were promptly buried. Because of cultural and religious requirements, the Saudis performed all burials. Could you identify the bodies that were recovered?

Davidson: Generally, no. In some cases, they had identification cards, but in most cases nobody knew for sure who they were.

I was also the contact person for processing enemy POWS. Once again, that was a task actually performed by the Saudis. It was a rather delicate and sensitive activity. Were you concerned about booby traps?

Davidson: We were very concerned about booby traps, but we rarely found them. I recall some CCATF specialists in bomb removal spending virtually all their time clearing facilities looking for traps. But I did not hear that they were widespread.

Were the abandoned vehicles booby trapped?

Davidson: No, we found no cases of booby trapping or even sabotage of the vehicles I recovered, and we recovered virtually all the armor left in the city. The Iraqis hadn't attempted to destroy them to prevent them from being confiscated.

Where did you take the vehicles?

Davidson: To recovery yards in Kuwait where they were categorized and analyzed. I worked with a Tennessee National Guard unit that operated heavy equipment, tractors, and armored vehicles. If we couldn't drive the tanks away, they would load them onto their recovery vehicles with cables. Did you systematically work through the city to clear out the vehicles?

Davidson: Not really. Generally we responded to reports. The tanks were a pretty sinister reminder of the occupation to the Kuwaiti people, and the government recognized that it was in the best interest of stability to get them off the street. So whenever the government found one, they notified us and we removed it quickly.

How many tanks did you recover?

Davidson: Probably 100 in the city itself. Also, a tremendous number had been destroyed outside the city by allied air attacks. In some cases, the tanks were so poorly maintained they just quit running. Most were T55s, a woefully obsolete Soviet battle tank. Overall, I probably saw several hundred tanks that had been destroyed in one way or another, and several thousand dead trucks. There was great evidence of the cost to the Iraqi military machine just in our sector.

What happened to those that were confiscated?

Davidson: Not a lot of use was made of the Soviet bloc weaponry. The Kuwaiti army preferred to have NATO weapons. If they had decided to use the confiscated Warsaw Pact weapons, such as the AK47, they would have needed the appropriate ammunition, which is not interchangeable with NATO ammunition. US forces were only interested in it out of curiosity or for analysis. None of it was used although most was intact.

Curiously, no insurrectionist groups attempted to grab any of this abandoned major weaponry, so we didn't have to fight to remove any vehicles. What do you specifically recall about those days?

Beasle N,: A lot of interesting stories evolved in our day-to-day responsibilities. For example, the US army veterinarian came to me the first day and said that thousands of cattle, livestock, and to some degree horses were dying daily in the community. These animals had been brought to the city and hidden from the Iraqis in people's backyards. Any animals the Iraqis came across were either killed and eaten or just set loose.

The veterinarian felt strongly that it would be easier to feed and water the cattle than to bury them. He feared creating a situation ripe for a massive epidemic.

I agreed and scrambled to find food and water for the animals. We found grain that had been abandoned at farms and channeled that to the cattle. One source of water was the shower water that had just been brought in for the American soldiers, who hadn't bathed in many days. I diverted that water to the cows, much to the chagrin of some of my colleagues. But as soon as they found out where it was going, I got full support.

Was the threat of disease a concern?

Davidson: Interestingly, no. At a briefing session before we even left Jubail, we were told that cholera, typhus, and typhoid would not be an issue in Kuwait. The percentage of citizens who have been inoculated is among the highest in the world. They can afford to have the best health care facilities, equipment, pharmacies, and physicians. Support personnel for allied medical services are well trained.

Reports also noted that Kuwait City was quite pristine before the war, and it obviously was a handsome, well-tended city. The water and sewage system were adequate and sanitary. They have a superb public health service. As a result, we did not encounter an outbreak of diseases in the city.

In southern Iraq near Safwan, however, where subordinate units of the CCATF administered refugee camps, there were some problems with typhus. Perhaps 95 percent of the people in those camps were displaced Iraqis who were left wandering on the road to Basra when Iraqi forces retreated. But the health problems even in the refugee camps were not of epidemic proportions.

Beasley: That civil affairs mission had unique issues because the refugee camps were within Iraq. We worked closely with the United Nations and Kuwaiti Red Crescent officials. Our role was to coordinate relief and work with the people who were responsible for jurisdictional control of the refugees. Were the hospitals in Kuwait City able to provide adequate care?

