Aug. 2: Iraqi forces invade and occupy Kuwait. President Bush condemns the "naked act of aggression" and orders economic sanctions against Baghdad.

Aug. 6: Bush orders U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia to defend the kingdom's oil fields from attack.

Aug. 8: Pentagon officials say the U.S. commitment might eventually grow to 50,000 or more troops.

Aug. 10: Officials say the number of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia could reach 100,000, doubling the previous estimate.

Aug. 22: Bush orders a limited call-up of military reserves to augment "Operation Desert Shield." Nearly 50,000 reservists are involved.

Sept. 11: Bush addresses a joint session of Congress to explain the deployment of military forces to the gulf and lists U.S. objectives: complete, immediate and unconditional Iraqi withdrawl from Kuwait; restoration of Kuwait's "legitimate government"; assurance of security and stability in the Persian Gulf; and protection of American citizens abroad.

Sept. 13: Military officials say the U.S. buildup in the Middle East totals about 143,000 troops.

Late October: U.S. officials say that Iraqi troops in Kuwait and southern Iraq, numbering about 450,000, have constructed formidable defenses along the Kuwait-Saudi border.

Nov. 8: Bush orders U.S. forces in the gulf area increased by about 200,000, a massive new deployment that would raise the total U.S. force in the region to about 430,000.

SOURCES: The Washington Post; Associated Press; Facts on File