|Message to the people of Kuwait about their independence, liberation|
A message to the people of Kuwait from LTG William G. Webster, Jr., Commanding General of Third Army/U.S. Army Central (USARCENT):
On behalf of the members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, veterans of Operation Desert Storm, and the people of the United States, Third Army congratulates the Government of Kuwait and its people on this significant day in history. It is a great honor for the U.S. military to participate in the celebration of Kuwait’s independence and liberation.
Twenty years ago, Kuwait and the United States formed an unbreakable alliance, which has grown into a comprehensive partnership that promotes freedom, prosperity and democracy in the Middle East region and the world.
Our partnership was forged in fire, beginning on the morning of Aug. 2, 1990, as Saddam Hussein’s forces rolled into downtown Kuwait City and took the nation by force. The size and scope of the invasion caught the world community off guard, but the world response was immediate and decisive. Within five days of the invasion, U.S. forces deployed to the region. Their objective, as outlined in National Security Directive 45, was clear: the “immediate, complete, and unconditional withdrawal of all Iraqi forces from Kuwait,” and the “restoration of Kuwait’s legitimate government.”
By late September, there were nearly 200,000 U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia, a number which would eventually grow to 697,000, including Soldiers, Marines and Airmen. The U.S. Navy also deployed 108 ships to the region. An additional 32 nations joined the fight with Canada, Egypt, France, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom providing the bulk of the forces to support Kuwait’s military.
The Coalition proved that Western and Arab forces can and will stand together, and can do so with speed and precision. During the 42-day air campaign, Coalition forces flew over 100,000 sorties, dropping 88,500 tons of bombs, which were pinpointed to destroy military targets. Once the Coalition ground forces mobilized, justice came swiftly. One hundred hours after the ground assault into Kuwait and Iraq began, it was over. On Feb. 27, Iraq’s force of 545,000 was in full retreat. As a result U.S. President George H.W. Bush declared a cease-fire and announced the liberation of Kuwait.
Since 1991, the relationship between Kuwait and the United States has only grown stronger. Today, U.S. forces in Kuwait stand ready to provide whatever support is needed. Our long-term commitment to the Government of Kuwait, its people, and to all our allies in the region, is unwavering. We look forward to a continued partnership, bolstering our mutual security and economic goals.
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the liberation of Kuwait from Iraq, as well as the 50th anniversary of Kuwait’s independence, the U.S. military has been invited to participate in several events leading up to, and including, a large military parade Feb. 26 in Kuwait City.