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Creative Execution: What Great Leaders Do to Unleash Bold Thinking and Innovation by Eric Beaudan

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Schwarzkopf’s Gambit

The responsibility for organizing and deploying the coalition forces that contained Iraq directly after the invasion of Kuwait fell to General Norman Schwarzkopf and the recently formed U.S. Central Command, CENTCOM. Schwarzkopf, whose father had served in both world wars, was determined to avoid the mistakes the army had made in Vietnam. He had taken over CENTCOM in November 1988, and rightly anticipated that the aggressor nation in the Middle East would not be the Soviet Union or Iran, but Iraq, whose 900,000-man army was in search of a new victim in the aftermath of the inconclusive Iran–Iraq War. Schwarzkopf backed up his foresight when the U.S. Joint Chiefs drafted a military strategy that discounted the Middle East. ...

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