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Boy on the BridgeThe Story of John Shalikashvili's American Success$
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Andrew Marble

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813178028

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813178028.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Savior of the Kurds?

Savior of the Kurds?

Thursday, April 18, 1991—Turkish-Iraqi Border

(p.133) 12 Savior of the Kurds?
Boy on the Bridge

Andrew Marble

University Press of Kentucky

The chapter begins on April 18, 1991, during Operation Provide Comfort commander Lieutenant General John Shalikashvili’s first overflight of the Iraqi-Turkish border. It lays out the scope of this post-Gulf War humanitarian crisis—over 500,000 Kurdish refugees trapped within deadly border mountains—and explains how especially fear of Saddam Hussein’s chemical attacks prompted the Kurds to flee Iraq. The chapter’s second half flashes back to Shalikashvili’s first assignment as an officer, in Alaska in 1959–60, to show his exceptional job performance, his struggles with arrogance and ambition, and his incipient development of a leadership style based on the “three pillars of leadership” or “love, character, and professionalism.” It also shows his loneliness and search for belonging—including how, five years since being betrayed by her, Shalikashvili tracks down Blondie and offers a marriage proposal that is rebuffed, further raising the theme of unrequited love.

Keywords:   John Shalikashvili, Operation Provide Comfort, humanitarian crisis, Kurdish refugees, Gulf War, Saddam Hussein, Ladd Air Force Base, Eielson Air Force Base, Turkey, three pillars of leadership, unrequited love

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