435. 1/18/1991

“On January 18 [1991], the day after the U.S. air campaign began [in Operation Desert Storm], the Iraqi missile batteries began lobbing Scud [missiles] at Israel and later at Saudi Arabia. While none hit any military targets, public anxiety in the United States and Israel about these attacks forced the White House to order NSA [National Security Agency] and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) to dedicate a significant amount of their SIGINT [signals intelligence] collection resources to locating the missiles so that they could be destroyed by air strikes. This proved to be virtually impossible. A study written by a U.S. Army intelligence officer who served in Operation Desert Storm notes, ‘The quick nature of Iraqi *shoot and scoot* tactics made detection extremely difficult, if not near impossible. The Iraqi missile units maintained excellent radio security, only infrequently communicating target data and fire commands with higher headquarters.’ The net result was that SIGINT, despite intensive efforts, did not find a single Scud missile launcher during the entire Persian Gulf War.”

 – Matthew M. Aid, The Secret Sentry, Page 194

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