The Gulf War In The 90S


The Gulf War In The 90S Essay, Research Paper

The attack of Iraqi military forces to a small Arab state called Kuwait

on orders from president Saddam Hussein caused The US to interfere with

the situation resulting in a war called The Gulf War of 1991 starting in

January 16 ending in February 28. The military campaign against Iraq had

two phase: The Air War and the Ground War . The aim of the air war was

to destroy the stratecigally important places and the ground war was for

reinforcement of the air war.

There were a number of reasons that caused the war in addition to the

invasion of Kuwait by the Iraqi Military Forces; these reasons were:

Iraq; publicly decrying the US naval presence in the Persian Gulf and

making increasingly belligerent threats against Kuwait and The United

Arab Emirates whom they accused of breaking agreements limiting oil

production and thereby severely depressing world oil prices and costing

Iraq billions of dollars in annual revenue.

In protecting the Saudis from invasion and removing the Iraqis from


the US had the right intention. The real reason the US decided to fight


Iraqis was to restore Kuwait’s government and to defend Saudi Arabia.


was no underlying reason, such as to receive better prices on oil or to

make the Kuwaitis indebted to the US so as to receive favors. Throughout

the war, the US made clear their purpose and intent in fighting the


and not once did they stray from it.

Legitimate authority was established when the Congress voted to follow

United Nations resolution 678, section two of which “Authorizes Member

States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or


15 January 1991 fully implements, as set forth in paragraph 1 above, the

foregoing resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and


resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to

restore international peace and security in the area.” The vote to


the resolution was as good as a declaration of war, as far as legitimate

authority is concerned, and is in some ways better. The adoption of the

resolution only authorized the use of force to remove Iraq from Kuwait.

This limited the ability of our military to completely destroy Iraq’s

military or to drive Hussein from power. Our authority to remove Iraq


Kuwait was clearly legitimate.

The Gulf War was fought with proportionality clearly in the leadership’s

mind. President Bush planned to get Iraq’s troops out of Kuwait and then

stop. He had no intention of carrying the war further. Although Bush


have dearly liked to have marched US troops toward Baghdad to destroy

Hussein’s government, he did not, because of the risk of heavy


and because it went against the proportionality idea.

The leaders who picked targets for our forces never targeted civilians.

Civilians were killed, for sure, but they were not deliberately


Non-combatant immunity is an important part of every war the US has been

engaged in. The Iraqis definitely targeted civilians, as was quite


by their SCUD attacks on Israel and Saudi Arabia. Many civilians and

military personnel were killed by SCUDs during the course of the war. Civilians are not responsible for harm done to one’s country, and therefore deserve immunity. Upon entering the conflict, The US obviously had a reasonable hope of success. The Iraqis had several hundred thousand poorly trained, poorly equipped, and poorly led troops, while the Allied forces numbered about 800,000. The allied troops were better trained, equipped, and led than the Iraqis. They were also more loyal, although that was not discovered until the ground war began and Iraqi troops began to desert, tens of thousands at a time. The US would not have entered into this conflict if they had not clearly known that they would win.

Sanctions were placed against Iraq almost immediately, and were in place and doing nothing for six months before President Bush realized that they had to turn to their last resort, the use of force, to get the Iraqis out of Kuwait. All diplomatic means had failed, from the initial meeting between US ambassador April Glaspie and Saddam Hussein to the implementation of sanctions. The use of force was clearly our last resort. Epilogue-Who Won The War The Persian Gulf War, in military terms, was won by the United States and her allies. The Iraqis were forced out of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia was protected, and the US casualties were only in the hundreds. However, politically, the war may have resulted in a draw. Saddam Hussein is still in control of Iraq, and Bush is no longer in office. Kuwait is once again a free country, but Hussein is still right next door to threaten them

again.Although it would have gone against St. Agustin’s Just War Theory, it

would have been intelligent to have marched on Baghdad and forced Hussein out

of power. The real victory, however, goes to all the troops who gave their

lives to restore 6,880 square miles of desert to it’s original leadership.


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