[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: George H. W. Bush (1991, Book I)]
[February 27, 1991]
[Pages 187-188]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Address to the Nation on the Suspension of Allied Offensive Combat 
Operations in the Persian Gulf
February 27, 1991

    Kuwait is liberated. Iraq's army is defeated. Our military
objectives are met. Kuwait is once more in the hands of Kuwaitis, in 
control of their own destiny. We share in their joy, a joy tempered only 
by our compassion for their ordeal.
    Tonight the Kuwaiti flag once again flies above the capital of a 
free and sovereign nation. And the American flag flies above our 
    Seven months ago, America and the world drew a line in the sand. We 
declared that the aggression against Kuwait would not stand. And 
tonight, America and the world have kept their word.
    This is not a time of euphoria, certainly not a time to gloat. But 
it is a time of pride: pride in our troops; pride in the friends who 
stood with us in the crisis; pride in our nation and the people whose 
strength and resolve made victory quick, decisive, and just. And soon we 
will open wide our arms to welcome back home to America our magnificent 
fighting forces.
    No one country can claim this victory as its own. It was not only a 
victory for Kuwait but a victory for all the coalition partners. This is 
a victory for the United Nations, for all mankind, for the rule of law, 
and for what is right.
    After consulting with Secretary of Defense Cheney, the Chairman of 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Powell, and our coalition partners, I 
am pleased to announce that at midnight tonight eastern standard time, 
exactly 100 hours since ground operations commenced and 6 weeks since 
the start of Desert Storm, all United States and coalition forces will 
suspend offensive combat operations. It is up to Iraq whether

[[Page 188]]

this suspension on the part of the coalition becomes a permanent cease-
    Coalition political and military terms for a formal cease-fire 
include the following requirements:
    Iraq must release immediately all coalition prisoners of war, third 
country nationals, and the remains of all who have fallen. Iraq must 
release all Kuwaiti detainees. Iraq also must inform Kuwaiti authorities 
of the location and nature of all land and sea mines. Iraq must comply 
fully with all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. 
This includes a rescinding of Iraq's August decision to annex Kuwait and 
acceptance in principle of Iraq's responsibility to pay compensation for 
the loss, damage, and injury its aggression has caused.
    The coalition calls upon the Iraqi Government to designate military 
commanders to meet within 48 hours with their coalition counterparts at 
a place in the theater of operations to be specified to arrange for 
military aspects of the cease-fire. Further, I have asked Secretary of 
State Baker to request that the United Nations Security Council meet to 
formulate the necessary arrangements for this war to be ended.
    This suspension of offensive combat operations is contingent upon 
Iraq's not firing upon any coalition forces and not launching Scud 
missiles against any other country. If Iraq violates these terms, 
coalition forces will be free to resume military operations.
    At every opportunity, I have said to the people of Iraq that our 
quarrel was not with them but instead with their leadership and, above 
all, with Saddam Hussein. This remains the case. You, the people of 
Iraq, are not our enemy. We do not seek your destruction. We have 
treated your POW's with kindness. Coalition forces fought this war only 
as a last resort and look forward to the day when Iraq is led by people 
prepared to live in peace with their neighbors.
    We must now begin to look beyond victory and war. We must meet the 
challenge of securing the peace. In the future, as before, we will 
consult with our coalition partners. We've already done a good deal of 
thinking and planning for the postwar period, and Secretary Baker has 
already begun to consult with our coalition partners on the region's 
challenges. There can be, and will be, no solely American answer to all 
these challenges. But we can assist and support the countries of the 
region and be a catalyst for peace. In this spirit, Secretary Baker will 
go to the region next week to begin a new round of consultations.
    This war is now behind us. Ahead of us is the difficult task of 
securing a potentially historic peace. Tonight though, let us be proud 
of what we have accomplished. Let us give thanks to those who risked 
their lives. Let us never forget those who gave their lives. May God 
bless our valiant military forces and their families, and let us all 
remember them in our prayers.
    Good night, and may God bless the United States of America.

                    Note: President Bush spoke at 9:02 p.m. from the 
                        Oval Office at the White House. In his address, 
                        he referred to Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney; 
                        Colin L. Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of 
                        Staff; Secretary of State James A. Baker III; 
                        and President Saddam Hussein of Iraq. The 
                        address was broadcast live on nationwide radio 
                        and television.