The guns fell silent on this day in 1991 with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein accepting a ceasefire after his military forces, which had invaded neighbouring Iraq, were overwhelmed by a UN-backed coalition of 35 nations, including Canada.
Our nation contributed a force of more than 5,000, with three ships from the Royal Canadian Navy and 24 CF-18s, the latter flying 56 combat missions. The Gulf War marked the first-time since the Korean War that Canadians were sent into battle. There were no Canadian casualties.
Led by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Canada – then a member of the UN Security Council – also played a leading diplomatic role during the conflict. History records, for example, that Mulroney was able to use his close personal relationship with US President George H.W. Bush to help convince the Americans to seek UN approval of the military mission to free Kuwait from Iraqi occupation.
Arthur Milnes is an accomplished public historian and award-winning journalist. He was research assistant on The Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney’s best-selling Memoirs and also served as a speechwriter to then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper and as a Fellow of the Queen’s Centre for the Study of Democracy under the leadership of Tom Axworthy. A resident of Kingston, Ontario, Milnes serves as the in-house historian at the 175 year-old Frontenac Club Hotel.