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RE: Research

Hi Ruth,

There are a couple of sources that I could recommend.  First, the Sadruddin
Aga Khan report (also available on CASI's website) is a more detailed report
than the Ahtisaari report.  It also dates to 1991.  There are also a variety
of early UN agencies reports, principally (I think) from the Food and
Agriculture Organisation.  In general, though, the UN has not attempted to
assess the impact of its more powerful member states' bombing of Iraq.

In 1991 an independent group of researchers went to Iraq to assess the
immediate post-war environment.  The medical team published their results in
the New England Journal of Medicine (I think: I'm not online - this should
be listed on the CASI website).  This did attempt to document the effects of
the bombing on public health facilities.

The US government will also have performed bombing assessments.  I have not
seen any of these, so don't know to what extent they are in the public
domain.  Freedman and Karsh's book on the Gulf War (The Gulf Conflict,
1990-1991, Princeton University Press) refers to a US casualty assessment
towards its end.  I don't know whether that assessment was part of a larger

Jorden and Traynor's (I may be misspelling these) The General's War goes
into some detail on the strategy of the air war.  The initial planners had a
view that wars are about forcing one's opponent to comply with one's wishes.
One does that by exerting pressure on one's opponent.  Thus, the targets
that one attacks are selected on the basis of their ability to exert this
pressure.  The planners, then, believed that by attacking, for example,
infrastructure, they demonstrated to the Iraqi people that their government
could no longer protect them.  This, they thought, would threaten the
government's legitimacy, exerting pressure on it.  There are also remarks to
the effect that these planners knew that destroying infrastructure would
give "the international community" leverage over a post-war Iraqi

I hope that this helps somewhat.

Best wishes, and do let us know if we can be of any further assistance.

Colin Rowat

work | Department of Economics | The University of Birmingham | Birmingham,
B15 2TT, UK |

personal | 07768 056 984 (UK mobile) | (917) 517 5840 (USA mobile) | (707)
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> I am a Masters student at the University of Bristol reading International
> Relations.  I am currently researching the allied bombing campaign of Iraq
> during the Gulf War (operation Desert Storm), and assessing its impact
> upon the economic infrastructure of Iraq.
> From the UN OIP website I have managed to get hold of the reports of the
> UN Secretary General that discuss the humanitarian situation in Iraq, from
> 1997 onwards.  However, I would like to have a look at any other UN
> assessments of the humanitarian situation between 1991 and 1997.  If
> anyone can tell me how to locate these, I would be very grateful.  (I do
> have the Ahtisaari report from 1991).

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