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Causes of the Gulf War Essay

After the Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf War was the largest military conflict to take place in the Middle East . On August 2, 1990, in the Persian Gulf region, Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait . Therefore, several Western countries, led by the United States and Britain, two armaments, in addition to other countries in the Middle East, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, decided to enter the clash to prevent Iraq from achieving any success in war.

Guerra do Golfo (1991)

F-14 over the territory of Kuwait during this conflict. | Photo: Reproduction

Causes of the Gulf War

The then Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein , argued that Kuwait would be selling oil at a very low price for the international market, and this was damaging to his negotiations, as he was being forced to lower the price of his product in order to be able to sell it in the international market. Being totally prejudiced by this attitude, the government of Iraq decided to request a millionaire indemnity to Kuwait, that obviously did not accept and did not make such payment. In addition there was a territorial impasse, where Iraq wanted at all costs to have a certain strip of Kuwait land returned, claiming that that territory belonged to it in the past.

With the non-payment of the requested compensation, the non-delivery of the territory demanded by Iraq and the price of oil without any change, the Iraqi government decided to use brute force and with these reasons invaded Kuwait and took the oil wells.

The Gulf War was launched, which had the worldwide broadcast of live images on the CNN network, one of the cornerstones of journalistic correspondence.

There were 100,000 Iraqi troops invading Kuwait, only the country’s air force demonstrated some resistance but without much success. Almost every Kuwaiti royal family managed to flee, and so Kuwait was annexed to Iraq becoming its 19th province.

The world reaction to the invasion of Kuwait

Iraq was already fully victorious because it succeeded in successfully invading Kuwait. What the Iraqi government did not realize was that the UN was already taking steps against this action if it was against such an invasion.

The first reaction of the United Nations was an economic embargo that decreed that no country could buy or sell anything to Iraq. Still, believing it was not enough to pressure the Iraqi government, the UN set a deadline, giving until January 15, 1991 for Saddam Hussein to withdraw his troops from Kuwait. As the negotiating deadline arrived, the UN, which had already organized a US-led military force, was approaching neighboring countries such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey to ensure that if Kuwait was not released on time, they would use their military force to secure the order of the United Nations.

The invasion of Iraq

The day after the UN deadline, the alliance formed by the countries that had the United States on the front began the bombing of Iraq. In the search for allies, the Iraqi government decided to use wrong strategies that had no effect at all. He decided to bomb Israel in the hope that the country would retaliate, and this would cause other countries to decide to support Iraq in the offensive, but nothing happened, the United States interceded and persuaded Israel not to attack, asserting its diplomacy and its money by offering them patriot anti-missile batteries in exchange for your understanding.

Iraq has also used another device, known as the ecoterror, dumping oil in the Persian Gulf and setting fire to Kuwait’s oil facilities. In the background they already knew that the war was lost. With the heavy bombings and rapid advance of the alliance’s ground troops, a month after the invasion, Iraq finally gave up and returned Kuwait in an announcement broadcast by Baghdad radio on February 28, 1991.

The main consequences of the war

  • The United States has established itself as the only world power;
  • Egypt gained prestige and strength for its support of the United States;
  • Iraq has been weakened, losing prestige on the world stage.

Historical context

The Gulf War must be perceived within the context of the transformations since 1989. Of particular note are the fall of the Berlin Wall, signaling the crisis of real socialism and the end of the Cold War, which actually occurred in 1991.

Therefore, this conflict represented one of the aspects of the change in the international relations scenario.

In this scenario, the United States emerged as uncontested leaders of the planet. This, after the fall of the Soviet Union, of whom Iraq was a faithful ally throughout the Cold War.

Thus, in August 1990, Iraq shifted from the verbal and media attack to action, triggering the invasion of Kuwait in the Persian Gulf region.

With more than 100,000 troops, the Iraqi force had no trouble conquering the country and making it the 19th province of Iraq.

As an immediate response, the UN, in an extraordinary meeting, determined the economic embargo against the aggressor country. She had full support for the Kuwaiti royal family, exiled in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Subsequently, on November 29, 1990, the UN Security Council reconvened and adopted Resolution 678.

It called on the Iraqi government to withdraw its troops from Kuwait until January 15, 1991, otherwise they would be attacked by coalition forces.

Failing to comply with the ultimatum, Saddam Hussein’s forces were literally shattered.

Firstly, by means of a massive bombing that began on January 17, 1991 and was extended every month.

This completely devastated Iraq’s infrastructure, accompanied by the invasion of the infantry forces, armed with cutting-edge military technology.

After a little more than a month of attacks, Iraq accepted the cease-fire on 28 February 1991. The condition was to withdraw its troops from Kuwait and suffer the appropriate sanctions.

After all, Saddam Hussein was not removed from power and Iraq did not lose any of its original territories. On the other hand, in Kuwait, Emir Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah is reimposed to the government of the country.

As a balance of war, thousands of Kuwaiti and Iraqi civilians were killed in the conflict. Among Iraq’s troops, about 35,000 casualties are estimated. Among coalition forces, less than 400 deaths were added.

In material terms, the Americans, with the largest military contingent of the operation (more than 70% of the troops), spent more than $ 60 Billion. The other countries of the coalition, plus the amounts, disbursed about $ 100 Billion.

Causes of War

One of the reasons for the invasion alleged by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was that Kuwait was hampering Iraq in the oil trade, selling the product at a very low price. With this, Iraq would be losing the consumer market and needing to lower the price of its oil in the international market. To reduce its losses, Iraq has demanded a millionaire compensation from the Kuwaiti government. The Kuwaiti government did not accept the claim and did not make the payment.

There was also another problem involving those in the countries of the Middle East. Iraq claimed the return of a territory that belonged to Kuwait but that the Iraqi government claimed to have been part of Iraq in the past.

As Kuwait did not pay the compensation sought by Iraq and did not surrender the territory, the Iraqi government sent troops that occupied Kuwait by taking the oil wells.

The development of war

The UN (United Nations) condemned the invasion and issued a document demanding the immediate withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait. At the same time, the United States moved troops and airplanes to Saudi Arabia, preparing for military action.

As Iraq did not withdraw its army from Kuwait, the UN authorized the military invasion of Iraq by a group of countries (England, France, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia) led by the United States. The attack on Iraq began in January 1991 and lasted for a month and a half.

End of War and main consequences

Iraq was defeated (the cease-fire was accepted in April 1991) and had to withdraw its troops from neighboring Kuwait, in addition to suffering from the UN- imposed economic embargo.

Thousands of soldiers and civilians were killed or maimed in this war and economic losses were also gigantic. However, Saddam Hussein remained in Iraq’s power and reorganized over the years the Iraqi economy and army.

The consequences for Kuwait were large, some 30,000 Kuwatians died in the war. The Iraqi army also damaged 737 oil wells and oil poured into the Persian Gulf caused major environmental damage throughout the Gulf region. Kuwait took more than two years to repair its oil industry and suffered a loss of $ 8.5 with the fall in oil production

Iraq has not been unharmed from the invasion of Kuwait. After the surrender Iraq suffered internal problems, such as the Kurdish Rebellion to the north, Shiites to the south and rival factions of the official party in the capital. In Iraq, around 100,000 soldiers and 7,000 civilians died as a result of the war, the country was in ruins, the situation worsened, and commercial and economic sanctions were imposed during the 1990s in order for the government to demolish its war industry and pay the war reparations, which prevented the reconstitution of the country.



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