On August 7, 1990, President George Herbert Walker Bush issued an order to coordinate Operation Desert Shield. Operation Desert Shield was a military response to Iraq’s invasion of its neighbor Kuwait.
Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein publicly claimed that Kuwait had siphoned crude oil from the Ar- Rumaylah oil fields along their shared border. He further alleged that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were plotting to keep oil prices low to please the western oil-buying nations and insisted that the two countries cancel out 30 billion U.S dollars of Iraq’s foreign debts. On August 2, 1990, through President Hussein’s order, Iraq invaded Kuwait with four of the best Republican Guard heavy divisions and special operations commandos.
President George W. Bush announced that this invasion and aggression was unacceptable, thus prompting the organization of Operation Desert Shield on August 7, 1990. To support the Operation, Bush allowed a dramatic increase of U.S. troops and resources in the Persian Gulf. Moreover, President Bush organized an alliance of 35 nations to defend Saudi Arabia and eventually free Kuwait.
It is safe to say that the coalition paid off as the UN Security Council authorized the use of “all means necessary” on November 29, 1990 to defeat Hussein’s forces in Kuwait. Iraqi Soldiers were given a deadline of midnight of January 16, 1991, to depart Kuwait or be removed by force. Unfortunately, negotiations between Iraq’s foreign minister Tariq Aziz and US Secretary of State James Baker failed, provoking Congress to authorize President George Bush to use American troops in the imminent conflict.
Operation Desert Shield prepared American soldiers to become part of the international alliance in the war against Iraq that was later launched on January 17, 1991, dubbed Operation Desert Storm.