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Issues of The United Nations as Legitimating Instrument

37). A force was accordingly gathered. and when Iraq did not comply with the Security Council resolutions and withdraw from Kuwait, its army was duly driven out.

In purely military terms this was nearly as much an American war as the current one. The United States provided the great bulk of the forces involved. The coalition acted under the direction of an American general, and US forces spearheaded the air and ground assaults. If the United States had wished to fight the first Gulf War on its own, without United Nations authorization, even without a coalition of allies, it could have done so.

Nevertheless, on a political level the first Gulf War was not an "American war." The coalition involved in Operation Desert Storm involved some thirty member nations. Some had quite small forces; some had very substantial forces. From the Arab world alone, contingents were provided by Egypt, Syria, and several Gulf states, among others, while other major Muslim nations such as Pakistan also provided substantial contingents. From Europe, France and Germany as well as Britain sent powerful forces to participate in Operation Desert Storm. Japan, forbidden by its constitution from sending military forces abroad in combat operations, nevertheless provided other support to the operation, including very extensive financial support. A number of Arab states also provided financial support -- in fact, in the end, almost none of the direct burden of the war fell upon the American taxpayers.

This financial dimension aside, the important and fundamental thing about the first Gulf War is that it was not, in its political dimension, an "American war." It was a global effort. Authorized by United Nations Security Council resolutions, it was carried out by a coalition of nations from within the Middle East region and around the world, including major regional and global powers.

Yes, the United States was an indispensable participant in...

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Issues of The United Nations as Legitimating Instrument. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:25, August 17, 2017, from
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