Gulf War Anniversary

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.

2 thoughts on “Gulf War Anniversary

  1. “Additionally, any variant on these plots was less relevant outside of a contest of great power competition, which the end of the Cold War muted, precisely because for two decades it left the U.S. without any military peers in the world.” As one who came-of-age reading Clancy & Coontz this sentence kinda says it all to me. Too many of the New World Order plots like Cauldron were just to implausible. Sorta wonder with the Rise of China if we’re going to see a rebirth. Or does Ghost Fleet which the authors call FICINT (as in Fictional Intelligence aimed at policy makers) really represent something new?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do think the rise of China and comparative return of Russia has boosted the technothriller genre somewhat. Using the 2008 Russo-Georgian War as a decent-enough line, there’s definitely more stuff after that-although that may just be that the genre was so utterly barren in the 2000s that it had nowhere to go but up.

      Liked by 1 person

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