OTS Current Military Topics

Operation Provide Comfort provided relief to the Kurdish refugees from northern Iraq and protection for humanitarian relief efforts.
It began on April 6, 1991 and ended July 24, 1991. Operation Provide Comfort II was a show of force to deter new Iraqi attacks
on the Kurds and had only limited humanitarian aspects. Provide Comfort II began July 24, 1991 and ended December 31, 1996.

March 2005

Compiled by Bibliography Branch
Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center
Maxwell AFB, AL


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All sites listed were last accessed on March 29, 2005.

OTS Reserve

The following materials are located on the OTS Reserve Shelf.  Check for availability of additional copies.

Clary, David E.  Operation Provide Comfort:  A Strategic Analysis.  Maxwell AFB, AL, Air War College, Air University, 1994.    32 p.  (Student paper).
Doc. call no.:  M-U 43117 C614o

Seiple, Chris.  The U. S. Military/NGO Relationship in Humanitarian Intervention.  Carlisle Barracks, PA, Peacekeeping Institute, Center for Strategic Leadership, U.S. Army War College, 1996.  231 p.
Operation Provide Comfort, pp 21-63.
Book call no.:  341.728 S461u  (AUL's only copy is on OTS reserve).

United States.  Army.  325th Infantry Regiment.  3rd Battalion.  The Blue Falcons Strike!!  Marceline, MO, Walsworth, 1992.
64 p.
A photographic record of the battalion's involvement in Operation Provide Comfort, providing relief to the Kurds of northern Iraq in the aftermath of the Gulf War.
Book call no.:  956.70442 U58b   (AUL's only copy is on OTS reserve).

Wagner, Michael J.  Hershey Bar Diplomacy:  The Employment of Military Forces in Humanitarian Operations.  Maxwell AFB, AL, Air War College, Air University, 1994.  26 p.  (Defense analytical study).
Doc. call no.:  M-U 43117 W134h

Youngner, Larry D.  No-Fly Zones:  Law, Policy, and the 1994 Black Hawk Fratricide.  1999.  102 p.
Thesis (LL.M)--Judge Advocate General's School, 1998.
Book call no.:  956.70443 Y79n

Internet Resources

Available online at:  http://www.af.mil/main/welcome.asp
Articles and documents available.  Use "Operation Provide Comfort" as a search term.

Available online at:  http://www.defenselink.mil/search
Articles available under the DOD news and publications sections.  Use "Operation Provide Comfort" as a search term.

Operation Provide Comfort.
Available online at:  http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/provide_comfort.htm
Provides an overview of the original Operation Provide Comfort and links to additional documents.

Operation Provide Comfort II.
Available online at:  http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/provide_comfort_2.htm
Provides an overview of Operation Provide Comfort II including a chronology of significant events.  


DiPrizio, Robert C. Armed Humanitarians:  U.S. Interventions from Northern Iraq to Kosovo.  Baltimore, MD, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.  234 p.
Book call no.:  327.117  D596a

Pelletiere, Stephen C.  Managing Strains in the Coalition:  What to Do about Saddam?  Carlisle Barracks, PA, U.S. Army War College. Strategic Studies Institute, 1996.  28 p.
Refers throughout to Operation Provide Comfort.  Includes the reactions of several countries that were Gulf War allies and reactions/expectations of the Kurdish groups.
Also available online at: http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ssi/pdffiles/00186.pdf
Book call no.:  327.730567 P388m

Ramsbotham, Oliver and Woodhouse, Tom.  Humanitarian Intervention in Contempory Conflict:  A Reconceptualization.  Cambridge, MA, Polity Press, 1996.  264 p.
Humanitarian Intervention in Iraq, pp 69-85.
Book call no.:  327.16 R181h

United States.  Congress.  House.  Committee on Armed Services.  Defense Policy Panel.  Aspects of Anti-Chaos Aid to the Soviet Union.  Hearings, 102nd Cong, 1st sess, September 4-6, 1991.  Washington, U.S. G.P.O., 1992.  83 p.  (H.A.S.C. no. 102-33),
Statement of LtGen John M. Shalikashvili, USA Commander, Operation Provide Comfort, discussing the key aspects of the original operation pp 2-35) with graphs and tables.
Book call no.:  363.883  U58a

United States.  Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Psychological Operations:  Support for Operation Provide Comfort.  Washington, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1994.  24 p.
Book call no.:  355.3434 P9741


Some of the documents cited in this section are student papers written to fulfill PME school requirements.

