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Iraq Kuwait War Essay

2287 words - 10 pages

1. SS Notes 7: Iraq-Kuwait conflict

Causes of conflict Factors: Economic problems, oil production and dispute over territoryEconomic problems: Iraq had previously fought a war with Iran, which drained its reserves. As aresult, Iraq’s economy was severely weakened. Iraq also had debts to other countries such as the USand France. For example, Iraq owed about US$80 million in debts. Iraq thus had to find ways to payoff its debts and saw Kuwait as a potential solution. Thus the economic problems of Iraq are animportant cause of conflict between Iraq and Kuwait.Oil production: Iraq’s main source of income is through the sale of oil. Oil production wasmaintained by OPEC, to prevent a decline in ...view middle of the document...

Iraq’s desperation to solve their economic problems caused by their massive wartime debts led them to believe Kuwait’s actions were a result of an economic war waged on Iraq. Whether or not this is true, this caused Iraq to retaliate in the form of disputes over oil production and territory, before finally culminating in an invasion. Thus, the economic problems of Iraq are the most important cause of conflict as it is the root cause.

2. Reason for invasion Factors: Iraq’s official reason, Saddam’s leadership and misreading US positionOfficial reason: The Iraqi government claimed to have invaded Kuwait at the request ofrevolutionaries in Kuwait who were dissatisfied with the ruling government. Using this alibi, Iraqjustified its actions and thus warned other countries not to intervene. Thus Iraq’s official reasonexplains why Iraq invaded Kuwait.Saddam’s leadership: The egoistic Saddam Hussein envisioned himself as the leader of the Arabworld. Kuwait’s defiance was seen as a personal attack on him. This induced Saddam Hussein toinvade Kuwait. Saddam was also facing pressure from the populace and military. He feared areligious uprising and a military Coup détat if the situation in Iraq did not improve. Thus SaddamHussein’s leadership explains why Iraq invaded Kuwait.US position: Before the invasion, Saddam Hussein had met with the American ambassador. Hebelieved that the Americans were sympathetic to Iraq’s situation and were not likely to go toKuwait’s aid. This encouraged him to invade Kuwait as he thought there would not be any severeconsequences for doing so. Thus misreading the US position explains why Iraq invaded Kuwait. Basis of Comparison: Saddam’s leadership> Official reason: Saddam Hussein’s leadership is a more important reason for invading Kuwait than Iraq’s official reason. This is because although there were some revolutionaries in Kuwait, they were an extremely small minority. Even so, Iraq had no reason to help them. However, pressure from the military and civilians induced Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait before his position became untenable. Thus Saddam Hussein’s leadership is the more important factor. Saddam’s leadership>US position: Saddam Hussein’s leadership is a more important reason for invading Kuwait than misreading the US position. This is because even after it became apparent that the US would intervene after all, Saddam Hussein was not deterred and pressed on with the attack. This shows that Saddam Hussein was prepared to take on the US if need be. This bravado stems from necessity as Saddam Hussein was under immense pressure to improve the situation in Iraq. Thus Saddam Hussein’s leadership is the more important factor.

3. Reaction to invasion Factors: Fear of Iraqi dominance, Arab solution, American response and International responseDominance: Other countries around the world feared Iraqi dominance over the world’s supply of oil.By taking over Kuwait, Iraq controlled 20% of the world’s oil production....

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