Gulf War Essay

1089 words - 4 pages

The Gulf WarFor almost all of the 18th century, Iraq was apart of the Ottoman Empire along with Kuwait, but Britain was called for protection in return for autonomy in local affairs. In 1961 Britain granted Kuwait independence, and Iraq soon announced that Kuwait was rightfully Iraq's. There has been tension ever since Kuwait broke away from Iraq, but they started to improve during the 1980's because Kuwait backed Iraqi diplomacy and loaned them money. After the war was over, Iraq couldn't pay back the loans to Kuwait and demanded that they help them with other debts. Around that same time, Kuwait was accused of pumping oil from a field on the Iraqi-Kuwaiti boarder. They were also accused of pumping more oil than allowed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), thereby dropping the price of oil in Iraq's export.Iraqi forces began to mobilize along the Kuwaiti boarder in the summer of 1990 and the surrounding Arab states tried to convince the two countries to handle the dispute some other way, but their attempts failed. Kuwait did not call on non-Arab countries for support because they were trying to avoid appearing as a puppet of outside powers. A session was scheduled in Baghdad to negotiate their differences, but Iraq invaded Kuwait the next day in what appeared to be a planned in attack all along.Shortly after midnight on August 2, the Iraqi attack began. More than a quarter-million Iraqi troops, many veterans of the Iran-Iraq war, easily defeated the 20,000 Kuwaiti soldiers. By dawn Iraq controlled Kuwait city, the capital, and soon was in complete control of the country.The United Nations condemned the Iraqi invasion on Kuwait and four days late cut off all trade with them. Iraq responded to this by annexing Kuwait to call for a stronger international response. More than half of the Kuwaitis left Kuwait through the occupation; the ones who stayed formed resistance organizations but with little effect.Any attempt to stop the Iraqi invasion depended on Saudi Arabia, which shares borders with both Iraq and Kuwait. The Saudis couldn't fight Iraq alone; if they invited foreign troops into the country to attack Iraq, it would look as if they were under their influence. Saudi rulers eventually open the country to foreign forces because U.S. intelligence reports claimed that Iraqi forces were planning on attacking Saudi Arabia.After a week of the Iraqi takeover, a large force gathered in Saudi Arabia. The United States sent in almost a half-million troops, along with 200,000 other troops from countries all around the world. On November 29, the UN Security Council told the coalition forced to "use all necessary means" to force Iraq from Kuwait if Iraq was still in the country after January 15, 1991. The Iraqis refused to comply with the U.S. ultimatum and even threatened to attack Israel. This shoed the U.S. that they could not resolve the conflict by negotiating.Almost nobody in the United States opposed using military action....

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