Important Role of former Nazis in Eastern Germany." 

November 21, 1950
Central Files Decimal Number 762B.00

Records of the Persian Gulf War, 1990—1991

Access rare materials related to the diplomatic and military response by the United States to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990.

An intuitive platform makes it all cross-searchable by subject or collection.

Date Range: 1990-1991
Content: 49,569 pages
Source Library: George H.W. Bush Presidential Library

By the end of the Iraq-Iran in August 1988, Iraq was virtually bankrupt. Iraq pressured both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to forgive the debts, but was refused. In July 1990, Iraq condemned Kuwait’s government for not respecting their oil quota, thus driving down prices, and threatened to take military action. Later that month, Iraq moved 30,000 troops to the Iraq-Kuwait border. On July 31, negotiations between Iraq and Kuwait in Jeddah failed. On August 2, Iraq launched a warplane invasion, bombing Kuwait City. But in spite of Iraqi saber-rattling, Kuwait did not have its forces on alert, and was caught unaware.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, download a Product Fact Sheet [pdf, 268 KB]

The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait met with international condemnation and brought economic sanctions against Iraq by members of the UN Security Council. President Bush deployed American forces to Saudi Arabia and urged other countries to send their own forces to the scene. An array of nations joined the “Coalition of the Gulf War.”

Primary sources for standout research
Students of international and military history will find unique materials in Records of the Persian Gulf War, with primary-source accounts of Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm and more.

This collection consists of documents from several White House Office of Records Management Subject File categories and the Staff and Office Files. They chronicle the Bush White House’s response to the political and military crises in the Persian Gulf:

  • White House Office of Records Management (WHORM) Subject File categories contains correspondence, memoranda, news clippings, and brochures from the general public, Congress, and the Bush administration
  • WHORM Subject File categories CO072 and CO083 contain documents concerning Iraq and Kuwait, respectively
  • Another large segment related to this subject is WHORM Subject File National Defense ND016 (Persian Gulf War)
  • Staff and Office Files contain correspondence, memoranda, and publications maintained by individual staff members and offices

A significant amount of material consists of files of the National Security Council (NSC). These documents deal with topics such as:

  • the inspection and elimination of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction
  • diplomatic efforts to create the Gulf Coalition
  • U.S. policy towards Iraq prior to the conflict
  • U.S. efforts to assist Kurdish refugees
  • military operations in the Persian Gulf Theatre
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