High School Essay Example on the Gulf War
The Gulf War is the war that was fought between Iraq and United Nations authorized coalition force from some thirty four countries. It lasted for nearly one year between 2nd August 1990 and 28th February 1991. The second phase, which saw the major operation, took place between 17th January 1991 and 28th February 1991 was codenamed Operation Desert Storm.
This war started as a result of Iraqi’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait. For a long period, the Iraqi had claimed Kuwait as Iraq’s territory and the rivalry on oil production between the two states led to Iraq-Kuwait conflict. The invasion was opposed by the United Nations Organization, hence economic sanctions were declared against Iraq.
United Security Council led by then the President of the United States of America, George W. Bush, declared war on Iraq for refusing to withdraw their invasion, as a result, U.S forces were arrayed in Saudi Arabia. Other countries were also urged to deploy their forces at the scene and 34 countries responded with majority of troops received from U.S, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The initial moves to end the war were proposed by Iraq in December 1990 when it proposed to withdraw her troops from Kuwait. However, the U.S government rejected the move and maintained her stand that no negotiations would be held until Iraq withdraws her troops from Kuwait. On 29th November 1990, The U.N Security Council passed a consensus and gave Iraq up to 15th January 1991 to pull out from Kuwait.By 17th January 1991, Iraq had not withdrawn as it was stated; this intensified the war and aerial bombing by the U.N forces started.
The war ended on 28th February 1991 and left behind various effects. Deaths of both military and civilians were recorded; fresh rivalry between Iraq and other Arab countries were also initiated. Besides, the war also twisted a new opening for peacemaking in the Middle East. Proclamation was made by the U.S President, George Bush that he would ensure upsurge in efforts of ensuring peace process in the Middle East. This would only happen if Iraq withdraws her invasion of Kuwait.
Though it took a shorter period of time as compared to other inter-national wars like the world war1 and 2, the Gulf war similarly brought about major destruction and deterioration in the world’s economy.
On August 2nd, 1990 the first Iraqi tanks crossed into Kuwait, as part of an invasion that marked the start of a six-month conflict between the United States and Iraq. These tanks were ordered to invade Kuwait by Saddam Hussein, the ruthless dictator of Iraq. The Iraqi troops looted Kuwaiti businesses and brutalized Kuwaiti civilians. Saudi Arabia began to fear that they may be invaded as well, and on August 7th they formally asked President Bush for US assistance. (World Book, vol. 4 e. 1) The US pledged to defend the Saudis, and to remove the Iraqis from Kuwait. Great masses of troops from many different nations were deployed in the Persian Gulf area. At 4:30 PM EST on January 16, 1991, the first aircraft with orders to attack Iraqi targets were launched from Saudi Arabia, marking the beginning of Operation Desert Storm. (Quinson, 17)
Dictators like Mr. Hussein cannot be allowed to take advantage of smaller countries like bullies after lunch money. There has to be someone to stop them, or they will gain more and more power and land, just as Adolph Hitler tried to do in World War II. That someone, in the case of Mr. Hussein, was the United States, along with a multinational coalition. The US had just cause in entering a war against Iraq because of Iraq's invasion of the small and defenseless nation of Kuwait. Actions such as that must be repulsed. Iraq had no just cause in invading Kuwait; their reasons were either obscure or for their benefit. The US had to help Kuwait regain their nation.
In protecting the Saudis from invasion and removing the Iraqis from Kuwait the US had the right intention. The real reason the US decided to fight the Iraqis was to restore Kuwait's government and to defend Saudi Arabia. (Abraham 31-34, 36) There was no underlying reason, such as to receive better prices on oil or to make the Kuwaitis indebted to the US so as to receive favors. Throughout the war, the US made clear their purpose and intent in fighting the Iraqis, and not once did they stray from it.
Legitimate authority was established when the Congress voted to follow United Nations resolution 678, section two of which "Authorizes Member States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements, as set forth in paragraph 1 above, the foregoing resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area." (Richelson, 24,26) The vote to follow the resolution was as good as a declaration of war, as far as legitimate authority is concerned, and is in some ways better. The adoption of the resolution only authorized the use of force to remove Iraq from Kuwait. This limited the ability of our military to completely destroy Iraq's military or to drive Hussein from power. (World Book) Our authority to remove Iraq from Kuwait was clearly legitimate.
The Gulf War was fought with proportionality clearly in the leadership's mind. President Bush planned to get Iraq's troops out of Kuwait and then stop. (Abraham 97) He had no intention of carrying the war further. Although Bush would have dearly liked to have marched US troops toward Baghdad to destroy Hussein's government, he did not, because of the risk of heavy casualties, and because it went against the proportionality idea.