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Iraq's financial struggles during this time were often blamed on neighboring countries as a way to deflect criticism from Saddam Hussein.
After asking Kuwait to forgive the debt and Kuwait refusing this request, Hussein began to start various diplomatic spats with their neighbor.
Kuwait had begun to produce what Hussein felt was too much petroleum, creating a dent in his country's profit from oil due to an increased supply.
Hussein also accused Kuwait of slant-drilling oil from Iraqi land, blaming them for stealing Iraqi national resources, which to him, amounted to a declaration of war.
All of these factors lead to the decision to invade Kuwait. The United Nations swiftly condemned Iraq's invasion of a sovereign nation and issued economic sanctions as well as a resolution denouncing the actions of Hussein and calling for a withdrawal.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. January Retrieved 22 December Retrieved 15 August Archived from the original on 25 February Retrieved 25 January Retrieved 12 November Retrieved 15 September New York: Alfred A.
Knopf, p. Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the U. Security Council on the U. Retrieved 16 October Retrieved 30 September Government Publishing Office.
Mission Accomplished? Appendix A. Bill Clinton. Iraq also looked to increase arms production so as to become an exporter, although the success of these projects was also restrained by Iraq's obligations; in Iraq, resentment to OPEC's controls mounted.
Iraq's relations with its Arab neighbors, particularly Egypt, were degraded by mounting violence in Iraq against expatriate groups, who were well-employed during the war, by unemployed Iraqis, among them demobilized soldiers.
These events drew little notice outside the Arab world because of fast-moving events directly related to the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe.
However, the US did begin to condemn Iraq's human rights record, including the well-known use of torture. In early July , Iraq complained about Kuwait's behavior, such as not respecting their quota, and openly threatened to take military action.
Saddam immediately used funding to incorporate central intelligence into Syria and ultimately prevented the impending air strike.
They are inspired by America to undermine Arab interests and security. So what can it mean when America says it will now protect its friends? It can only mean prejudice against Iraq.
This stance plus maneuvers and statements which have been made has encouraged the UAE and Kuwait to disregard Iraqi rights If you use pressure, we will deploy pressure and force.
We know that you can harm us although we do not threaten you. But we too can harm you. Everyone can cause harm according to their ability and their size.
We cannot come all the way to you in the United States, but individual Arabs may reach you We do not place America among the enemies. We place it where we want our friends to be and we try to be friends.
But repeated American statements last year made it apparent that America did not regard us as friends. I know you need funds. We understand that and our opinion is that you should have the opportunity to rebuild your country.
But we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait Frankly, we can only see that you have deployed massive troops in the south.
Normally that would not be any of our business. But when this happens in the context of what you said on your national day, then when we read the details in the two letters of the Foreign Minister, then when we see the Iraqi point of view that the measures taken by the UAE and Kuwait is, in the final analysis, parallel to military aggression against Iraq, then it would be reasonable for me to be concerned.
Saddam stated that he would attempt last-ditch negotiations with the Kuwaitis but Iraq "would not accept death. According to Glaspie's own account, she stated in reference to the precise border between Kuwait and Iraq, " Before the invasion, the Kuwaiti military was believed to have numbered 16, men, arranged into three armored, one mechanised infantry and one under-strength artillery brigade.
By , at the end of the Iran—Iraq war, the Iraqi Army was the world's fourth largest army, consisting of , standing soldiers and , paramilitary forces in the Popular Army.
Iraqi commandos infiltrated the Kuwaiti border first to prepare for the major units, which began the attack at midnight.
The Iraqi attack had two prongs, with the primary attack force driving south straight for Kuwait City down the main highway, and a supporting attack force entering Kuwait farther west, but then turning and driving east, cutting off Kuwait City from the country's southern half.
The commander of a Kuwaiti armored battalion, 35th Armoured Brigade , deployed them against the Iraqi attack and conducted a robust defense at the Battle of the Bridges near Al Jahra , west of Kuwait City.
A few combat sorties were flown against Iraqi ground forces. The main Iraqi thrust into Kuwait City was conducted by commandos deployed by helicopters and boats to attack the city from the sea, while other divisions seized the airports and two airbases.