Beer, Patrick J.  The Joint/Combined Information Bureau:  Is It Credible and Properly Resourced?  Fort Leavenworth, KS, Army Command and General Staff College, 1992.  53 p.  (Student monograph).
Doc. call no.:  M-U  42022-2  B415j

Bowron, Eljay B.  Operation Provide Comfort:  Review of U.S. Air Force Investigation of Black Hawk Fratricide Incident.  Washington, U.S. General Accounting Office, 1998.  4 p.  (GAO/T-OSI-98-13)
Statement of the Assistant Comptroller General for Special Investigations, Office of Special Investigations, before the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, June 18, 1998.
Also available online at:  http://www.fas.org/man/gao/osi-98-013.htm
Doc. call no.:  M-U  41026-160  no.98-13 [T]

Cavanaugh, John P.  Operation Provide Comfort:  A Model for Future NATO Operations.  Fort Leavenworth, KS, School of Advanced Military Studies, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1992.  56 p.  (Student monograph).
Doc. call no.:  M-U  42022-2  C377o

Clair, Carol D.  Humanitarian Assistance and the Elements of Operational Design.  Fort Leavenworth, KS, School of Advanced Military Studies, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1993.  72 p.  (Student monograph).
Doc. call no.:  M-U  42022-2  C585h

Cowan, John W.  Operation Provide Comfort:  Operational Analysis for Operations Other than War.  Newport, RI, Naval War College, 1995.  23 p.  (Student paper).
Doc. call no.:  M-U  41662  C874o

Crouch, Thomas W. and McGrew, William A., eds.  Civil Affairs in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Provide Comfort, 1990-1991:  Mobilization.  Langley AFB, VA, Army-Air Force Center for Low Intensity Conflict, 1993.  76 p.  (A CLIC report).
Doc. call no.:  M-U  43858-45

Ferguson, Warner T.  Operation Provide Comfort:  A History of JTF--A Logistical Operation.  Carlisle Barracks, PA, U.S. Army War College, 1992.  39 p.  (Personal experience monograph).
Also available online at:  http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ada295932
Doc. call no.:  M-U  39080-14  F353o

Goff, Donald G.  Building Coalitions for Humanitarian Operations:  Operation Provide Comfort.  Carlisle Barracks, PA, U.S. Army War College, 1992.  34 p.  (USAWC military studies program paper).
Doc. call no.:  M-U  39080-83  G6121b

Goff, Donald G.  Operation Provide Comfort.  Carlisle Barracks, PA, U.S. Army War College, 1992.  56 p.  (Personal experience monograph).
Also available online at:  http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ada295955
Doc. call no.:  M-U  39080-14  G612o

Helton, Emory R.  Humanitarian Assistance:  A Good Way to Lead the World.  Newport, RI, Naval War College, 1993.  41 p.  (Student paper).
Uses Operation Provide Comfort as a model for how to conduct humanitarian operations.
Doc. call no.:  M-U  41662  H484h

Henderson, James B.  Structuring for Command and Control of Combined Forces in Operations Other than War.  Fort Leavenworth, KS, Army Command and General Staff College, 1994.  54 p.  (Student monograph).
Operation Provide Comfort is used as an example.
Doc. call no.:  M-U  42022-2  H496s

King, Robert H.  NATO's Combined Joint Task Force:  Separable but Not Separate.  Newport, RI, Naval War College, 1995.  24 p.  (Student paper).
Uses Operations Provide Comfort and Provide Promise as case studies.  Includes lessons learned from these operations.
Also available online at:  http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ada297827
Doc. call no.:  M-U  41662  K541n

Kramlinger, George D. Sustained Coercive Air Pressence:  Provide Comfort, Deny Flight, and the Future of Airpower in Peace Enforcment.  Maxwell AFB, AL, Air University Press, 2001.  61 p.
Thesis, School of Advanced Airpower Studies, 1996.
Doc. call no.: M-U  43998-1a  K89s

