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SPECIAL REPORT: WITNESS TO WAR : Memoirs From the Battle Front, the Diplomatic Front and the Home Front : THE AIR WAR: Raining Terror

March 12, 1991

What was learned:

* Weeks of heavy bombing of military targets and supply-lines before the start of a ground offensive can seriously cripple an enemy force, but it can't win the war alone. A ground attack is necessary to bring about total victory.

* The controversial Apache attack helicopter, once disparaged as likely to encounter too many technological problems, works well in desert conditions.

* Early U.S. strikes on Iraqi air defense systems prevented enemy commanders from challenging allied air attacks.

* Stealth technology works. The F-117 fighter flew thousands of missions over Iraq's most heavily defended sites and was never scratched by enemy fire. In fact, Air Force officials say, it was never even seen.

What is still Unknown:

* How much damage U.S. bombers did to "collateral" sites in Iraq, such as factories and homes in Baghdad and Basra.

* How many Iraqi tanks were destroyed by allied aircraft before the ground war began.

* Full details on how captured U.S. airmen were treated--and interrogated--by the Iraqis.

* How much bombing damage the Iraqis faked.

* How many Iraqi civilians were killed by the air war.

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