Subsequent to the U.S.-led coalition's victory in Operation Desert Storm and Iraq's expulsion from Kuwait, the United States and the UN instituted a policy of "broad containment." The objectives of this policy were to keep Saddam weak politically and limit his military freedom of action in the region by supporting opposing elements inside Iraq and neighboring Gulf states; to constrain Iraq's attempts to rebuild its conventional military forces; to prevent any Iraqi efforts to reconstitute or acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD); and to monitor carefully and, if necessary, to control Iraq's economy to accomplish the first three goals. Accordingly, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 687 establishing measures to ensure the attainment of these objectives. Resolution 688 then created no-fly zones to prevent Saddam from attacking his own people and to contain his military.
America's post-Desert Storm experience in Iraq and the changes it has wrought on the U.S. Air Force remain central issues in U.S. military policy. In Crises after the Storm, Lt. Col. Paul K. White examines the following three questions: (1) How successfully has coalition air power contained the regime of Iraqi president Saddam Husayn and how effectively has enforcement of the no-fly zones supported United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions? (2) Has the coalition responded to the four major post-Desert Storm crises effectively and learned from these encounters? (3) How has U.S. participation in Operations Southern Watch and Provide Comfort (Northern Watch) affected the U.S. Air Force?