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Letter to Congressional Leaders on the Deployment of Additional United States Armed Forces to the Persian Gulf

November 16, 1990

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

There have been a number of important developments in the Persian Gulf region since my letter of August 9, 1990, informing you of the deployment of U.S. Armed Forces in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. In the spirit of consultation and cooperation between our two branches of Government and in the firm belief that working together as we have we can best protect and advance the Nation's interests, I wanted to update you on these developments.

As you are aware, the United States and Allied and other friendly governments have introduced elements of their Armed Forces into the region in response to Iraq's unprovoked and unlawful aggression and at the request of regional governments. In view of Iraq's continued occupation of Kuwait, defiance of 10 U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding unconditional withdrawal, and sustained threat to other friendly countries in the region, I determined that the U.S. deployments begun in August should continue. Accordingly, on November 8, after consultations with our Allies and coalition partners, I announced the continued deployment of U.S. Armed Forces to the Persian Gulf region. These Forces include a heavy U.S. Army Corps and a Marine expeditionary force with an additional brigade. In addition, three aircraft carriers, a battleship, appropriate escort ships, a naval amphibious landing group, and a squadron of maritime prepositioning ships will join other naval units in the area.

I want to emphasize that this deployment is in line with the steady buildup of U.S. Armed Forces in the region over the last 3 months and is a continuation of the deployment described in my letter of August 9. I also want to emphasize that the mission of our Armed Forces has not changed. Our Forces are in the Gulf region in the exercise of our inherent right of individual and collective self-defense against Iraq's aggression and consistent with U.N. Security Council resolutions related to Iraq's on-going occupation of Kuwait. The United States and other nations continue to seek a peaceful resolution of the crisis. We and our coalition partners share the common goals of achieving the immediate, complete, and unconditional withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait, the restoration of Kuwait's legitimate government, the protection of the lives of citizens held hostage by Iraq both in Kuwait and Iraq, and the restoration of security and stability in the region. The deployment will ensure that the coalition has an adequate offensive military option should that be necessary to achieve our common goals.

In my August 9 letter, I indicated that I did not believe that involvement in hostilities was imminent. Indeed, it was my belief that the deployment would facilitate a peaceful resolution of the crisis. I also stated that our Armed Forces would remain in the Persian Gulf region so long as required to contribute to the security of the region and desired by host governments. My view on these matters has not changed.

I appreciate the views you and other members of the congressional leadership have expressed throughout the past 3 months during our consultations. I look forward to continued consultation and cooperation with the Congress in pursuit of peace, stability, and security in the Gulf region.


George Bush

Note: Identical letters were sent to Thomas S. Foley, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Robert C. Byrd, President pro tempore of the Senate.

George Bush, Letter to Congressional Leaders on the Deployment of Additional United States Armed Forces to the Persian Gulf Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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