Operation Instant Thunder was the preliminary name given to planned air strikes by the United States during the Gulf War. It was planned to be an overwhelming strike which would devastate the Iraqi military. The plan had three phases: Phase One was to concentrate on defense suppression and establish control over the Iraq and Kuwait air space. Phase Two targeted the Iraqi military and the country’s infrastructure. Phase Three would be to engage the Iraqis in direct combat. The operation began on August 5, 1990 and consolidated into the overall Desert Storm operation.