On August 2nd, 1990 Iraq military forces invaded and occupied Kuwait. The order was given by Iraq?s dictator-president Saddam Hussein. His aim was apparently to take control Kuwait?s oil reserves (despite its small size Kuwait is a huge oil producer; it has about 10 per cent of the world?s oil reserves). Iraq accused Kuwait of breaking agreements that limit oil production in the Middle East. According to Saddam Hussein, this brought down world oil prices severely and caused financial loss of billions of dollars in Iraq?s annual revenue. Saddam Hussein had the nearly hopeless task of justifying the invasion. Iraqi borders were not created until World War 1. There was also a further and more obvious blunder in a bid to justify this illegal invasion. Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, had namely recognized Kuwaiti independence in 1963. Hussein claimed that Kuwait had illegally pumped oil from the Iraqi oil field otherwise conspired to reduce Iraq?s essential oil income.
By invading Kuwait, Iraq succeeded in surprising the entire world. The USA ended their policy of accommodating Saddam Hussein, which had existed since the Iran-Iraq war. Negative attitude toward Iraq was soon a worldwide phenomenon. The United Nations Security Council passed 12 resolutions condemning the invasion. The ultimate decision was to use military force if Iraq did not withdraw by January 15, 1991. Then, when the deadline was set, it was time to start preparing for the worst, the war. President George Bush confronted little difficulty in winning Americans? support for the potential war against Iraq. However, the government found it difficult to decide upon and state one overriding reason for going to war. Was it to oppose aggression or was it just to protect global oil supplies? Other powers were more directly concerned as consumers of Persian Gulf oil, but they were not as eager to commit military force, to risk their youth in battle and to pay for the costs of the war. Critics of President Bush continued to maintain that he was taking advantage ofthe issue of energy supplies in order to manipulate the U. S. public opinion in favor of war.After talking with U. S. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney in early August 1990, Saudi Arabia invited American troops onto Saudi soil. He had seen Kuwait?s destiny; therefore, he wanted protection. It was also the interest of the USA to stop any further advantage of the Iraqi army. The deployment was called ?Operation Desert Shield? These troops were armed with light, defensive weapons.On November 8, 1990 President Bush announced a military buildup to provide an offensive option, ?Operation Desert Storm,? to force Iraq out of Kuwait. The preparation of the operation took two anda half months and it involved a massive air- and sea lift. Finally, in January 1991, Congress voted to support Security Council resolution 660. It authorized using ?all necessary means? if Iraq did not withdraw from Kuwait by January 15. Shrugging off this final warning, Saddam Hussein resolutely maintained the occupation of Kuwait. The United States created an International committee to confront Iraq. Countries that were included in this committee were Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Honduras, Italy, Kuwait, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Spain, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The war also was financed by countries that were unable to send in troops. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were the main donors. More than $53 billion was received.
Before the war, it appeared obvious that Iraq would have very little chance against the committee. The strength between the parties was extremely unequal. The biggest difference was that the Committee had a total of 2600 aircraft, over three times more than Iraq?s 800 aircraft. Most Arabs thought Hussein would not last more than six months. Lieutenant General Khalid bin Sultan, the commander of the Arab forces, gave Hussein only 40 days, and repeated this prediction many times. Iraq?s chances were very poor.
President Bush waited two days after the UN deadline for Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait before ordering the Committee to begin action against Iraq. The start of Desert Storm began on January 17, 1991. Bhagdad was bombed fiercely by the committee?s fighter planes in the first night of the war. An interesting fact is that several weeks before this, US intelligence agents successfully inserted a computer virus into Iraq’s military computers. It was designed to disable much of Baghdad’s air-defense system.
To minimize casualties, the committee forces, under the command of U.S. General Norman Schwarzkopf, pursued a strategy beginning with five weeks of intense air attacks and ending with a ground attack. Drawing on its 1,800 planes, land- and carrier-based, the UnitedStates flew the greatest number. The British, French, and Saudis made up most of the rest. Besides the great air power, the committee sent technologically advanced weapon systems, such as the Tomahawk missile, with an infrared targeting that illuminated Iraqi tanks buried in the, sand and laser-guided bombs,?smart bombs.? A new aircraft that never before had been engaged in combat was introduced. The large-scale usage of air force and latest technology made the war short and saved great numbers of The Committee soldiers? lives. After establishing air excellence, committee forces disabled Iraq?s command and control centers, especially in Baghdad. This caused the communication to fail between Baghdad and the troops in the field. The next stage was to attack Iraq?s troops, which was dug in along the Saudi-Kuwaiti border. Iraq came back with the use of mobile launchers to fire Scud missiles at Saudi Arabia. Overall, Hussein?s forces launched 93 Scuds. The United States countered this threat with Patriot antimissile missiles, called also ?Scudbusters,? and commando attacks on Scud launchers.
The committee?s air raids on Iraq?s troops lowered Iraqi soldiers? morale greatly. The ground war began at 8:00 p.m. on February 23 and lasted exactly 100 hours. This phase featured a massively successful movement of the Iraqi forces. Schwarzkopf used a deceptive maneuver by deploying a large number of forces as if to launch a large landing. The Iraqis thought that they also would be attacked frontally and had heavily stocked those defensive positions. Schwarzkopf instead moved most of his forces west and north in a major use of helicopters, attacking the Iraqis from their rear. The five weeks of intensive air attack had greatly demoralizedthe Iraqi front-line troops. Iraqi front-line commanders had already lost much of theirability to communicate with Baghdad, which made their situation even worse. On the final night of the war, within hours of the cease-fire, two U.S. Air force bombers dropped specially designed 5,000-pound bombs on a command bunker fifteen miles northwest of Baghdad in a deliberate attempt to kill Saddam Hussein. President Bush’s decision to terminate the ground war at midnight February 28, 1991 was criticized, because it allowed Baghdad to rescue a large amount of military equipment and personnel that were later used to suppress the postwar rebellions of its Shiite and Kurdish citizens. In his own defense, the president thought that the war had accomplished its purpose. The mission, given by the Security Council, was to keep the Iraqi forces from Kuwait and reestablish Kuwaiti independence. Bush?s decision was probably influenced by his desire to maintain committeeunity. Iraqi representatives accepted allied terms for a truce on March 3 and a permanent cease-fire on April 6. Iraq agreed to pay reparations to Kuwait, reveal the location and extent of itsA stockpile of chemical and biological weapons, and eliminate its weapons of mass destruction. UN inspectors complained that the Baghdad government was frustrating their attempts to monitor Iraq, and UN sanctions against Iraq were kept in place.
LOST ON HAND LOST ON HAND
TANKS: 4000 4230 4 3360ARTILLERY: 2140 3110 1 3633CARRIERS: 1856 2870 9 4050HELICOPTERS: 7 160 17 1951AIRCRAFT: 240 800 44 2600SOLDIERS: 100000 545000 200 680000
The Question in every body?s mind was why didn?t President Bush go all the way and finish Saddam Hussein. In my opinion he should have went and finish Saddam Hussein. Recently we have had many problems with Iraq. All these problems wouldn?t have happened if he had done the job right the first time. That was one of the major criticisms of being president. Desert Storm was the biggest, followed by his famous ?Read my lips, no new taxes? speech.