When I came on duty at NPIC’s Priority Exploitation Group (PEG) during the early evening of August 4, 1990, Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait was in its third day. Most organized Kuwaiti military resistance had collapsed by this point, and the question on my mind and that of my colleagues was the same: what would be his next move?
As the LSJ excerpt above shows, it became clear on the morning of August 5th that Saddam’s key Republican Guard Forces Command (RGFC) armored and mechanized infantry divisions had deployed to the border with Saudi Arabia, with their mobile logistics units poised close behind them. You could actually see where some of the RGFC reconnaissance elements had actually crossed the border, penetrated a few hundred yards, then turned around & crossed back into Kuwait.
I was certain Saddam was positioning his RGFC divisions for a move on the oil-rich eastern province of Saudi Arabia. I was the primary drafter of the cable NPIC sent out just minutes after we received and evaluated the imagery showing the RGFC’s invasion preps in southern Kuwait. The question I pondered after the cable went out was whether President Bush & his advisors would pay heed to our warning….