"The Persian Gulf War will influence congressional views on U.S. defense policy for many years. In considering the defense-policy implications of the Gulf War, a major task for Congress is to determine in what ways the Gulf War is an indicator for future conflicts involving U.S. military forces, and in what ways it is an anomalous case unlikely to be repeated. The Gulf War has led some Members to question whether U.S. military force structure should be reduced as much as called for under the Administration's proposed FY1992-FY1997 defense plan. The war appears to have reinforced support for high-tech weapons. The performance of the Patriot anti missile system is being cited as a new argument for developing strategic and theater ballistic missile defenses. The war demonstrated the growing importance of space systems to the U.S. military. […] The war appears to have validated many aspects of U.S. policy regarding reserve forces, but may lead to a reassessment of the reserve round-out combat brigades. It highlighted issues regarding women, minorities, and parents in the military. The war appears to have validated the wartime value of the Goldwater-Nichols act reorganizing the Defense Department. In the wake of the war, members of the military reform movement may need to reassess some of their views, but can argue that others were validated. The war highlighted the U.S. defense industrial base's growing dependence on foreign-made components. The war may lead to changes in U.S. and foreign policies on exports of weapons and military technology to the Third World."
CRS Report for Congress, 91-421