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Letter from General Barry R. McCaffrey (Ret.)

Updated: Apr 30, 2018

"During Operation Desert Storm, McCaffrey commanded 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized). Under his command, the division conducted the "left hook" attack 370 km into Iraq, leading to decisive battle victory in the First Gulf Warand also putting troops in place for the final battle of the war.

In his book "Prodigal Soldiers," James Kitfield recounted McCaffrey's "left hook" attack plan. McCaffrey commanded "two entire Army corps deep into Iraqi territory. If successful, and no army in history had ever moved a force that size over 300 miles on the time line General Norman J. Schwarzkopf was reciting, the move would flank the Republican Guard divisions in Kuwait and cut off all avenues of retreat ... The briefing left McCaffrey slightly stunned. He was part of the flanking force, and his mind was already starting to race over a logistics problem the war colleges would call a potential war-stopper, yet he had one overriding thought: We're not going to fight a war of attrition, or a limited war. It was a revelation. He saw now that the Army was going to play to its strengths and the enemy's weakness. By God, we learned. We learned (from the lessons of Vietnam)."


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