30th Anniversary of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait

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30th Anniversary of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait

Wow, time flies...

Though the long-running Iran-Iraq War had ended in a United Nations-brokered ceasefire in August 1988, by mid-1990 the two states had yet to begin negotiating a permanent peace treaty. When their foreign ministers met in Geneva that July, prospects for peace suddenly seemed bright, as it appeared that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was prepared to dissolve that conflict and return territory that his forces had long occupied. Two weeks later, however, Hussein delivered a speech in which he accused neighboring nation Kuwait of siphoning crude oil from the Ar-Rumaylah oil fields located along their common border. He insisted that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia cancel out $30 billion of Iraq’s foreign debt, and accused them of conspiring to keep oil prices low in an effort to pander to Western oil-buying nations.

In addition to Hussein’s incendiary speech, Iraq had begun amassing troops on Kuwait’s border. Alarmed by these actions, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt initiated negotiations between Iraq and Kuwait in an effort to avoid intervention by the United States or other powers from outside the Gulf region. Hussein broke off the negotiations after only two hours, and on August 2, 1990 ordered the invasion of Kuwait. Hussein’s assumption that his fellow Arab states would stand by in the face of his invasion of Kuwait, and not call in outside help to stop it, proved to be a miscalculation. Two-thirds of the 21 members of the Arab League condemned Iraq’s act of aggression, and Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd, along with Kuwait’s government-in-exile, turned to the United States and other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for support.

I'm going to add a bunch of videos here, but for those that don't know the backstory, this lays it out pretty well:

As does this one:

Naturally the invasion got a response from the US.  For historical purists who like seeing old footage, it's great to have the actual Presidentl Bush (the Elder) television address:

The map I have at the top of this post comes from Wikipedia, and I remember seeing it years later laid out like you see it here and thinking how awesome it was.  I always liked looking at military type maps like this, especially DDay when I could see my own unit (the 116th Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division) so prominently displayed.

Of course, Desert Shield and later Desert Storm would take almost a year in total before the objectives were reached, but sometimes I hear people say "the war only lasted 100 hours."  That's pretty much nonsense, but I hear it occasionally.  Either way, even if you don't want to count all the time that those service members spent over there watching berms and doing everything else intrinsic to a war, that 100 hours was chalk full of intense action.

Wanted to include this video, because McMaster is one of my heroes, and my buddy Jonn Lilyea (Of This Ain't Hell military blog fame) had fought in this battle:

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.