The return of Shock and Awe

AC130 Gunship
I remain (queasily) supportive of the overall aims of the invasion of Iraq and even (implausibly) optimistic about the likely outcome but I’m certain that AC130 gunships, first used to terrorise civilians in Vietnam, subsequently improved upon in Grenada, Panama and GW1, are not the kind of weapon an occupying power should be using anywhere, let alone inside a crowded City like Falluja. The AC130’s awesome and concentrated firepower was part of the Americans’ Shock and Awe strategy – an instrument of terror as a deliberate tactic – the polar opposite of ‘hearts and minds’.

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  1. AC130 gunships were not used to “terrorise” people in Vietnam or anywhere else. They were used to kill people very efficiently indeed. Putting the Hercules into a gentle left turn you can keep the weapons aimed in an area the size of a football pitch and pour 28,500 rounds per minute into it. Several shots per square foot.
    Grunts called it “Puff the magic dragon”.
    It’s war gentlemen. Time to take the kid gloves off. Next stop B52’s and some carpet bombing.

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