What was the historical context surrounding Gulf War of 1990 to 1991?
In order to understand the reaction of the United States to Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, one must first understand the larger geopolitical framework in which that short war took place. The delicate balance of power that had existed during the Cold War between the United States and its allies on one side, and the Soviet Union and its allies on the other, had by 1990 begun to crumble, as Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev pushed for further reforms in the Soviet Union, which led to its unraveling.
Saddam Hussein's invasion of the oil rich but tiny country of Kuwait became the first international crisis in a post-Cold War era, when the Soviet Union no longer had the resources or wherewithal to exert its power in the Middle East. Although the United States had backed Iraq in its decade long proxy war against Iran, Iraq had long been an ally of the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union had long acted as a restraining force on Saddam and his territorial ambitions. Due to the fact that...
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