chapter  12
The Persian Gulf War: Operation Desert Shield, 1990–1991
ByAdrian R. Lewis
Pages 216

In the Persian Gulf War in 1991, the armed forces of the United States demonstrated to the world their new capabilities, recovering a reputation that had been badly tarnished in Vietnam. Operation Desert Storm was only possible because of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Cold War. The US Army that went into the Persian Gulf War did so with a considerable lack of confidence. On 2 August 1990 the armed forces of Iraq invaded Kuwait. Saddam Hussein's objective was to incorporate the small, oil-rich kingdom into Iraq. One study concluded that in the wake of the eight-year Iran-Iraq War, Iraq was near exhaustion and: it seems obvious that Iraq invaded its neighbor because it was desperate. The Iraqi Army in 1990 was a highly respected, well-equipped, combat-experienced fighting force. In 1980, Saddam Hussein attacked Iran seeking to capitalize on the internal disorder to seize coveted land.