Beasley: For the most part, yes. We focused on a crippled children's hospital and brought it up by its bootstraps. We would go to extraordinary lengths to get a specific medicine for a single patient. We called all over the world and asked for supplies, and generally got whatever we needed within 48 hours. Did you receive a lot of international cooperation?

Beasley: Yes. For example, in conjunction with the Kuwaitis, private organizations, and an international society for the preservation of animals, we created a special relief effort for the animals of the Kuwait zoo. About 50 percent of the zoo animals had been killed and some had been eaten by the Iraqis or fed to other animals. The others had been set loose.

We spent maybe half an hour a day on a project that gave us a lot of pleasure. Everyone involved felt it was important to create an environment where people could seek some solace from the destruction of the city.

We diverted the necessary food and water and arranged for an operation to remove an Iraqi bullet from a monkey. We had a helicopter of hay flown in from Riyadh for the elephant. Using a large metal detector, we discovered the elephant was limping because he had been shot in the shoulder. That bullet was left intact, but the elephant recovered nicely.

I helped evacuate a Syrian brown bear to Riyadh for recovery using military aircraft. As a result, the Syrian brown bear in the Kuwaiti zoo is now named Beasley. We felt like real Dr. Doolittles there for a while.

Did you get any time off duty?

Beasley: No. We worked very long hours every day. But we did play in an international soccer tournament that the Kuwaitis organized during April to celebrate the return of the Kuwaiti PoWs from Iraq. The Kuwaitis organized the tournament, and the military forces of all the allied nations participated.

The American team covered itself with more dirt than glory. We lost our first match against Bahrain but created a memorable image of beleaguered Americans lying on the turf with the opposing Bahraini team laughing hysterically.

We immediately regrouped and included our Kuwaiti interpreters, many of whom were college-level soccer players, and that team did rather well under the stars and stripes banner. Newspaper reports told about money being diverted to repair the Kuwaiti royal palace to the detriment of services to the general populace. Is that assessment correct?

Davidson: I think all essential services were adequately provided within a reasonable time. I did not witness any misallocation of resources to the benefit of the royal family. Certainly, repairing the royal palace was a priority because it had been devastated. The Iraqis exacted quite a retribution against the emir in a number of ways. They trashed his offices and his residence and did the same at facilities used by the crown prince and other royal family members.

When resources were allocated for structural repair, they were applied to sites reflecting the greatest need. And more severe structural damage was inflicted upon facilities that served members of the royal family than on other structures in the city. How well informed were you were about international reactions to the war?

Davidson: I did not feel well informed. The only newspaper we saw regularly was the Stars and Stripes, which is pretty lightweight reporting.

Several weeks after the invasion, the armed forces radio and television service came in with a radio broadcast team that picked up syndicated US transmissions, so we could get a 5-minute Associated Press, ABC, or CBS burst of news on the hour or half hour. But only a few people had radios anyway.

What was your impression of how the media covered the war?

Beasley: Occasionally, an article was circulated among us, but generally I never read any US papers while overseas. But in discussions since my return, it is clear that some reporters were highly critical of the Kuwaiti government's ability to mobilize emergency relief and carry out long-term reconstruction.

I felt such criticism did not adequately consider the national shock the Kuwaitis felt during their occupation and subsequent liberation. It naturally took time to reconstruct a national government, to coalesce the national will, and to get the country moving again.

Davidson: The press sought out CCATF members for interviews because we were in the middle of the action of interest to the media.

I think the international public was misled by the shrill, accusatory tone of many of the correspondents in Kuwait City, particularly the American segment. The Kuwaiti government was always implicitly maligned. The press seemed to take great joy in presenting the crown prince, the emir, and their immediate staff as bumbling stooges swept up in a maelstrom, unable to control their destiny or the destiny of their people.

In my view, that image was inaccurate. A lot of correspondents took a shallow look at Kuwait society and made a callous appraisal of that society's ability to respond to Western, specifically American, management techniques and style. I think they left the reader with the impression that the government felt no sense of urgency in making the country work again.