Within 12 hours, most resistance had ended within Kuwait, and the royal family had fled, allowing Iraq to control most of Kuwait. The Emir and key ministers fled south along the highway for refuge in Saudi Arabia.
Iraqi ground forces consolidated their control of Kuwait City, then headed south and redeployed along the Saudi border. After the decisive Iraqi victory, Saddam initially installed a puppet regime known as the " Provisional Government of Free Kuwait " before installing his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid as Kuwait's governor on 8 August.
In response, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah ruled the banknotes as invalid and refused to reimburse stolen notes, which became worthless because of a UN embargo.
After the conflict ended, many of the stolen banknotes made their way back into circulation. Today, the stolen banknotes are a collectible for numismatists.
Kuwaitis founded a local armed resistance movement following the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. A key element of US political, military and energy economic planning occurred in early The Iran—Iraq war had been going on for five years by that time and both sides sustained significant casualties, reaching into the hundreds of thousands.
Within President Ronald Reagan 's National Security Council concern was growing that the war could spread beyond the boundaries of the two belligerents.
It was determined that the conflict would likely spread into Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, but that the United States had little capability to defend the region.
Furthermore, it was determined that a prolonged war in the region would induce much higher oil prices and threaten the fragile recovery of the world economy, which was just beginning to gain momentum.
The full declassified presentation can be seen here:  The conclusions were threefold: first, oil stocks needed to be increased among members of the International Energy Agency and, if necessary, released early if the oil market was disrupted; second, the United States needed to beef up the security of friendly Arab states in the region; and third, an embargo should be placed on sales of military equipment to Iran and Iraq.
The plan was implemented and became the basis for US preparedness to respond to the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait in Within hours of the invasion, Kuwait and US delegations requested a meeting of the UN Security Council , which passed Resolution , condemning the invasion and demanding a withdrawal of Iraqi troops.
On 6 August, Resolution placed economic sanctions on Iraq. It said the "use of measures commensurate to the specific circumstances as may be necessary The US administration had at first been indecisive with an "undertone Once persuaded, US officials insisted on a total Iraqi pullout from Kuwait, without any linkage to other Middle Eastern problems, accepting the British view that any concessions would strengthen Iraqi influence in the region for years to come.
On 12 August , Saddam "propose[d] that all cases of occupation, and those cases that have been portrayed as occupation, in the region, be resolved simultaneously".
Specifically, he called for Israel to withdraw from occupied territories in Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon, Syria to withdraw from Lebanon, and "mutual withdrawals by Iraq and Iran and arrangement for the situation in Kuwait.
Additionally, he requested an "immediate freeze of all boycott and siege decisions" and a general normalization of relations with Iraq.
On 23 August, Saddam appeared on state television with Western hostages to whom he had refused exit visas. In the video, he asks a young British boy, Stuart Lockwood, whether he is getting his milk, and goes on to say, through his interpreter, "We hope your presence as guests here will not be for too long.
Your presence here, and in other places, is meant to prevent the scourge of war. The official communicated to the White House that Iraq would "withdraw from Kuwait and allow foreigners to leave" provided that the UN lifted sanctions, allowed "guaranteed access to the Persian Gulf through the Kuwaiti islands of Bubiyan and Warbah", and allowed Iraq to "gain full control of the Rumaila oil field that extends slightly into Kuwaiti territory".
The proposal also "include[d] offers to negotiate an oil agreement with the United States 'satisfactory to both nations' national security interests,' develop a joint plan 'to alleviate Iraq's economical and financial problems' and 'jointly work on the stability of the gulf.
On 29 November , the Security Council passed Resolution , which gave Iraq until 15 January to withdraw from Kuwait, and empowered states to use "all necessary means" to force Iraq out of Kuwait after the deadline.
In December , Iraq made a proposal to withdraw from Kuwait provided that foreign troops left the region and that an agreement was reached regarding the Palestinian problem and the dismantlement of both Israel's and Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
The White House rejected the proposal. Ultimately, the US and UK stuck to their position that there would be no negotiations until Iraq withdrew from Kuwait and that they should not grant Iraq concessions, lest they give the impression that Iraq benefited from its military campaign.
