The Gulf War
August 2,1990- March 3,1991
Elements of biography
George Herbert Walker Bush politician (Republican) and businessman (salesman of oil-field supplies )
Vice president of the United States (1981–89)
41st president of the United States (1989–93).
• Much more interested in foreign than domestic policy.
• In December 1989, he ordered a military invasion of Panama in order to topple that country's leader,
General Manuel Antonio Noriega, who had become notorious for his brutality and his involvement in the
• The invasion, which lasted four days, resulted in hundreds of deaths, mostly of Panamanians, and the
operation was denounced by both the Organization of American states and the UN General Assembly.
• Bush's presidency coincided with world events of large proportion, including the collapse of communism
in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany. In November 1990 Bush met
with Soviet leader Mickhail Gorbachev in Paris and signed a mutual nonaggression pact, a symbolic
conclusion to the Cold War. They signed treaties reducing the number of weapons that the two
superpowers had stocked during the decades of the Cold War
• In August 1990,Iraq invaded and occupied Kuweit
• his most significant diplomatic achievement : managed to set up a coalition of western European and
Arab states against Iraq.
• Thanks to his victory over Iraq and his competent leadership in
foreign affairs : 90 % approval rating for Bush.
• Economic recession in late 1990 persisted into 1992 : his popularity
• Throughout this period, Bush showed much less initiative in
• A moderate conservative .
• Did not manage to keep his promise not to raise taxes
• In his last weeks in office, Bush ordered a U.S. military-led mission
to feed the starving citizens of war-torn Somalia, placing U.S.
marines in the crossfire of warring factions and inadvertently
causing the deaths of 18 soldiers.
• Equally as controversial was his pardoning of six Reagan
administration officials charged with illegal actions associated with
the Iran-Contra Affair.
Saddam Hussein invasion of Kuweit
• August 2,1990 Invasion of Kuweit by Iraq (1990–91)
• Triggered an international conflict.
• Iraq's leader, S. Hussein, ordered the invasion and occupation of Kuwait
His aim :
1. acquiring Kuweit’s large oil reserves,
2. canceling a large debt Iraq owed Kuwait,
3. expanding Iraqi power in the region.
• The next day, the UN Security Council asked for withdrawal
• On August 6 ban on trade with Iraq imposed by UN security Council
• Formal annexation of Kuweit by Iraq on August 8
• Bcse of potential threat to Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer and
exporter, The US and its western European NATO allies sent troops to Saudi
Arabia to deter a possible attack.
• Egypt + other Arab nations joined the anti-Iraq coalition and offered military help
• Operation known as OPERATION DESERT SHIELD. Iraq meanwhile built up its
occupying army in Kuwait to about 300,000 troops.
• 3 causes :
1. Iraq had always considered K as part of I : confrontation and
hostility over the years+ when Saddam was defeated in Iran, he
tried to conquer a weaker nation : Kuweit
2. Not well-defined border bw Iraq and K : deserts so Iraq constantly
claimed that K’oil rigs (derricks) were illegally tapping into Iraqui’s
oil fields: many conflicts in the region
3. After the1st gulf war (Iran/Iraq, relations bw Kand I deteriorated.
• At that time many Arab countries supported Iraq against islamic
revolutionary gvt of Iran. They feared that Saddam’s defeat would
lead to other islamic revolutions in the 3rd world
• After the war, lack of gratitude from Bahdad twds Kuweit :
reawakening of old pbs (borders + Kuweiti sovereignty)
• Saddam was convinced that there would not
be any intervention from the US and the rest
of the world to defend Kuweit
• So his troop invaded the country and quickly
• 2nd war worse than the first
• Shiite and Kurdish rebellions , but Saddam
remained very powerful in his country
• Cease fire terms : Iraq had to accept the
imposition of no-fly zones over her territory+ UN
weapons inspection teams
• Economic and trade sanctions led to severe
• Many civilians died bcse of these sanctions. No
indication that the gvt or the military suffered
The Us views on the Gulf War
Extract from a speech by Bush given on January 16, 1991.
• Some may ask: Why act now? Why not wait? The answer is clear: The world could wait no
longer. Sanctions, though having some effect, showed no signs of accomplishing their
objective. Sanctions were tried for well over 5 months, and we and our allies concluded that
sanctions alone would not force Saddam from Kuwait.
• While the world waited, Saddam Hussein systematically raped, pillaged, and plundered a
tiny nation, no threat to his own. He subjected the people of Kuwait to unspeakable
atrocities--and among those maimed and murdered, innocent children.
