| The ill-equipped Kuwaitis had tried diplomacy, appeasement, and
finally hoped to ignore the demands of the Iraqi dictator, President Saddam
Hussein, for cash and oil to pay for his long war with Iran (1980-88).
After all, Hussein felt he had done the favor of beating back the threatening
spread of radical Shia Islam; protecting the Middle East sheikdoms
and emirates for their oil-rich royal families. Now it was time
for them to pay!
Hussein stepped up his propaganda war and launched significant personal attacks on the Kuwaitis and their ruling family. By the last week of July 1990, he had placed his lead, Republican Guard Division along Kuwait's northern frontier. Well over 100,000 troops had massed in the southern region of Iraq and were within minutes of the border.
On 02 Aug 1990, Hussein began the invasion of his small, southern neighbor. The attack was largely uncoordinated. The elite Republican Guard was described by U.S. Army officers observing; they reflected the characteristics of a motley force. They were without orders and had a total lack of basic tactical tenants and discipline. For the most part, Iraqi soldiers milled around, scavenged for food and water. They really seemed to be at a loss for what to do next; often looting and stealing bedding items for their hastily constructed fighting positions, complete with beach umbrellas.
The United Nations called for Hussein to withdraw from Kuwait. U.S. President George H.W. Bush froze Kuwaiti and Iraqi assets and economic sanctions were begun. By early October, seven UN Resolutions were in place against Iraq. On 29 Nov, the UN set the deadline for Iraqi forces to leave Kuwait (UN Res #678); 15 Jan 1991, midnight EST.
On 16 Jan 1991, at 6:38 pm EST; Operation DESERT STORM was announced with,
"The Liberation of Kuwait has begun!"
|FtgoG||.US Army Insignia