The intelligence war in the Gulf

Author/s (editor/s):

Desmond Ball

Publication year:


Publication type:

Policy paper

Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No. 78

During the seven-month period from the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990 to the Iraqi capitulation on 28 February 1991, there was an unprecedented concentration of intelligence collection activity in the Gulf region. Billions of dollars were expended to monitor political developments and military deployments during the period preceding the war. And during the war, technical intelligence was crucial for both the precision air campaign and preparations for the ground campaign.

This paper describes the US, Soviet and Iraqi technical intelligence capabilities and operations in the Gulf - including satellite systems, airborne systems and signals intelligence (SIGNT) systems.

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