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The First Persian Gulf War - Essay Example
The 1991 Gulf War was a conflict between Iraq and a coalition force of approximately 30 nations mandated by the United Nations and led by the United States. The lead up to the war began with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990, following unproven Iraqi contentions that Kuwait was illegally "slant-drilling" oil across Iraq's border…
The main battles were aerial and ground combat within Iraq, Kuwait, and bordering areas of Saudi Arabia. The war did not expand outside the immediate Iraq/Kuwait/Saudi border region, although Iraq fired missiles on Israeli cities.The Iraqi seizure of Kuwait was of immediate interest to the western capitalist societies because Iraq and Kuwait together would control approximately 20 percent of the world's known oil reserves (Kellner 9). With the potential wealth generated from future oil sales and control over oil prices, Saddam Hussein could play a major role on the world's political and economic stage. Consequently, Iraq's invasion of Kuwait produced a crisis for the world capitalist system, for U.S. and European economic interests, and for the stability of the Middle East. Iraq was not able to get control of Kuwaiti investments because much of their money had been transferred out of the country. Yet, rather than encouraging a diplomatic solution to the crisis that would return Kuwait's sovereignty and secure the region, George Bush responded with a military intervention, which inexorably led to the Gulf war itself.
Interest in the crisis increased when the U.S. claimed that Iraq might also invade Saudi Arabia, which was said to control 20 percent of the world's known oil reserves and an investment portfolio even larger than Kuwait's. ...