Lewis, Robert D.  Combined Joint Task Force Provide Comfort:  What Are We Trying to Do?  What Is the Way Ahead?  Newport, RI, Naval War College, 1992.  35 p.   (Student paper).
Doc. call no.:  M-U  41662  L675c

Marshall, William J.  By Separate Action:  Humanitarian Assistance.  Newport, RI, Naval War College, 1992.  28 p.  (Student paper).
Compares and analyzes two humanitarian operations:  Operation Sea Angel and Operation Provide Comfort.
Doc. call no.:  M-U  41662  M369b

Metz, John M.  Humanitarian Assistance Operations:  A Command and Control Dilemma.  Fort Leavenworth, KS, Army Command and General Staff College, 1995.  102 p.
Thesis (M.M.A.S.)--U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1995.
Case Studies:  Operation Provide Comfort, pp 61-67.
Also available online at:  http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ada299233
Doc. call no.:  M-U  42022  M5961h

Rabago, Ron.  Joint Migration Operations:  A Growing Mission Area.  Newport, RI, Joint Military Operations Dept., Naval War College, 1997.  23 p.  (Student paper).
Examines Operation Provide Comfort as a specialized form of joint military operation other than war (refugee operations).
Doc. call no.:  M-U  41662  R112j

Rudd, Gordon William.  Operation Provide Comfort:  Humanitarian Intervention in Northern Iraq, 1991.  1993.  471 p.  Thesis (Ph.D.)--Duke University, 1993.
Doc. call no.:  M-U  43567-787

Sorenson, Robert E.  Operational Leadership Challenges in Emergency Humanitarian Assistance Operations.  Newport, RI, Naval War College, 1997.  22 p.  (Student paper).
Examines the political challenges, the actors, and the goals involved in Operation Provide Comfort.
Also available online at:  http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ada328079
Doc. call no.:  M-U  41662  S713o

United States.  Air Force.  480th Intelligence Group.  Operation Provide Comfort AOB Recognition Guide.  Langley AFB, VA, 1996.  1 vol.
Doc. call no.:  M-U  44050-65  1996 May

Walker, Richard F.  Facing the Future:  A Doctrine for Air Control in Limited Conflicts.  Maxwell AFB, AL, School of Advanced Airpower Studies, Air Command and Staff College, Air University, 1998.  67 p.
Thesis, School of Advanced Airpower Studies.
Draws lessons for the proper use of airpower by studying various operations including Provide Comfort.
Also available online at:  http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ada391332
Doc. call no.:  M-U 43998-1 W183f

Weber, Bruce A.  Combined Task Force Provide Comfort:  A New Model for "Lead Nation" Command?  Newport, RI, Naval War College, 1994.  45 p.  (Student paper).
Doc. call no.:  M-U 41662 W373c


Abizaid, John P.  Lessons for Peacekeepers.  Military Review  73:11-19  March 1993.

Barela, Timothy P.  Comfort Zone (combined forces protect Iraqi Kurds).  Airman  39:20-25  October 1995.
Also available online at:  http://www.af.mil/news/airman/1095/comfort.htm

Bird, Julie.  At Incirlik's Tent City, Close Quarters Far from Home.  Air Force Times  52:4  July 13, 1992.

Bird, Julie.  Provide Comfort Extended as Iraqi Force Grows.  Air Force Times  52:4  July 13, 1992.

Brandon, Linda.  Military Coordination Center:  Forward Component of Provide Comfort.  Special Warfare  7:30-32  July 1994.

Cancian, Mark F.  Is There a Coalition in Your Future?  Marine Corps Gazette  80:28-30  June 1996.
Discusses coalition challenges for the Marine Corps using Operation Desert Storm, Restore Hope, and Provide Comfort as examples.

Cantrell, John E.  Guard's 20th Special Forces Provided Comfort to the Kurds.  National Guard  46:16-19  February 1992.

Collins, John W., Jr.  Logistics Support for Operation Provide Comfort II.  Army Logistician, pp 22-24, May-June 1992.