Beasley: In addition, Ramadan, the primary religious holiday for the entire country of Kuwait, began in mid-March shortly after the liberation and lasted for a month. That holiday caused a great deal of confusion in the world press. Articles simply did not convey that the Kuwait people insisted on celebrating their liberation through their observance of Ramadan, which involves, among other things, total fasting during all daylight hours.

So during that time, people couldn't drink water or eat and were unable to work for more than a few hours. Also, observing their religious holiday was more important to them than cleaning the streets or making cosmetic improvements to the environment. They needed to seek inner strength through their religious holiday before they were ready to tackle their problems. So taking that month, during which the Kuwaitis received intensive criticism in the world press, really was entirely understandable to those of us who were working with them every day.

Another factor was the residual anger felt by the Kuwaiti people against elements of their own society, particularly the Palestinian community, which many citizens felt had collaborated with the Iraqis. The world press was looking for immediate forgiveness by the Kuwaiti citizens toward the Palestinians, and the Kuwaitis were having none of it. They were not in the mood to offer substantial relief to the Palestinian community.

Davidson: One story that particularly struck me was in The Washington Post in early June, about three weeks after I returned. The article focused on the inept senior leadership of the Kuwaiti government and its totally disheveled management style and performance.

The article was just the antithesis of what I had encountered some three weeks before. I could not believe that everything had changed so rapidly. It was easy to take cheap shots at the Kuwaiti government. In reality, I think the officials did a good job with limited resources.

Beasley: Admittedly, a lot of criticism is directed toward reporters by military personnel who may not grasp the difference between the roles of the US military and the press. Some in our group felt it was an intrusion to be asked questions by reporters. I felt it was the press's job to ask the questions and our job to say no if answering the question was not justified for security reasons.

Many reservists in the US civil affairs community have civilian jobs where relations with the press are natural and productive. As a group, I think we adapted better than the active army to the presence of the press in Kuwait.

I did not resent the presence of journalists or the methods they used to get stories. Certainly reporters occasionally had biased vantages and wrote stories that we did not agree with. But we were there fighting, in part, to ensure that those opinions could be voiced and published.

By late May when you returned to the states, were the Kuwaitis on the road to recovery?

Davidson: I thought they were doing rather well. The police force was back in operation, and the fire brigade was functioning at an acceptable level.

Essential services were being supplied-about 75 to 80 percent of the power needs and about 90 percent of the water and sewage needs were being met. Water pressure was still down in some lines, but water was available.

The retail economy was starting to pick up. I didn't see a lot of color TVs and VCRs coming in, but I did see plenty of staples and some fancy foodstuffs in the stores. The food distribution centers for bulk items had been working well.

A lingering disappointment for me was the small-arms disarmament issue, which had been neglected during that time. I would like to think that something has been done about it since.

Beasley: The mission of the civil affairs community was to work through the emergency services phase and preliminary reconstruction of the Kuwait infrastructure. Within two months, Kuwait City had once again become one of the more advanced cities in the world.

Within three weeks we had electricity, within a month we had most of the water restored, and within six weeks telecommunications were functioning. The food and water crisis was resolved within the first 10 days, the police force was back in operation within four to six weeks, and the criminal justice system was running again within two and a half months.

The Army Corps of Engineers was assigned to work with the Kuwaiti government for long-term reconstruction. By the first of May, which was the timetable for turning the job over to the Corps of Engineers, the emergency had been alleviated and preliminary reconstruction was well under way. Did you stay in Kuwait City the whole time?

Davidson: Yes, until the last four or five days in country. Then I went back to Dhahran and worked with the logistics section of our unit to ship back our materiel and vehicles through the port of Dhahran. It was fascinating to observe this huge army being packed up and sent home.

Our requirements were fairly easy. We just had supplies, small vehicles, and some captured equipment. But when you think of armor and artillery units, the job becomes very complex. The logistical magnitude of it alone was impressive.

All vehicles had to be steam-cleaned to comply with Department of Agriculture restrictions against bringing any malady into the states that might affect domestic agriculture. Vehicles had to be in running order so they could be driven onto these great transport ships. It was absolutely astounding to see the hubbub of activity around the huge ships, but also to note the orderly and precise way the exit was administered. What are your most vivid recollections?

Davidson: I clearly recall my introspection and personal evaluation the night before the invasion. No one knew what the next day would bring, and we didn't know what kind of weaponry we would face. None of us knew how effective the Iraqis would be in combat. Those feeling were very powerful.

