Social Studies: The Invasion of Kuwait

Topics: Gulf War, Iraq, Kuwait Pages: 18 (6882 words) Published: February 26, 2010
Social studies notes
Chapter 1
The Invasion of Kuwait, also known as the Iraq-Kuwait War, was a major conflict between the Republic of Iraq and the State of Kuwait, which resulted in the seven-month long Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, which subsequently led to direct military intervention by United States-led forces in the Gulf War. [edit] Dispute over the financial debt

Kuwait had heavily funded the 8 year long Iraqi war against Iran. By the time the war ended, Iraq was not in a financial position to repay the $14 billion it borrowed from Kuwait to finance its war.[6] Iraq argued that the war had prevented the rise of Iranian influence in the Arab World. However, Kuwait's reluctance to pardon the debt created strains in the relationship between the two Arab countries. During late 1989, several official meetings were held between the Kuwaiti and Iraqi leaders but they were unable to break the deadlock between the two. [edit] Economic warfare and slant drilling

According to George Piro, the FBI interrogator who questioned Saddam Hussein after his capture (in 2003), Iraq tried repaying its debts by raising the prices of oil through OPEC's oil production cuts. However, Kuwait, a member of the OPEC, prevented a global increase in petroleum prices by increasing its own petroleum production, thus lowering the price and preventing recovery of the war-crippled Iraqi economy.[7] This was seen by many in Iraq as an act of aggression, further distancing the countries. The collapse in oil prices had a catastrophic impact on the Iraqi economy. According to former Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz, "every US$1 drop in the price of a barrel of oil caused a US$1 billion drop in Iraq's annual revenues triggering an acute financial crisis in Baghdad."[5] It was estimated that Iraq lost US$14 billion a year due to Kuwait's oil price strategy.[8] The Iraqi Government described it as a form of 'economic warfare,' which it claimed was aggravated by Kuwait's alleged slant-drilling across the border into Iraq's Rumaila field. The dispute over Rumaila field started in 1960 when an Arab League declaration marked the Iraq-Kuwait border 2 miles north of the southern-most tip of the Rumaila field.[9] During the Iran–Iraq War, Iraqi oil drilling operations in Rumaila declined while Kuwait's operations increased. In 1989, Iraq accused Kuwait of using "advanced drilling techniques" to exploit oil from its share of the Rumaila field. Iraq estimated that US$2.4 billion worth of Iraqi oil was stolen by Kuwait and demanded compensation.[10][11] Kuwait dismissed the accusations as a false Iraqi ploy to justify military action against it. Several American firms working in the Rumaila field also dismissed Iraq's slant-drilling claims as a "smokescreen to disguise Iraq's more ambitious intentions".[9] [edit] Kuwait's lucrative economy

After the Iran–Iraq War, the Iraqi economy was struggling to recover. Iraq's civil and military debt was higher than its state budget. Most of its ports were destroyed, oil fields mined, and traditional oil customers lost. Despite having a total land area 1/25th of Iraq, Kuwait's coastline was twice as long as Iraq's and its ports were some of the busiest in the Persian Gulf region. The Iraqi government clearly realized that by seizing Kuwait, it would be able to solve most of its financial problems and consolidate its regional authority. Due to its relatively small size, Kuwait was seen by Baghdad as an easy target as well as a historically integral part of Iraq separated by British imperialism. The Persian Gulf War (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991), commonly referred to as the Gulf War, and also known as the First Gulf War[12][13], the Second Gulf War,[14][15] by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as The Mother of all Battles,[16] and commonly as Desert Storm for the military response, was the final conflict, which was initiated with United Nations authorization, by a coalition force from 34 nations against Iraq,...
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