It all started when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in August 1990. The US, and UN, demanded Iraq's withdrawal but it did not happen. My guess is that Hussein did not expect that President Bush would send ground troops and kick him out.
In the end, it was a smashing victory and Kuwait was liberated. Unfortunately, President Bush lost re-election in 1992 and President Clinton did not confront Iraq and their constant violations of UN resolutions.
So we had to go back in March 2003.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).