Also, the sheerjoy and adulation expressed by the Kuwaiti people when we liberated the city was very memorable. They showed appreciation to their fellow Arab liberators, but they were drawn to Americans. They wanted to extend the hospitality of their culture and acknowledge personally our participation as a nation and as individuals.

Frequently, when you would say "thank you" for a very simple courtesy, people would react by saying, "No, thank you for saving my country. "

Beasley: The overwhelming celebration on the streets of Kuwait the day after liberation was most unique. People were crying, they were deliriously happy, and they were waving anything with red, white, and blue on it. People mobbed Americans just to express their gratitude and say "welcome. " They shared anything they had with us.

I remember taking water to a neighborhood that had been rationing water for months. When I first drove up and said water," a boy disappeared and returned with half a bottle of water and offered it to me, thinking I was asking for water, not giving it away. It was obvious that half bottle was all he had.

A pallet of M&Ms was delivered to the airport a day after the liberation. Passing out M&Ms to kids who had not had candy in six months was just great. We gave handfuls of M&M packs to all the Americans who went into the community.

And then you can never witness a landscape with 300 to 400 visible oil wells spouting flames 40 to 80 feet into the air, with thick black smoke all around you, and pools of hot oil on the ground across an endless sandscape without feeling that you are seeing something almost as unique as the surface of the moon. That image will always last in my mind, because it was so bizarre and will never be recreated. What was the largest frustration you experienced?

Davidson: Frustrations occurred on different levels. For many people, mentally adapting to the Islamic culture and appreciating how tasks are accomplished in that society was frustrating. You had to stop and think how what you were doing fit in and how what you were asking could work. It was less frustrating for me because this trip was my second tour in the region.

On a more mundane level, I found the Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) to be a real frustration. I thought they were horrible. I remember C rations, and I thought they were infinitely preferable to the MRES. They were great to lug around, and you really couldn't hurt them. But I don't think the MRE is a procurement success story. The taste was absolutely nasty.

Nonetheless, we always had plenty of food and water, and eventually the food improved. After the support trains arrived at Camp Freedom, we had T rations, which are similar to a big TV dinner for 10 to 15 people. You'd have several T ration plates, each with chicken breasts, beans, rice, or whatever. The cooks dipped the rations in very hot water and served them as we passed through a line. It wasn't heaven, but it was better than the MRES.

Beasley: I found it frustrating that we didn't have more goods available to distribute earlier. It boiled down to a communication problem. It's frustrating when you can only communicate person-to-person or with a handful of military radios, when you can only generate electricity through portable generators, and when you have to very carefully check water because you don't know if it has been poisoned.

The constantly burning oil wells on the horizon were frustrating as well. I felt angry about this worldwide environmental disaster and the destruction that had occurred within the city because of the childish delinquency of the Iraqi soldiers. The burning oil wells, the pollution of the sea, the destruction of the beautiful buildings in Kuwait, the theft of art, the mindless slaughter of zoo animals made us all frustrated and very angry.

What did you think about the adulation the world showed toward General Schwarzkopf?

Davidson: I thought it was wonderful. Everyone I met who served in the Gulf thought General Schwarzkopf was a splendid example of senior military leadership. He was very effective in the management of perhaps the most successful war effort in modem history, and he absolutely deserved the same level of respect as Eisenhower, Marshall, MacArthur, and other famous American generals.

The actual periods of conflict were greater in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. But everything associated with Desert Storm was very intense, and the time frame was significantly compressed. I think it would be a mistake to discount the efforts of General Schwarzkopf and the senior management team he put together based solely on the time involved.

Beasley: All of us greatly respected General Schwarzkopf, his staff, and the entire military leadership of the coalition forces. Their decisions were fully supported by the soldier in the field.

Stories are told that as a result of his experiences in Vietnam, Schwarzkopf formed two observations that shaped his leadership style. First, the American people were not behind that war, and they would be behind any war in which he had another leadership position. Second, the Vietnam war was fought by lower-ranking enlisted personnel out in the field while the officers and staff sat back in urban areas. Schwarzkopf said that if he were ever a theater commander, the division commanders and their staffs as well as the corps commanders and their staffs would be on the front lines with the troops.

