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Analyzing Persian Gulf Crisis between Iraq and Kuwait

In analyzing the Persian Gulf Crisis originally between Iraq and Kuwait, one must first understand the factors that contributed to the conflict. In 1980, Iraq carried out a major air and land attack on Iran. For eight years, the Iran-Iraq War grew more intense, until the U.S. accidentally downed an Iranian plane, killing 290 passengers. Three factors contributed to this war: (1) territorial dispute, (2) religious disputes between Islamic moderates and fundamentalists, and more importantly, (3) a personality conflict (also known as ego-mania) between Saddam Hussein, Iraqs president, and Ayatollah Khomein, the leader of Iran. During this war, the U.S. began to provide protection to Kuwaiti tankers, and hence, resulted in military conflicts with Iranian speedboats. Indirectly, the U.S. supported Iraqs actions in this war. While the U.S. was busy protecting Kuwait, Kuwait supported Iraq financially by giving it more than $10 billion. At the close of the Iran-Iraq War in 1990, Iraq was eager to pay its international debt. But how?Iraqs chief export was petroleum. According to Iraq, Kuwait was providing a surplus of oil in the international community by exceeding it assigned OPEC quota. Furthermore, Iraq accused Kuwait of stealing nearly $24 billion worth of oil from a location straddling their border. With his back against the wall, Saddam Hussein demanded forgiveness of the debt and $13 to $15 billion in reparations. After little progress in two months, Iraq invaded Kuwait. Immediately after the invasion, the U.S. led a coalition of states determined to protect Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The Soviet Union was a part of this coalition. For the first time in history, the two superpowers were cooperating, rather than impeding, the Security Councils peacekeeping actions. Though the U.S. indirectly supported Iraq in the past, the Soviet Union ironically served as Iraqs principal supplier of weapons during the 1970s and 1980s. No...

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