The First Gulf War, or Desert Shield and Desert Storm, which was a strategic failure, but an operational success came to an end Feb. 28, 1991 with President George H.W. Bush calling a halt to combat operations after the 100 hours of combined land and air offensive.
It was the culmination of months Desert Shield’s diplomacy and military build-up beginning Aug. 7, 1990, shortly after Iraq invaded and conquered its neighbor Kuwait. Desert Storm began Jan. 16, 1991 with a ferocious air campaign that prepared the battlefield for the last 100 hours.
It is important to record operations success in the ledger of a war whose memory has become awkward and difficult.
After three generations the anti-war tendency within America’s oldest political party has been thoroughly alienated from its leadership and rendered impotent. The absence of this political failsafe means that America’s destructive overseas interventionism is less accountable than ever.
As the 1968 presidential election cycle kicked off there was little reason to suspect that Lyndon Johnson would not continue to serve as president. He had succeeded to the office following the much loved and mourned John F. Kennedy after his assassination in 1963 and won in such a landslide in 1964 that he was immediately able to undertake a raft of ambitious new programs known as the Great Society.