On 14 January , France proposed that the UN Security Council call for "a rapid and massive withdrawal" from Kuwait along with a statement to Iraq that Council members would bring their "active contribution" to a settlement of the region's other problems, "in particular, of the Arab—Israeli conflict and in particular to the Palestinian problem by convening, at an appropriate moment, an international conference" to assure "the security, stability and development of this region of the world.
One of the West's main concerns was the significant threat Iraq posed to Saudi Arabia. Following Kuwait's conquest, the Iraqi Army was within easy striking distance of Saudi oil fields.
Control of these fields, along with Kuwaiti and Iraqi reserves, would have given Saddam control over the majority of the world's oil reserves.
Iraq also had a number of grievances with Saudi Arabia. The Saudis had backed Iraq in that war, as they feared the influence of Shia Iran's Islamic revolution on its own Shia minority.
After the war, Saddam felt he should not have to repay the loans due to the help he had given the Saudis by fighting Iran.
Soon after his conquest of Kuwait, Saddam began verbally attacking the Saudis. He argued that the US-supported Saudi state was an illegitimate and unworthy guardian of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
He combined the language of the Islamist groups that had recently fought in Afghanistan with the rhetoric Iran had long used to attack the Saudis.
Bush quickly announced that the US would launch a "wholly defensive" mission to prevent Iraq from invading Saudi Arabia, under the codename Operation Desert Shield.
The operation began on 7 August , when US troops were sent to Saudi Arabia, due also to the request of its monarch, King Fahd , who had earlier called for US military assistance.
Military buildup continued from there, eventually reaching , troops, twice the number used in the invasion of Iraq. Much of the material was airlifted or carried to the staging areas via fast sealift ships , allowing a quick buildup.
Resolution , passed on 29 November gave Iraq a withdrawal deadline until 15 January , and authorized "all necessary means to uphold and implement Resolution ", and a diplomatic formulation authorizing the use of force if Iraq failed to comply.
The first stop was Saudi Arabia, which a month before had already granted permission to the United States to use its facilities.
However, Baker believed that Saudi Arabia should assume some of the cost of the military efforts to defend it.
The next day, 7 September, he did just that, and the Emir of Kuwait , displaced in a Sheraton hotel outside his invaded country, easily agreed.
Baker then moved to enter talks with Egypt, whose leadership he considered "the moderate voice of the Middle East".
President Mubarak of Egypt was furious with Saddam for his invasion of Kuwait, and for the fact that Saddam had assured Mubarak that an invasion was not his intention.
Assad had a deep personal enmity towards Saddam, which was defined by the fact that "Saddam had been trying to kill him [Assad] for years.
This was a vital step in ensuring Arab states were represented in the coalition. In exchange, Washington gave Syrian dictator President Hafez al-Assad the green light to wipe out forces opposing Syria's rule in Lebanon and arranged for weapons valued at a billion dollars to be provided to Syria, mostly through Gulf states.
Baker flew to Rome for a brief visit with the Italians in which he was promised the use of some military equipment, before journeying to Germany to meet with American ally Chancellor Kohl.
Although Germany's constitution which was brokered essentially by the United States prohibited military involvement in outside nations, Kohl committed a two billion dollar contribution to the coalition's war effort, as well as further economic and military support of coalition ally Turkey, and the transportation of Egyptian soldiers and ships to the Persian Gulf.
It was the largest coalition since World War II. The Soviet Union condemned Baghdad's aggression against Kuwait, but did not support the United States and allied intervention in Iraq and tried to avert it.
Many of the coalition countries were reluctant to commit military forces. Some felt that the war was an internal Arab affair or did not want to increase US influence in the Middle East.
In the end, however, many nations were persuaded by Iraq's belligerence towards other Arab states, offers of economic aid or debt forgiveness, and threats to withhold aid.
The US and the UN gave several public justifications for involvement in the conflict, the most prominent being the Iraqi violation of Kuwaiti territorial integrity.
In addition, the US moved to support its ally Saudi Arabia, whose importance in the region, and as a key supplier of oil, made it of considerable geopolitical importance.
During a speech in a special joint session of the US Congress given on 11 September , US President George Bush summed up the reasons with the following remarks: "Within three days, , Iraqi troops with tanks had poured into Kuwait and moved south to threaten Saudi Arabia.
