The Persian Gulf War. In August 1990, Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, invaded and occupied its neighbor Kuwait in a clear act of aggression. The United Nations Security Council condemned Iraq and imposed an international trade embargo on the country. The United States responded with Operation Desert Shield, a buildup of military forces — including troops, aircraft, and ships — in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. This effort quickly became an international operation, with Great Britain, France, and a number of Arab countries providing troops and equipment. By the end of November, the United Nations had approved the use of force to free Kuwait and set January 15, 1991, as the deadline for Iraqi withdrawal. A few days before the deadline, both the House and the Senate authorized the use of the more than 500,000 American troops in the Persian Gulf.
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