August 1-10, 1990

Desert Storm-The US Responds


US Troops boarding planes

When word of the Iraqi attack was received and digested in Washington, the first concern was: would he stop at the Saudi border? Initial analysis was not encouraging;Iraqi forces began to assemble at the Saudi border in offensive positions. The United States had contingency plans for coming to the defense of the Saudis, but they were dependent on the Saudis asking for US assistance. Secretary of Defense Cheney and General Schwarkopf met with King Fahd of Saudi Arabia to brief him on American plans; he approved the plans and then asked for American assistance. The minute the meeting ended, orders were issued that began the largest buildup of American forces since Vietnam. Within a short period, forces of the 82nd Airborne division were heading for Saudi Arabia, as well as 300 combat aircraft.