Compare And Contrast The 1990 Gulf War To The 2003 Iraq Invasion. Did The Position Of Arab Regimes Differ?

2892 words - 12 pages

Compare and contrast the 1990 Gulf War to the 2003 Iraq invasion. Did the position of Arab regimes differ?The Gulf War in 1990 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003 both had a profound impact not just on the countries directly involved - primarily Iraq and the United States (US) - but also on the geo-politics of the world. Arguably, the War ended in a stalemate because the Iraqi regime that had started the War by invading Kuwait remained in power. Perhaps inevitably then, in March 2003 the US and its allies invaded Iraq with the stated aim of overthrowing the regime of Saddam Hussein and destroying that regime's Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Some similarities between both Wars are immediately obvious: for example, the same country, the US, led both wars against the same country, Iraq. There are, however, significant differences between the Wars. Accordingly, this essay compares and contrasts some key aspects of the wars: their military aspects, the use and abuse of intelligence services, causes and outcomes, differences in media coverage, and the changing views of different Arab regimes. It argues that the military outcomes were very much the same and that western intelligence essentially continued to offer wrong advice and analyses; in contrast, the roles of the media diverged significantly between both wars as did the political outcomes and the views of Arab regimes. Overall, comparing and contrasting both Wars highlights their major impact on world politics and power, with their consequences playing a significant role in shaping today's contemporary world.MilitaryMilitarily, the Gulf War and the Iraq War have much in common. Both wars were fought by predominantly the same nations, with similar outcomes achieved. What distinguished these wars at was the acute asymmetry in fatalities with many thousands slaughter edon the Iraqi side, as opposed to minor death toll on the side of the coalition. The Persian Gulf War was undoubtedly one of the most swift and successful military operations in history. Coalition troops effortlessly crushed Saddam Hussein's armed forces. In the Gulf Conflict, "Iraqi troops numbered approximately 545,000 to 600,000." While this figure closely approximated the number of US military personnel, many of the Iraqi troops were young, under-resourced, and poorly trained conscripts. The one-sided nature of the conflict is best summarised in estimates of casualties: US Department of Defence reported that "U.S. forces suffered 148 battle-related deaths. Some estimate that Iraq sustained between 20,000 and 35,000 fatalities." In addition, "civilian fatalities were estimated at about 3,500 from bombings and some 100,000 from other effects of the war." Casualty figures on the US side in the Iraq war were very similar to those of the Gulf war: according to CNN, the US government reported "that 139 American military personnel were killed."For the US, the Iraq War was equally as effective as the first war in achieving its military...

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