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Gulf War
 

"I have seen in your eyes a fire of determination to get this war job done quickly. My confidence in you is total, our cause is just. Now you must be the thunder and lighting of Desert Storm."
General Schwarzkopf

On 2 August 1990, Iraqi military forces invaded and occupied Kuwait. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein claimed the action was the culmination of an "economic war" Kuwait had been waging against Iraq. Additionally, the Iraqi leader accused Kuwait of stealing oil.
The United Nations immediately condemned Iraq's actions and passed resolutions calling for military action against the country if Hussein did not withdraw his forces by 15 January 1991.
Iraq ignored all demands, and in response, a coalition of UN forces began immediately to build in Saudi Arabia. On January 12, Congress granted President Bush the authority to wage war.
Hostilities commenced on January 17, as the 36 members of the coalition forces, under the direction of American General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, initiated an air campaign to disable Iraq's communications, air defenses, and early warning radar installations. On February 25, coalition ground forces invaded Kuwait and Iraq, forcing Iraq to concede a cease-fire after only 100 hours.
The Gulf reunited the American people and the military, helping to mend the wounds from the Vietnam War. Returning service members were welcomed back and faith in the military's effectiveness was restored. Still, the war was not without controversy. Friendly fire accounted for almost a third of the Americans killed, raising doubts about the advances in military technology.

A Marine Family's Prayer

Hear, Lord, my prayer for my Marine,
so eager to live, too young to die.
Beneath an alien blistering sun,
He faces a dangerous enemy gun.
The storm clouds gather, the horror of war,
my Marine stands bravely guarding the door.
Defending justice, peace, and freedom,
to his Commander in Chief give Holy wisdom.
From war's alarms, bring swift release,
Hasten the day of honorable peace.
On land and sand and sea and air,
I back my Marine with this prayer.
"No matter how far he's forced to roam,
just bring, I pray, my Marine home"
Amen
(unknown)

The military coalition consisted of the following countries 
Afghanistan
Argentina
Australia
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Belgium
Canada
Czechoslovakia
Denmark
Egypt
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Honduras
Italy
Kuwait
Morocco
Netherlands
New Zealand
Niger
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
South Korea
Spain
Syria
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States

American War Casualties 
Wars
Number in Action
Number of Casualties
Revolutionary War
184,000
4,435
War of 1812
286,703
6,765
Mexican War
78,718
13,283
Spanish-American
306,760
2,446
World War I
4,743,826
116,708
World War II
16,353,659
407,316
Korean War
5,764,143
33,651
Vietnam War
8,744,000
58,168
Persian Gulf War
467,539
268

The United States suffered 148 killed in action, 458 wounded, 120 killed in non hostile actions and 11 female combat deaths.
Capt. William D. Cronin, Jr. USMC 10/08/90 Age 29 Merrimack City, NH
Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Headstone #518
In June 1991 the US estimated that more than 100,000 Iraqi soldiers died, 300,000 were wounded, 150,000 deserted, and 60,000 were taken prisoner.

Chronology: Important Events 
1990
Hussein accuses Kuwait on 17 July of oil overproduction and theft of oil from the Rumailia Oil Field.
1990
On 25 July US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, tells Hussien that the Iraq/Kuwaitt dispute is an Arab matter, not one that affects the United States.
1990
Hussein invades Kuwait on August 2. President Bush freezes Iraqi and Kuwaiti assets. The United Nations calls on Hussein to withdraw.
Aug 6, 1990
Economic sanctions are authorized.
Aug 7, 1990
Secretary of Defense Cheny visits Saudi Arabia. The 82nd Airborne and several fighter squadrons are dispatched.
Aug 8, 1990
Iraq annexes Kuwait
Aug 9, 1990
The UN declares Iraq's annexation invalid
Aug 12, 1990
The USA announces interdiction program of Iraqi shipping.
Aug 22, 1990
President Bush authorizes call up of reserves.
Aug 25, 1990
Military interdiction authorized by the UN
Sep 14, 1990
Iraqi forces storm a number of diplomatic missions in Kuwait City.
Nov 8, 1990
Bush orders additional deployments to give "offensive option" to US forces.
Nov 20, 1990
45 Democrats file suit in Washington to have President Bush first seek Congressional approval of military operations. (Eventually thrown out)
Nov 22, 1990
President Bush visits the troops for Thanksgiving.
Nov 29, 1990
UN Security Council authorizes force if Iraq doesn't withdraw from Kuwait by midnight EST Jan. 15.
Nov 30, 1990
Bush invites Tariq Aziz to Washington and offers to send Secretary of State James Baker to Baghdad.
Jan 9, 1991
Baker and Aziz meet in Geneva. The meeting is 6 hrs, but no results.
Jan 12, 1991
Congress votes to allow for US troops to be used in offensive operations.
Jan 15, 1991
The deadline set by the UN Resolution 678 for Iraq to withdraw.
Jan 16, 1991
First US government statement of Operation Desert-Storm made. Marlin Fitzwater announces, "The liberation of Kuwait has begun..." The air war started Jan 17 at 2:38 a.m. (local time) or January 16 at 6:38PM EST due to an 8 hour time difference, with an Apache helicopter attack. US warplanes attack Baghdad, Kuwait and other military targets in Iraq.
Jan 17, 1991
Iraq launches first SCUD Missile attack.
Jan 30, 1991
US forces in the Gulf exceed 500,000.
Feb 6, 1991
Jordan King Hussein lashes out against American bombardments and supports Iraq.
Feb 13, 1991
US Bombers destroy a bunker complex in Baghdad with several hundred citizens inside. Nearly 300 die.
Feb 17, 1991
Tariq Aziz travels to Moscow to discuss possible negotiated end to the war.
Feb 22, 1991
President Bush issues an ultimatum of Feb. 23 for Iraqi troops to withdraw from Kuwait.
Feb 23, 1991
Ground war begins with Marines, Army and Arab forces moving into Iraq and Kuwait.
Feb 25, 1991
Iraqi SCUD missile hits a US barracks in Saudi Arabia killing 27.
Feb 26, 1991
Kuwaiti resistance leaders declare they are in control of Kuwait City.
Feb 27, 1991
President Bush orders a cease fire effective at midnight Kuwaiti time.
Mar 3, 1991
Iraqi leaders formally accept cease fire terms
Mar 4, 1991
Ten Allied POWs freed
Mar 5, 1991
35 POWs released
Mar 8, 1991
First US combat forces return home.