Persian Gulf War (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: Under U.S. leadership, the international community upholds international law by reversing Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, but questions concerning the U.S. role in world affairs remain.
Summary of Event
In August, 1990, a number of factors contributed to Iraqi president Saddam Hussein’s decision to invade and annex neighboring Kuwait. Since Kuwait’s independence, in June, 1961, Iraqi leaders had questioned the legitimacy of Kuwait’s sovereignty and the border demarcating the two countries. An important oil field straddled the ill-defined frontier, and Kuwait had been tapping it. Iraq also charged Kuwait with exceeding its oil quota set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), thereby increasing supplies and depressing prices. Iraq had pressed Kuwait unsuccessfully for the latter to make available to Baghdad two islands, Warba and Babiyan, strategically located across from Umm Qasr, Iraq’s only outlet on the Persian Gulf proper.
Most important, 1990 was a time of acute financial hardship for Iraq because of the great indebtedness it had incurred following its murderous eight-year war with Iran, which had concluded in 1988. Iraq had to rebuild its devastated economy, especially its crucial oil industry.
Several factors led Saddam Hussein to decide that this was a good time to force Iraq’s creditors, especially Kuwait, to relinquish their claims on their...
(The entire section is 1488 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
Gulf War (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Kuwait’s sovereignty. Result: Allied victory; return of Kuwaiti sovereignty; prolonged, controversial isolation of Iraq.
The Gulf War of 1991 was the culmination of a crisis dating to August 2, 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait. After the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), Iraq’s efforts to rebuild were impeded by debts owed to those who had aided it in its war with Iran. Kuwait and others sought repayment, refused to forgive Iraqi debts, and were unhelpful in restricting world oil supplies to boost revenues for the beleaguered Iraq.
Iraqi resentment mounted toward Kuwait, with which it also had a border dispute. When U.S. ambassador April Glaspie told Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein that the United States had “no opinion” on the border disagreement with Kuwait, it suggested that perhaps the United States would stay out of a military confrontation. Declaring Kuwait a historic part of Iraq, Saddam’s forces invaded and annexed Kuwait.
The international community, especially the United States, reacted negatively. With an interest in regional stability, President George Bush eventually deployed 500,000 troops to Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf to deter and defend against any designs Hussein may have held for Saudi Arabia. Bush brought together an impressive coalition of allies to pressure Iraq and—if need be—forcibly expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait. United...
(The entire section is 987 words.)