By Sam Cox, Director of Naval History, 6 August 2020
This series is a departure from my normal H-grams in that this is a personal recollection. I was the Iraqi Subject Matter Expert on the Intelligence Staff of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command for the entirety of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, serving under VADM Hank Mauz and VADM Stan Arthur. I first wrote this a number of years after the fact but I kept it true to what I believed and understood to be true at the time, so my dim view of Joint Operations as conducted during Desert Storm (which held the Navy back from making maximum contribution to the war) and U.S. Central Command, particularly the Intelligence Support Architecture, will be readily apparent. My penance for this heresy was to spend 12 of the next 21 years in joint commands, including three years as Commander of the U.S. Central Command Joint Intelligence Center, in which I had the opportunity to see vast improvement in U.S. Joint Operations.
By Sam Cox, Director of Naval History, 2 September 2020
At the time of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, senior decision-making authority in Japan was vested in the six-member Supreme Council for the Direction of the War, three of whom were active duty or retired Imperial Japanese Navy admirals. The ultimate decision-maker in Imperial Japan was Emperor Hirohito, whom the Japanese believed to be divine. However making mistakes is bad for a divinity’s reputation, so the Emperor only directly intervened on rare and extremely important matters. Emperor Hirohito was routinely kept informed of the course of the war, and it became increasingly common for senior leaders of the Army and Navy to apologize to the Emperor when something went badly. Nevertheless, the Emperor rarely directly told any government, Army or Navy leaders what to do.