After a century of wasting oil resources, burning oil as a show of conspicuous consumption, the urgency of Gulf War II is heightened above that of Gulf War I precisely because its tempo has been so radically slowed down.
A strategy of deterrence: the US military's activity in Gulf War I was disengaged, authoritarian, reliant on spectacle rather than direct confrontation and bears remarkable similarity to the criticism levied at Lessons of Darkness.
But above all, everybody in and outside the Gulf is asking whether the second Gulf war is
going to be also the last of the big wars in the region?
Put quite simply, what the american people learned from the Gulf War is
that it's a helluva lot easier and a helluva lot more fun to "kick ass" in the Middle East (to quote those at the highest levels of government) than it is to make any sacrifices to limit America's dependency on imported crude.
We will argue that the main effect of the Gulf war is
the destabilization of the Arab political system, moving it to a state of chaos.