Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait

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By 1990, Iraq had spent eight years at war with Iran and was £50 billion in debt.

Explaining why Iraq invaded Kuwait, Tariq Aziz, the Iraqi foreign minister said: "The leadership was focusing domestically on rebuilding the country, those cities and towns that had been destroyed during the war… improving the standard of living for people in Iraq."

Iraq may have invaded Kuwait because of the oil policy pursued by Kuwait. Kuwait was deliberately producing oil far beyond its OPEC quota. This brought down the price of oil per barrel into the low $ teens. Iraq needed the price of oil to stay high per barrel because it was vital to its recovery after the war it had just had with Iran. Iraq tried to reverse this policy with the help of Saudi Arabia and Egypt but to no avail. Each one-dollar drop in the price of oil cost the Iraqi nation one billion dollars. So Iraq could claim that Kuwait was waging an economic war upon Iraq. Iraq saw their invasion of Kuwait as a defensive move, one to stop Iraq losing all its money from the falling oil prices.

Iraq also considered Kuwait as a part of Iraq. After failing to invade Iran, Saddam Hussein may have thought it would be easier to conquer weaker nations.


Iraqi troops preparing for their invasion of Kuwait

2. Why Did The Coalition Attack Iraq?

Iraq had invaded Kuwait and Kuwait had called for help from the UN. The Bush Administration constructed a rationale that stated that they were going to war based on the following reasons:

1) Iraq had violated international laws by invading a sovereign country.

2) Iraq had amassed troops and tanks and was set to invade Saudi Arabia.

3) As Congress was deliberating on a vote to grant the President authorisation to use force (12 January, 1991), a story surfaced that Iraqi soldiers had removed babies from incubators that they were stealing and had left these babies to die on the floor of the hospital. This story made the headlines around the world...
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