That attitude of cohesiveness between the senior officer corps and the enlisted personnel really did permeate the entire military effort in Desert Storm. It was an effective fighting force, probably the best I've ever seen. For you personally, how did this conflict compare with Vietnam?

Beasley: In Vietnam, there was always a great deal of uncertainty about personal safety. You never knew when a 122 rocket would be launched in your direction. Similarly, in Kuwait you never knew when a Scud was going to land on your head. The uncertainty associated with the chemical threat in the Middle East was similar to the uncertainty of a potential Sapper attack or bomb that was very much on your mind in Vietnam.

Other than that, there were very few similarities. The weather was different, the terrain was different, the tactics were not the same. And the views on the war held by the American people were nothing alike.

Were you aware of the overwhelming support of American citizens?

Beasley: The difference compared to Vietnam was really driven home for me when we returned on May 10th. Sandy and I arrived at Fort Meade, MD, at 2:00 am to a full gymnasium of several hundred people screaming their welcomes, with a full band and speeches before total bedlam broke out.

I never felt any prejudice because of my participation in Vietnam, and I came back with a sense of achievement and personal gratification. No one was killed or injured in my command in the jungle, and there were plenty of opportunities for both. Nonetheless, I had a much grander sense of achievement in Desert Storm, simply because of the support from home.

Davidson: I thought the reaction in this country was absolutely extraordinary. I think the most touching moment for me was when we boarded a Northwest Airlines 747 in Dhahran. One of the first things we saw was a huge poster welcoming home the troops all the way around the interior of the cabin. It was made up of individual posters drawn by a first grade class in Minnesota. That really made me feel good about coming back.

Northwest Airlines was great as well. The first thing the attendants did at 6:00 am was serve a filet mignon dinner - all you could eat. The captain got on the intercom and made a very kind and emotional welcome that was well received and appreciated. Did you participate in the victory parade on June 8th in Washington, DC?

Davidson: Yes, and that was one of the most memorable events I have ever participated in. By then, we realized we had come back to a grateful nation. But I don't think anybody in the ranks was prepared for the level of emotion and interest exhibited by the people that day.

Beasley: Marching in that parade and having hundreds of thousands of people cheer every step was a remarkable phenomenon. Everybody who marched will always remember it.

What is your reserve status now?

Beasley: When I came off active duty, I went back to the headquarters of the 97th Army Reserve Command ARCOM) and resumed my position as deputy chief of staff for logistics. I have been selected, however, to Chief of Staff for the 97th ARCOM and will assume that post in mid October.

Davidson: I'm going to remain in special operations with the 352nd Civil Affairs Command. That's the combat patch I wear, and I feel very close to that group. Something as intense as Desert Storm establishes a unique bond. And it's particularly pleasant to come back to the states and be permanently assigned to drill with many of the same people.

I can stay in the reserves for about another 10 years-I wish I could stay longer. I enjoy my reserve assignments and feel more challenged every year. I hope to follow a normal career progression and look for a battalion command in special operations in the next year or so. I like what I do with the army and intend to keep on doing it. Did you feel Desert Storm solidified the role of the reserves in the volunteer army?

Beasley: When CCATF turned over reconstruction responsibility to the US Corps of Engineers, I felt gratified that the reserves had handled an emergency situation with skills and capabilities garnered through civilian life that far exceeded any similar skills in the active component.

Davidson: The citizen soldier is vital to the US military force structure. I think the reserve component proved we can be depended on for a primary mission.

That observation isn't mine alone. It was emphatically voiced to us as a group and to Brigadier General Howard Mooney in our presence by incoming Army Chief of Staff General Sullivan, Secretary of the Army Stone, and numerous other senior active component representatives.

I think a lot of people now are looking at service in the reserves in a different way. More young people are considering a military career in the reserves and are respected for making that choice. We need the best and the brightest men and women in the military.

At the same time, the reserves cannot become so bogged down with administrative trivia that we choke the enthusiasm of patriotic and adventurous people. This period in the limelight will be followed by greater scrutiny. I am convinced the reserve component is up to the challenge.
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Title Annotation:part 2; includes relate article; liberation of Kuwait City
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Interview
Date:Oct 1, 1991
Previous Article:How to succeed by really trying - the sequel.
Next Article:The business of security.

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