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Gulf War: Why Did The U.S. Intervene

3756 words - 16 pages

Introduction Since the end of the Cold War, the United States' role as international peacekeeper was under fire from the public. If the threat of Communism was no longer a major concern, why should the United States continue to intervene overseas? During the Cold War the United States intervened in numerous wars to prevent a communist country, or a communist-friendly country from overtaking a democratic country. Without this threat, the United States' justification for intervention has become a case by case situation. This paper will study the Persian Gulf conflict, and provide several reasons for intervening.First, and foremost, the issue of oil in the Middle East was a paramount reason for ...view middle of the document...

Using these three theoretical works, this paper will assert whether these philosophers would have believed the United States was justified in their intervention in the Persian Gulf.Background to the Persian Gulf Crisis On August 2nd, 1990 at 1:00 AM three Iraqi armored divisions crossed the border between Iraq and Kuwait. Approximately 80,000 Iraqi soldiers stormed across Kuwait headed directly for Kuwait City. At 1:30 AM Iraqi special operations forces launched a helicopter attack on important government facilities through Kuwait, mostly in Kuwait City. The Kuwaitis were caught entirely off guard by this attack, yet were more baffled when the Iraqis continued their invasion beyond their original land claim. Not until then did the Kuwaitis understand that Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi leader, was intending on occupying all of Kuwait. By 7:00 PM that night the Iraqi forces had secured all of Kuwait, completing their mission in about 18 hours. After the attack on Kuwait, United States President George Bush stated, "I find that the policies and actions of the Government of Iraq constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States and hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat" (Bin 32). Making public statements against the Iraqi allowed Bush to use reserve military forces if need be.There was an outcry in the United States for some type of action against Iraq, but the opinions on exactly what should be done were quite varied. There were proposals ranging from relying on economic sanctions to immediate massive military action. Regardless of the means, the desired end was the same, unconditional withdrawal from Kuwait by the Iraqi forces. On August 5th, 1990 President Bush issued this statement describing the U.S. position, "What's emerging is nobody [the leaders of other countries] seems to be showing up as willing to accept anything less than total withdrawal from Kuwait of the Iraqi forces, and no puppet regime"¦. I view very seriously our determination to reverse this aggression"¦. This will not stand" (Bin 35). On August 8th, the United States deployed troops to Saudi Arabia to prevent Iraqi forces from moving any further through the Persian Gulf. On August 16th, the U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea were ordered to enforce economic sanctions against Iraq, imposed by the United Nations, by preventing any incoming or outgoing ships (Bin 35). After several months of complete economic embargo by virtually every state in the United Nations, it was decided that a new course of action would be needed.Saddam Hussein had increased his troops in Kuwait and did not appear to be wavering from his position of control over Kuwait. President Bush issued this statement on October 23rd, "there can never be compromise, any kind of compromise, with this kind of aggression"¦. These are crimes against humanity"¦ It isn't oil we're concerned about, it is...

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