This short paper steps back from the details of what happened in the Gulf War to explore the implications of what might have happened if Saddam Hussein had not stopped in Kuwait. This August nightmare an Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia in August 1990 is more than a bad dream. The next Saddam, though probably more cautious in picking a fight with the United States, would be more likely to go for broke if he chooses the path of military aggression. Such a short-warning contingency represents the most demanding scenario for U.S. forces short of a major war in Europe.
This research memorandum documents the events and discusses lessons learned from the noncombatant evacuation operation (NEO) from the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia, in January 1991. During this operation, named "Eastern Exit," U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps forces evacuated 281 people from 30 countries (including 8 Ambassadors and 39 Soviet citizens).