Period: 1990-08-02 - 1991-02-28

During the first seven months of 1990, Iraqi troop movements and presidential bombast foreshadowed the impending crisis. But, as in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the United States did not recognize the imminence of the Iraqi threat until it was too late. On 2 August 1990, when Iraqi tanks rolled through Kuwait to the Saudi border and Saddam Hussein's government declared that Kuwait no longer existed as an independent country, perceptions quickly changed. President George Bush upheld the Carter Doctrine and committed the United States to direct military action.