George Bush Snr, 41st President, was a man who truly knew how to conduct both himself and the affairs of state. From a solid war record in WW2 (unlike the confected Kennedy account) he clearly formed some suitably mature views on how the military should operate in a western democracy - a rather important qualification for an elected president of the world's most powerful nation - and his oversight of the First Gulf War 1990-91 was a perfect exemplar.
First, the politicians should set the goals and, most critically, the constraints. Then, they must leave the military to get on with it. (Not without ongoing review and supervision, obviously - devising grand strategy is an interative process between soldiers and state. Not least, the military perennially need to ask for more resources.) In particular, when the fighting starts, the politicians step right back from the action, notwithstanding the agonising temptation to call the shots blow-by-blow.
Even back in the 60's, telecommunications were good enough for Lyndon Johnson to interfere daily from his desk in Vietnam. By 1990, they were very much better. (We were able, for example, to give near real-time notice of Scud launches and a fairly accurate prediction of their ballistic trajectory, which appeared immediately on Scud-alert screens anywhere in the world. We could then watch them landing at their predicted point of impact. All from the comfort of a desk.) Just think of the scope that gave for minute-by-minute meddling: the sheer temptation.
But Bush knew better, and left the military to it. (By the way, so did John Major. I can't speak for what Thatcher would have done had she remained in power - someone who saw her in action during the Falklands may be able to take a guess. But I didn't: and the comms were very much better by 1990, so the temptations were greater.)
And when the coalition forces stormed through Kuwait and reached the prescribed stop-lines ... they stopped, despite it being a rout.
We can argue forever what would have happened if the remnants of the Republican Guard had been pursued to Baghdad. For what it's worth, Schwartzkopf's main regret was not that hot pursuit wasn't allowed: he absolutely respected the political decision. He just wished he'd had the imagination to force Saddam to surrender in person.
Farewell George HW Bush. One of the very last and best of the Great Generation.