The Gulf War


Iraq in 2000, map from Le Monde diplomatique
CNN Live from Baghdad
Desert Sabre, map from RAND
Sgt. Ken Kozakiewicz by Turnley
Tomahawk cruise missile from USS Wisconsin 1/18/91 (AP)
wreckage of an Iraqi convoy north of Kuwait City 3/10/91 (AP)
Iraq invaded Kuwait Aug. 2, Sheik Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah fled to Saudi Arabia.

Bush Aug. 8 ordered Op. Desert Shield to deploy troops for the defense of Saudi Arabia and began the buildup of American armed forces in the Arabian Gulf.

UN voted Nov. 29 to authorize the use of force by "all necessary means" to make Iraq leave Kuwait after Jan. 15, 1991.


Congress Jan. 12 supported UN authorization of force against Iraq.

At 6:38 pm Wednesday Jan. 16 EST (2:38 am Thursday Jan. 17 in Iraq) CNN reported air attacks on Baghdad, the beginning of Op. Desert Storm, the air war against Iraq that lasted 34 days. The speech by President Bush on TV Wednesday night was seen by 61 million households, and CNN was watched by 10.8 million households. ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings (and produced by Roone Arledge) would rank number 1 during the 43 days of the Gulf War with a 14% share of the audience, followed by 12% for NBC and 11% for CBS. Peter Arnett of CNN would be the only reporter to remain in Baghdad during the war, and would be accused of reporting pro-Iraq propaganda.

On Thursday Jan. 17 Iraq launched the first 8 of 26 Scud missiles it would fire at Israel, none of which were destroyed by any of Israel's Patriot anti-missile batteries.

On Friday Jan. 18 Operation Proven Force began the air war against northern Iraq from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey; in the U.S. the military released on TV the first films of the air attacks.

On Feb. 23, ground troops under the command of General Norman Schwarzkopf began Op. Desert Sabre, the ground invasion of Iraq, growing to 690,000 troops that included 425,000 Americans; 100,000 Iraqis died, 141 Allied soldiers; 800 oil wells set on fire as Iraqis retreated.

Bush announced at 9 pm Feb. 28 "Kuwait is liberated. Iraq's army is defeated. I am pleased to announce that at midnight tonight, exactly 100 hours since ground operations began and six weeks since the start of Operation Desert Storm, all United States and coalition forces will suspend offensive operations." Bush exalted "we've kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all" but fell victim to the Korean War syndrome by leaving Saddam Hussein in power.

April 3 UN Resolution 687 prohibited Iraq from manufacturing or using weapons of mass destruction. UN inspectors discovered and destroyed 100 Scud missiles, 70 tones of nerve gas, 400 tons of mustard gas, and dismantled 20 nuclear facilities almost ready to build nuclear weapons.

April 5 UN Resolution 688 condemned Iraqi repression and asked member states to assist the Kurds and other refugees in northern Iraq with a demand for Iraq to cooperate with these relief efforts.

Operation Provide Comfort began April 6 under command of Army Lt. Gen. John M. Shalikashvili to help Kurdish refugees in eastern Turkey and northern Iraq.