This alliance brought an end to the illusion that the war in the Gulf was for humanitarian purposes and the restoration of democracy, since Assad, who killed 20,000 of his own citizens to quell an uprising in Hama, Syria, was comparatively more dictatorial than Saddam himself."(Fingrut, 1993)
In close connection with the geopolitical positioning of the kingdom of Kuwait and the regional alliances lay Western interests for oil. Head and Tilford noted in this sense that "the United States also feared a reduction in the flow of oil from Kuwait, especially for its Allies in Europe." (Head and Tilford 17) Indeed, it had become common knowledge that the Iraqi leadership had established the new foreign policy guidelines in terms of acquiring and controlling Kuwait's oil reserves. This attitude was determined by the acute economic crisis Saddam had led his country into, after the eight-year war with Iran. Therefore, his extensive need for money alarmed western countries and especially the U.S. who was dependent on the exports from the regions. Should have Iraq retain Kuwait's oil reserves, the export conditions would have certainly worsened.
The situation on the ground in 1990 also stirred concern among the policy analysts in Washington due to the potential spreading of the phenomenon that Saddam had initiated. Thus, American foreign affairs specialists suggested that the Iraqi leader could represent a threat to the actual independence of Saudi Arabia, a situation the Administration could not accept for various reasons. On the one hand, the diplomatic tradition between the two countries would have forced the U.S. To intervene in its favor. On the other hand, Saddam would have controlled a very important part of the oil reserves, a situation that would have permitted him to increase his negotiation position in the relationship with western countries.
Aside from the geostrategic, political or economic reasons that would have completely justified the intervention of the American forces against Saddam, there was also a matter of prestige for the newly crowned leader of the free world. The U.S. had now become the only super power, thus defeating its fifty-year foe, the U.S.S.R....
Even if the actual confirmation would come late in 1992, the Cold War had ended with the victory of capitalism over communism, democracy over authoritarianism, the U.S. over the U.S.S.R. Still, this state of fact had to be visible to the international community as well. Thus, a strong military deployment of forces in the name of a just cause, that of defending another state, was the ultimate proof of the power the U.S. enjoyed following demise of the Soviet Union.
Overall, it can be concluded that the intervention in was determined by the breach of international laws and of the sovereignty of the national state. As the same time however, the U.S.'s dependency on oil, regional alliances and the need to satisfy an issue of prestige, all led and contributes decisively to the actual intervention. It is important to underline these elements because they represented the seeds for the 2003 war that put an end to Saddam Hussein's regime.
Calvocoressi, Peter. World politics since 1945. (Budapest: Open Society Institute, 1996)
Fingrut, David. Operation Desert Storm. Out right disinformation scheme. SEED Alternative School. Toronto, 1993. 23 March 2007. http://www.chss.montclair.edu/english/furr/Vietnam/gulf-war-fingrut.html#Bush
Head, William, and Earl H. Tilford, eds. The Eagle in the Desert Looking Back on U.S. Involvement in the Persian Gulf War. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1996.
IR Theory in Practice Case Study: The Gulf War, 1990-1991. (n.d) 23 March 2007. http://www.gulfweb.org/
Luerdijk, Dick a., and Beernink, Stella. Decision-making by the Security Council: the situation between Iraq and Kuwait, 1990-2002. A survey of resolutions. Netherlands Institute of International Relations. 2002. 23 March 2007. www.clingendael.nl
Operation Desert Storm: chronology, important events. 23 March 2007. http://www.desert-storm.com/War/chronology.html
The History page: great speeches collection. President Bush announcing war in Iraq. 2007. 23 March 2007. http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/bush-war.htm
Wilkinson, James and Christopher D. O'Sullivan. "The UN Security Council and Iraq. Why it Succeeded in 1990. Why it Didn't in 2003 and Why the U.S. Should Redeem it." CiaoNet. 23 March 2007. www.ciaonet.org
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