The Gulf War began with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990 and ended with the Liberation of Kuwait by Coalition forces. Iraq subsequently agreed to the United Nations’ demands on 28 February 1991. The war officially concluded with the signing of the armistice on 11 April 1991. Major events in the aftermath include anti-Saddam Hussein uprisings in Iraq, massacres against the Kurds by the regime, Iraq formally recognizing the sovereignty of Kuwait in 1994, and eventually ending its cooperation with the United Nations Special Commission in 1998.
Assuming command of United States Central Command in 1988 General Schwarzkopf was called on to respond to the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 by the forces of Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Initially tasked with defending Saudi Arabia from Iraqi aggression, Schwarzkopf’s command eventually grew to an international force of over 750,000 troops. After diplomatic relations broke down, he planned and led Operation Desert Storm—an extended air campaign followed by a highly successful 100-hour ground offensive—which destroyed the Iraqi Army and liberated Kuwait in early 1991. Highly regarded for these exploits, Schwarzkopf became a national hero and was presented with many military honors for what historians termed one of the most successful campaigns in U.S. military history.
Schwarzkopf retired shortly after the end of the war and undertook a number of philanthropic ventures, only occasionally stepping into the political spotlight before his death from complications of pneumonia in late 2012. Leaving a legacy as a hard-driving military commander with a strong temper, Schwarzkopf was nonetheless considered an exceptional leader by biographers and was noted for his abilities as a military diplomat and in dealing with the press.