The Rapid Deployment Force and U.S. Military Intervention in the Persian Gulf
By Jeffrey Record
Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, 1981, 82 pp.
The RDF, according to this expert, is "a fatally flawed military instrument for the preservation of uninterrupted U.S. access to vital Persian Gulf oil-the principal rationale underlying the force." It is improperly equipped for desert warfare, suffers from inadequate strategic and tactical mobility, and is plagued by a confused and divided command apparatus stemming from an unusually vicious interservice rivalry. Record proposes its replacement by a small, agile, tactically capable intervention force based at and supplied from the sea, equipped with lightweight armored fighting vehicles and placed under the command of the Marine Corps, which by virtue of its traditions and capabilities is "the only service suitable for the mission." This is a trenchant, if contentious, analysis of a difficult problem which has received much superficial attention but little creative thought.