Operation Desert Shield

external image fig1.gifThe U.S. and NATO joined forces to protect Saudi Arabia from scud missile attacks by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. This military build-up of what were called the coalition forces was known as Operation Desert Shield . Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf was chosen as leader of the coalition forces. By January 1991, there were 700,000 coalition military personnel from 36 nations on stand-by in Saudi Arabia. About 540,000 of them were Americans.external image camo_desert_375.jpg
Meanwhile, in Kuwait, Hussein was ignoring the UN and reinforcing his occupying army to about 300,000. In light of Hussein's actions, the UN Security Council issued an ultimatum to Hussein: either withdraw troops from Kuwait by January 15, 1991, or the coalition will take military action.

Operation Desert Storm
On January 12, 1991, Congress granted President George Bush the authority to wage war. A massive air offensive was launched on January 16. The goal of the coalition was to disable Iraq's communications, air defenses, and early warning radar installations. Iraq responded by launching missiles at Israel and at Saudi Arabia. It proved an unsuccessful attempt to broaden the war. .

Operation Desert Sabre
After about five weeks of air strikes, coalition forces followed up with a ground offensive. On February 24, 1991, tank battalions moved north and east from Saudi Arabia external image george-hw-bush-head-shot.jpginto Kuwait and southern Iraq. Within three days, the coalition took Kuwait City. During those same three days, other units pushed up into Iraq and defeated the remains of Hussein's elite Republican Guard
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Sources:
"The War in the Gulf, 1980-1992 (Visual)." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 27 May 2010. <http://www.americanhistory.abc-clio.com.>

"The War in the Gulf, 1980-1992 (Overview)." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 27 May 2010. <http://www.americanhistory.abc-clio.com>