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Overview

On August 2, 1990, Iraqi military forces under orders from President Saddam Hussein launched an invasion into neighboring Kuwait, triggering the first great international crisis of the post_cold war era. The United Nations (UN) and the U.S. government immediately responded with economic sanctions against Iraq. President George H. W. Bush and his top advisers spent the next five months assembling a multinational coalition to pressure Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait. When Saddam refused, the coalition launched a military assault, Operation _Desert Storm,_ bombing the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, ravaging the Iraqi armed forces, and restoring Kuwait_s independence within a matter of six weeks. In the aftermath of the war, however, a defiant Saddam continued his brutal repression of political opponents within Iraq and resisted demands from around the world to dismantle the country_s weapons production programs. This edition of the Records on the Persian Gulf Crisis, 1989_1992, reproduces documents detailing the Bush administration_s diplomatic and military actions to reverse the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait and reshape the balance of power in the Persian Gulf region. Composed of files gathered from the holdings of the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request 1998-0099-F, the collection provides insight into the formulation, implementation, and consequences of U.S. policy in the Middle East. Appearing in this compilation are the behind-the-scenes policy discussions and correspondence among President Bush, his closest advisers, and his international counterparts in Europe and the Middle East; the public speeches and statements of top officials such Secretary of State James A. Baker III, Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell; and documents expressing the support, criticism, and concern of members of Congress, foreign governments, journalists, business leaders, and ordinary citizens across the country.

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