PERSIAN GULF WAR, also known as Operation Desert Storm commenced August 2, 1990, when Iraq invaded the lightly defended nation of Kuwait along its southern border. A coalition of thirty-four nations led by the United States responded militarily on January 17 1991. This was followed with a ground assault on February 23rd. utilizing 540,000 troops. U. S. Central Command was under the direction of General Norman Schwartzkopf. It took only about 100 hours for the military objective of expelling the occupying Iraqi army from Kuwait to be achieved, thus officially ending the war on February 28, 1991. American forces suffered 294 fatalities. As Commander of U. S. forces, General Schwartzkopf was often called a “hero” and is often remembered for his stern remarks about Saddam Hussein’s supposed military skills, more important is what he said about his own American troops, "It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle."