POL 373 - Alex Cloonan Troubles Leading up to the Persian...

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Alex Cloonan Troubles Leading up to the Persian Gulf War In August 1990, Iraqi president Saddam Hussein invaded its neighboring state Kuwait. This invasion consisted of the toppling of the Kuwaiti royal family and government as well as their military. In the near future the U.S. decided to take action. The policies that George H. W. Bush and his administration engaged in both strengthened the chances that the U.S. had in winning the war but also put America in the situation that ultimately could have been avoided. Through an effective implementation of deterrence Bush could have spared kept Iraq out of Kuwait and furthermore spared lives that were claimed in the events to follow. In this essay I plan on proving the U.S.’ weakness in not following a strategy of deterrence as well as the problems that the Bush administration faced in regards to communication, credibility, capability and compliance. Saddam Hussein’s reasoning for invading Kuwait was actually supported by facts that made some sense. For each dollar that Kuwait lowered its price of oil, the Iraqi state would lose about one billion dollars. It’s estimated that Iraq lost near 14 billion dollars throughout this process. As well as this problem that they faced, Iraq had previously gone nearly bankrupt in the war the Iran, ending in 1988. Many of the loans that Iraq faced were from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Iraq asked for forgiveness of debt, delayed payments, and more, but the countries refused. As Kuwait continued with this policy of exceeding its OPEC quotas as well as driving down the oil price, Iraq grew more and more frustrated. In the spring of 1990 Iraq sent troops to the Iraq/Kuwait border and waited to invade. After consulting other Arabian leaders, the Bush administration came to the conclusion that Saddam wasn’t going to invade. The Jordanians, Egyptians, and others agreed that this Arabian quarrel was to be easily figured out with an “Arab answer” and would come to an agreement that
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would suit the United Nations as well as other countries very well. With this, the Bush administration
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This note was uploaded on 09/29/2011 for the course POL 373 taught by Professor Vanderbush during the Spring '11 term at Miami University.

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POL 373 - Alex Cloonan Troubles Leading up to the Persian...

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