On the 30th anniversary of the 1991 Gulf War, I have these things to say.
- The question of how successful the Iraqis could have been if they’d attacked into Saudi Arabia during the earlier part of Desert Shield is an open and disputed one. Even after the historical war, American commanders had different opinions.
- While I believe it played a role in the decline of the technothriller, I don’t want to overstate it. According to the analysis of bestseller charts by Nader Elhefnawy, the technothriller was already on its way down significantly in 1990. My opinion is that it wasn’t the one-sided nature of the war so much as how it made high technology weapons look routine and normal.
- Another part of this belief is that “big war thrillers” both continued to be published post-1991 (Cauldron, The Sixth Battle, etc…), and that they were always very rare to begin with.
- Of course, I don’t think the Gulf War helped the technothriller either.
- The very first time I used the word “Fuldapocalypse” was in a message board post on the Gulf War, where I mentioned the Americans were “revved up for a Fuldapocalypse“. It turned out to inspire the name of this blog.