First Persian Gulf War: 1990-1991
The First Persian Gulf War between 1990 and 1991 was the most militarily efficient campaign in US history where comparatively few lives were lost. This war accomplished many goals, including that it secured the economic advantages for the “Western World”.
It encouraged a free flow of natural resources, established the value of air power and superiority, and verified that a free alliance for justice will prevail over armed aggression. In the end, the United State’s goals were accomplished: Kuwait was liberated from Saddam and peace settled into the Middle East (Rayment).
The Soviet Union attacked Afghanistan on December 27, 1979. This posed a threat on the United States because of their oil ties in this area. On January 23, 1980 President Jimmy Carter responded with a statement called the Carter Doctrine. In this, Carter stated that, “An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”
(Richie, 25). Ten years later, United States officials were reminded of the Doctrine as signs of an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein began to appear. With a portion of the world’s oil of eleven percent, this invasion would add another nine percent. Not only was this dangerous but if Iraq continued a southern advance, he would gain the oil of Saudi Arabia. Saddam could possibly control forty-six percent of the world’s oil supply and manipulate the global economy (Richie, 25).
On July 17, 1990, photos from a KH-11 spy satellite showed that Iraqi military equipment was being positioned near the Kuwait border .General Colin Powell was not concerned with this advancement because the lineup did not include necessary equipment such as fuel trucks and artillery that would be needed for an invasion. Powell believed that this was just a practice exercise or a bluff because Saddam had been pressing Kuwait to lower the oil production in order to keep the prices high (Richie, 26).
Kuwait was a small country that had once been part of the Ottoman Empire like Iraq. Then Kuwait had become a British Protectorate from which it had been granted its independence. Its borders had been set in a subjective manner causing it to be difficult to defend but also that the population wasn’t unified. Kuwait was ruled by an Emir of the al-Sabah family (Rayment). Iraq had considered Kuwait to be basically a part of Iraq so land disputes were also common (Lee). Saddam had been disputing the control of two islands, Bubiyan and Warba, by Kuwait that blocked Iraqi access to the Gulf. Another answer to this threat was a dispute over the Rumaila oil fields that crossed the Iraq-Kuwait border. Iraq claimed that Kuwait had been using “slant drilling” to siphon off Iraqi oil (Allen, 65). These badly defined borders caused constant claims by Iraq that...