KEY EVENTS IN 1990
On August 2, 1990, the Iraqi Army invaded Kuwait. The United Nations condemned the attacks. To prevent Iraq from invading Saudi Arabia, the United States and a coalition of military forces deployed to the Persian Gulf within days. The protection of Saudi Arabia was codenamed Operation DESERT SHIELD.
Yugoslavia splintered along ethnic and religious lines, and by 1992, a brutal civil war erupted. Almost 1 million people were killed or driven from their homes before the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) intervened. With the signing of the Dayton Peace Accord in 1995, American and NATO forces entered Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Serbian forces clashed with ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. When Serbian forces began ethnic cleansing, the United Nations authorized military intervention. After a two-week bombing campaign, peacekeepers entered Kosovo.
In October 2001, the New York National Guard assumed peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Kosovo.
With the end of the Cold War, American leaders no longer saw the need for vast military budgets. The National Guard shrank from its peacetime high of 457,000 soldiers to fewer than 360,000 by the end of the decade.
The 1990s left the New York National Guard with outdated weapons, equipment, and vehicles, and armories in disrepair. Recognizing the National Guard as the state's vital and versatile emergency response force, New York began to make significant investments in its Guard forces throughout the late 1990s. Governor Pataki proposed the National Guard Tuition Incentive Bill that would increase tuition benefits for New Yorkers who join the Guard. The bill took effect in January 1997.
By the 21st century, as the New York National Guard was rebuilding, it was called upon to respond to state emergencies at a greater rate than at any time in its history.