A PAPER BY SAPEO GARDNER
Geographic Factors Behind The Iraq War
Many people have seen this war between Iraq and Kuwait as the starting point of everything that has been going on in the recent years between the United States and Iraq. The focus of this paper is on the geographical factors behind the war between Iraq and Kuwait but first of all I would have to start out with the facts and how the war came about. It all started when Saddam Hussein, the president of Iraq, ordered his military to invade Kuwait. Saddam Hussein’s motivation for this invasion was to assert control over Kuwait’s oil reserves (Duffy 107). Saddam believed that Kuwait was breaking agreements that limited oil production in the Middle East (Atkinson 34). Although Kuwait is a small country it is a large producer of oil, producing a large amount of the world’s necessity for oil (“CNN InDepth” 1). Despite Kuwait’s oil-producing success Saddam argued that this mass production brought down world oil prices and caused Iraq to lose billions of dollars in gross revenue (Kent 9). The invasion of Kuwait made the world angry at Iraq and left Saddam Hussein with a lot of explaining to do (Atkinson 39). He justified the illegal invasion by stating that Kuwait was once a part of their territory, which was located in southern Iraq and he wanted to regain that area, especially because of all the wealth that area was worth. Saddam was insinuating (because of Kuwait’s closeness) that Kuwait was illegally extracting some of its oil from its field in Rumaila. In 1963, Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, had recognized Kuwait as independent.
After the invasion of Kuwait, Iraq was seen differently in the eyes of the world. Iraq was now looked at negatively by the world and no one supported their actions (“CNN InDepth” 1). Since the war between Iran and Iraq the United States found ways to help Saddam Hussein when needed, but due to his decision to invade Kuwait the United States ended all ties with Iraq (Atkinson 54). The United Nations Security Council passed twelve resolutions criticizing the invasion. They also gave Iraq a deadline to pull out of Kuwait by January 15, 1991 and if they did not comply, the United Nations would take military action toward Saddam and his army (Duffy 108). After the deadline was set, it became time to start preparing for the possible war with Iraq. The President at the time, George H.W. Bush, faced few hurdles when trying to win the public’s support for the potential war against Iraq; although, the government found it difficult to decide on a single good reason to go to war. Some parts of the world were up front in admitting that they were more concerned about the oil, but they were not so willing to send their own military into a war where they were not sure it was worth the loss of men or money.
Kuwait’s nearby neighbor Saudi Arabia had full view of what was happening to them and looked to the United States for aid and protection (“CNN InDepth” 3). The King Fahd granted the permission for the US military to make base in Saudi Arabia. Once the invitation was extended, Dick Cheney took advantage of the offer and deployed the troops into that area of Saudi Arabia. By doing this, Cheney knew it was in the best interest for the United States to stop the Iraqi army from advancing any further (Atkinson 63).
In order to get Iraq out of Kuwait, President Bush assembled a U.S. military to do the job. On November 8, 1990 Bush took the military over to Iraq, and this mission was called “Operation Desert Storm”. The United States established a large international coalition to diplomatically confront the Iraqis militarily (Duffy 111). The US congress gave permission, which authorized the military to take action if the Iraqis didn’t pull out before the day that was mandated (“CNN InDepth” 3). Saddam Hussein was not fazed by the threats of the UN and continued on with his reign of...