Chapter

The Persian Gulf War, 1990–1991

Steven Hurst

in The United States and Iraq since 1979

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780748627677
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672103 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627677.003.0004
The Persian Gulf War, 1990–1991

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1989–1990 saw American efforts to co-opt Iraq reach a peak during the administration of George H.W. Bush. That strategy was abandoned, however, after Saddam Hussein, in a desperate bid to solve economic problems resulting from his eight year war with Iran, invaded and attempted to annex Kuwait in August 1990. Perceiving a direct threat to American control over the flow of oil from the Gulf, the Bush administration soon decided that Iraqi forces must be expelled from Kuwait by whatever means necessary. Having built careful support for this position, Bush launched the Persian Gulf War of 1991, which saw Iraqi forces routed and Kuwaiti sovereignty restored. The Bush administration did not invade Iraq or seek to eliminate Saddam Hussein, however, out of fear that such actions would serve only to empower Iran. They therefore fell back on a policy of sanctions and weapons inspections designed to permanently neutralise the Iraqi threat and, hopefully, to cause Saddam's fall.

Keywords: George H. W. Bush; Persian Gulf War; Saddam Hussein; Oil; Kuwait; United Nations; UNSCR 678; UNSCR 687

Chapter.  12324 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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