• While the world waited, Saddam sought to add to the chemical weapons arsenal he now
possesses, an infinitely more dangerous weapon of mass destruction--a nuclear weapon. And
while the world waited, while the world talked peace and withdrawal, Saddam Hussein dug in
and moved massive forces into Kuwait.
• While the world waited, while Saddam stalled, more damage was being done to the fragile
economies of the Third World, emerging democracies of Eastern Europe, to the entire
world, including to our own economy.
• The United States, together with the United Nations, exhausted every means at our disposal
to bring this crisis to a peaceful end. However, Saddam clearly felt that by stalling and
threatening and defying the United Nations, he could weaken the forces arrayed against him.
• While the world waited, Saddam Hussein met every overture of peace
with open contempt. While the world prayed for peace, Saddam
prepared for war.
• I had hoped that when the United States Congress, in historic debate, took
its resolute action, Saddam would realize he could not prevail and would
move out of Kuwait in accord with the United Nations resolutions. He did
not do that. Instead, he remained intransigent, certain that time was on
• Saddam was warned over and over again to comply with the will of the
United Nations: Leave Kuwait, or be driven out. Saddam has arrogantly
rejected all warnings. Instead, he tried to make this a dispute between
Iraq and the United States of America.
• Well, he failed. Tonight, 28 nations--countries from 5 continents, Europe
and Asia, Africa, and the Arab League--have forces in the Gulf area
standing shoulder to shoulder against Saddam Hussein. These countries
had hoped the use of force could be avoided. Regrettably, we now believe
that only force will make him leave.
The Desert Storm operation
• The Persian Gulf War began on January 16–17, 1991,
with a massive U.S.-led air offensive against Iraq that
continued throughout the war. Over the next few
weeks, this sustained aerial bombardment, which had
been named OPERATION DESERT STORM, destroyed
Iraq's air defenses before attacking its communications
networks, government buildings, weapons plants, oil
refineries, and bridges and roads. By mid February the
allies had shifted their air attacks to Iraq's forward
ground forces in Kuwait and southern Iraq, destroying
their fortifications and tanks.
Operation Desert Sabre
• Massive allied ground offensive, launched on
February 24, and within three days Arab and
U.S. forces had retaken Kuwait City
• Weak Iraqi resistance.
• By February 27 most of Iraq's elite Republican
Guard units had been destroyed.
• By the time that U.S. President G.Bush
declared a cease-fire for February 28, Iraqi
resistance had completely collapsed.
Remains of an Iraqi convoy near Kuwait city, Kuwait, during the First Persian Gulf War.
Outcome of the war
• Casualties :
• Iraq : 120,000 soldiers dead+ 2,300 civilians
• US : 148 killed in action,458 wounded
• 121 Americans died through non- combat incidents
• The terms of the peace :
• Iraq had to recognize Kuwait's sovereignty
• get rid of all weapons of mass destruction (i.e., nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons) and all
missiles with ranges exceeding 90 miles (150 km).
• If not : economic sanctions would continue.
• After Iraq's defeat, Kurds in the north of the country and Shīʿites in the south rebelled
• This rebellion was suppressed by Ṣaddām with great brutality.
• , the allies prohibited Iraqi aircraft from operating in “no-fly” zones over these areas.
• As the other allies gradually left the coalition, U.S. and British aircraft continued to patrol Iraqi
skies, and UN inspectors sought to guarantee that all illicit weapons were destroyed.
The second Gulf war
• in 1998 Iraq's refused to cooperate with inspectors so : new hostilities (Operation
• As a csq, Iraq refused to readmit inspectors into the country,
• Regular exchanges of fire between Iraqi forces and U.S. and British aircraft over the
no-fly zones continued
• In 2002 the United States sponsored a new UN resolution calling for the return of
weapons inspectors, who then reentered Iraq in November.
• Disagreement among mber states of the UN Security Council concerning the
extent of cooperation from Iraq with inspectors.
• On March 17, 2003, the United States and the United Kingdom, which had begun
to mass troops on Iraq's border, gave up negociations
• U.S. President G. BUSH issued an ultimatum demanding that Ṣaddām withdraw
from power and leave Iraq within 48 hours or face war
• For him even if Ṣaddām left Iraq, U.S. forces might still be necessary to stabilize
the region and to look for weapons of mass destruction.
• When Ṣaddām refused to leave, U.S. and allied forces launched an attack on Iraq
on March 20 and thus began what we now call the Second Persian Gulf War