Costa, Christopher P.  Changing Gears:  Special Operations Intelligence Support to Operation Provide Comfort.  Military Intelligence  18:24-28  October-December 1992.

Cushman, John H.  Joint, Jointer, Jointest.  U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings  118:78-83+  May 1992.
Discusses Operation Provide Comfort as an example of "the third stage" in the evolution of jointness.

D'Agostino, Janet.  AF Official:  Refugees' Plight Eased.  Air Force Times  51:6  May 20, 1991.

Eflein, Dawn R.  Case Study of Rules of Engagement in Joint Operations:  The Air Force Shootdown of Army Helicopters in Operation Provide Comfort.  Air Force Law Review  44:33-74  1998.
Includes the mission and mandates of Operation Provide Comfort.
Also available online at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&an=1195704
and at:   http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=35711856&sid=1&Fmt=7&clientId=417&RQT=309&VName=PQD

Elmo, David S.  Distributing Food to the Kurds.  Army Logistician, pp 2-5, January-February 1992.

Elmo, David S.  Food Distribution for Operation Provide Comfort.  Military Review  73:80-81  September 1993.

Galvin, John R.  Building on Success:  Allied Command Europe Looks to the Future.  RUSI Journal  137:1-5  August 1992.
The retired Supreme Allied Commander Europe presents his views.
Operation Provide Comfort, pp 2-4.

Gillert, Douglas J. and Sutherland, Don.  Little "Comfort" Goes a Long Way (Airlift for Operation Provide Comfort).  Airman 
35:8-9  June 1991.

Holritz, Robert T.  37 Tactical Airlift Squadron Provides Comfort for the Kurds.  Flying Safety  47:11-13  July 1991.

Jones, James L.  Operation Provide Comfort:  Humanitarian and Security Assistance in Northern Iraq.  Marine Corps Gazette 75:98-107  November 1991.

Klunk, Stephanie.  Turkey Without the Frills.  Citizen Airman  45:6  February 1993.
944th Fighter Group is first reserve unit to deploy in support of Operation Provide Comfort II.

Matthews, William.  U.S. Forces Try to Comfort Kurdish Refugees in Iraq.  Air Force Times  51:23  May 6, 1991.

Miles, Donna.  Helping the Kurds:  The Biggest International Military Relief Effort since the Berlin Airlift Is Restoring Hope among Saddam Hussein's Latest Victims..  Soldiers  46:13-20  July 1991.

Miles, Donna.  Leading the Pack.  Soldiers  47:13-15  May 1992.

Muradian, Vago.  Is U.S. Intelligence Being Misused?  Air Force Times  55:20+  December 12, 1994.
Discusses the intelligence intended for Operation Provide Comfort II and how it is being used by the Turkish military.

Newell, Rob.  Exercise in Caring:  Operation Provide Comfort.  Officer  67:44-45  November 1991.

Otey, Randy.  SOLE Member Supports Humanitarian Operations.  Logistics Spectrum  28:74-75  Winter 1994.
The Chief for Logistics Support, Logistics Directorate for Operation Provide Comfort discusses the operation.

Packett, Virgil L., II.  Model for Responsive Logistics (6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Deploys to Iraq).  Army Logistician, pp 10-14, November-December 1993.

Ripley, Tim.  Operation Provide Comfort II:  Western Force Protects Kurds.  International Defense Review  24:1055-1057 October 1991.

Rudd, Gordon W.  24th MEU (SOC) and Operation Provide Comfort:  A Second Look.  Marine Corps Gazette  77:20-22 February 1993.

Werner, Paul.  Aviation Supply Support for Operation Provide Comfort.  U.S. Army Aviation Digest, pp 16-17, November-December 1992.

Whitehead, E. E. and Morris, Bill.  Operation Provide Comfort:  Aviation Operational Flexibility at Its Best.  U.S. Army Aviation Digest, pp 12-15, November-December 1992.

Winsor, Stephen A. and Austin, Stephen D.  Engineer Role in Helping the Kurdish People.  Engineer  21:2-8  October 1991.

Wolffe, Jim and D'Agostino, Janet.  Provide Comfort.  Air Force Times  51:12-14  May 27, 1991.

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