The Bush Administration and Pentagonâ€™s Mobilization of the Press to Achieve Favorable American Public Opinion by Bryan Hayes Introduction The most important new weapons of war are lightweight television cameras and television satellites. The new rules of warfare concern the way they are used nowadays. -- Ben J. Wattenburg Since World War II wars have been defined by a definitive image. The raising of the American flag by U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima or children running from an American assault in Vietnam has left memorable images in the minds of Americans for seven decades. In the Gulf War of 1991 the image of Iraqi soldiers falling to their knees to kiss the hands of their U.S. Marine captors was the defining image of that war. The photo signified the finest qualities of American character; control, restraint, and a confidence in the rightness of the American cause. For the men and women who served the cause, it was a celebrated rebuttal to those who predicted tragedy for the Americans and the coalition forces at the hand of the worldâ€™s fourth largest Army. The Persian Gulf War was a victory on many fronts. A historic battle was won on the battlefront, but a more substantial battle was won in the minds and hearts of the American people. State and Defense Department officials believed the United States military defeat in Vietnam resulted from critical and inaccurate media reports of activities in theater. At home, sympathetic media coverage of the anti-war activities contributed to a growing number of dissenters during the conflict and unfortunate attitudes regarding American soldiers, sailors, and marines occupied in the struggle. Thus, the key objective during the Gulf War was to win the home front. By utilizing the media as a resourceful informant, the Bush administration and the American military revitalized the militaryâ€™s image as the predominant military power in the world, authorizing the United States the capability to achieve the countryâ€™s national objectives during the military campaign.