It was 19 years ago that something extraordinary in recent U.S. history took place: The United States won a war.
On Feb. 27, 1991, then-President George Bush (George W’s father) went on national television to proclaim, “Kuwait is liberated. Iraq’s army is defeated.”
He continued, “I am pleased to announce that at midnight tonight, exactly 100 hours since ground operations began and six weeks since the start of Operation Desert Storm, all U.S. and coalition forces will suspend offensive combat operations.”
Yes, you read that right. The entire war effort lasted less than a month and a half. Actual ground operations took four days and four hours, with relatively few U.S. casualties. I can still remember watching with amazement on live TV as our “smart bombs” hit such specific targets that we could watch our missiles go through windows and down elevator shafts.
Unfortunately, the aggressor—Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein—was allowed to withdraw his troops from Kuwait. He was neither punished nor pursued. Had he been, events since then in that war-torn region might be substantially different.
By the way, the next day the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 4 percent, capping a 20 percent surge during the six-week Gulf War.