We’ve lived so long now with the so-called “war on terror” that we often forget that it was another of our wars in the Islamic world that actually set the precedent for large-scale American intervention in the region.
I’m speaking of course of what became known as Operation Desert Storm.
It’s hard to believe that this week marks the 22nd anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. The excerpts from LSJ on this page highlight the final stages of the buildup of Saddam’s Republican Guard units on the border with Kuwait. The most significant long-term consequence of Saddam’s invasion was to trigger what would be the first of many large-scale American military deployments in the Persian Gulf region over the next two decades.
But it would be the American countermove of deploying ground troops to Saudi Arabia that would convince the son of a Saudi construction magnate that the royal family had defiled the “land of the Two Holy Mosques” to infidels, and that the removal of those American forces from the region was a paramount religious obligation of devout Muslims. His name was Osama bin Laden.