It was then that I decided to act to check that aggression. The Pentagon stated that satellite photos showing a buildup of Iraqi forces along the border were this information's source, but this was later alleged to be false.
A reporter for the St. Petersburg Times acquired two commercial Soviet satellite images made at the time, which showed nothing but empty desert.
Other justifications for foreign involvement included Iraq's history of human rights abuses under Saddam. Iraq was also known to possess biological weapons and chemical weapons , which Saddam had used against Iranian troops during the Iran—Iraq War and against his own country's Kurdish population in the Al-Anfal campaign.
Iraq was also known to have a nuclear weapons program, but the report about it from January was partially declassified by the CIA on 26 May Although the Iraqi military committed human rights abuses during the invasion, the alleged incidents that received the most publicity in the US were fabrications of the public relations firm hired by the government of Kuwait to persuade Americans to support military intervention.
Among many other means of influencing US opinion, such as distributing books on Iraqi atrocities to US soldiers deployed in the region, "Free Kuwait" T-shirts and speakers to college campuses, and dozens of video news releases to television stations, the firm arranged for an appearance before a group of members of the US Congress in which a young woman identifying herself as a nurse working in the Kuwait City hospital described Iraqi soldiers pulling babies out of incubators and letting them die on the floor.
The story helped tip both the public and Congress towards a war with Iraq: six Congressmen said the testimony was enough for them to support military action against Iraq and seven Senators referenced the testimony in debate.
The Senate supported the military actions in a 52—47 vote. However, a year after the war, this allegation was revealed to be a fabrication.
The young woman who had testified was found to be a member of Kuwait's Royal Family and the daughter of Kuwait's ambassador to the US.
This prompted a reexamination by Amnesty International , which had originally promoted an account alleging even greater numbers of babies torn from incubators than the original fake testimony.
After finding no evidence to support it, the organization issued a retraction. President Bush then repeated the incubator allegations on television.
In reality, the Iraqi Army did commit various well-documented crimes during its occupation of Kuwait, such as the summary execution without trial of three brothers, after which their bodies were stacked and left to decay in a public street.
The Gulf War began with an extensive aerial bombing campaign on 16 January For 42 consecutive days and nights, the coalition forces subjected Iraq to one of the most intensive air bombardments in military history.
The coalition flew over , sorties , dropping 88, tonnes of bombs,  which widely destroyed military and civilian infrastructure. A day after the deadline set in Resolution , the coalition launched a massive air campaign, which began the general offensive codenamed Operation Desert Storm.
The priority was the destruction of Iraq's Air Force and anti-aircraft facilities. The next targets were command and communication facilities.
Saddam Hussein had closely micromanaged Iraqi forces in the Iran—Iraq War, and initiative at lower levels was discouraged.
Coalition planners hoped that Iraqi resistance would quickly collapse if deprived of command and control. The air campaign's third and largest phase targeted military targets throughout Iraq and Kuwait: Scud missile launchers, weapons research facilities, and naval forces.
About a third of the coalition's air power was devoted to attacking Scuds, some of which were on trucks and therefore difficult to locate.
US and British special operations forces had been covertly inserted into western Iraq to aid in the search for and destruction of Scuds. Iraqi anti-aircraft defenses, including man-portable air-defense systems , were surprisingly ineffective against enemy aircraft, and the coalition suffered only 75 aircraft losses in over , sorties, 44 due to Iraqi action.
When their foreign ministers met in Geneva that July, prospects for peace seemed bright. Two weeks later, however, Saddam Hussein delivered a speech in which he accused neighboring Kuwait of siphoning crude oil from their common border, claiming that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were conspiring to keep oil prices low in an effort to pander to Western oil-buying nations.
Alarmed by these actions, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt initiated negotiations between Iraq and Kuwait, but Hussein broke off the negotiations after only two hours, and on August 2, ordered the invasion of Kuwait.
Harvey, Cpl George N. The USAF special operations units that supplied the rescue attempt's MC elements were awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for both that year and the next, had the initial squadron of nine HH Pave Low helicopters transferred from Military Airlift Command to its jurisdiction for long-range low-level night flying operations, and became co-hosts at its home base of Hurlburt Field with Air Force Special Operations Command.
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