War in the Gulf, 1990-1991: The Iraqi-Kuwait Conflict and It's Implications: Views from the Other Side.
Majid Khadduri Majid Khadduri (September 27 1909 — January 25, 2007) was an Iraqi–born founder of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies Middle East Studies program. and Edmund Ghareeb. New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of : Oxford University Press, 1997. 300 pp. Hardcover $35.00.
Reviewed by Ayad Al-Qazzaz
The first casualty of war is the truth. The Gulf War is an example par excellence of this point. Countless books and articles on the Gulf War have been published. Most, unfortunately, lack either objectivity or scholarship. Many were published by organizations associated directly or indirectly with the U.S. government, such as the CIA CIA: see Central Intelligence Agency.
(1) (Confidentiality Integrity Authentication) The three important concerns with regards to information security. Encryption is used to provide confidentiality (privacy, secrecy). and the Peace institute, by the Israeli lobby such as the Washington Institute Washington Institute may mean
The book is divided into four parts of which each is divided into several chapters. Part one deals with the origins of the Gulf War, part two discusses the immediate causes of the Gulf War, part three talks about the stages of the Gulf War, and part four spells out who was responsible for the Gulf War. The authors' basic premise is that it takes two to tango. Hussein's outrageous action of invading Kuwait was the main and immediate cause of the Gulf War. On the other hand, Kuwait's uncompromising refusal to settle the border dispute with Iraq, with the tacit support and encouragement of England and the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , contributed significantly to the Gulf War. The book charts in meticulous detail the historical events that underlined the tension between Iraq and Kuwait. The book presents a number of key points and insights. Only twelve of them will be outlined in this short review.
1. The genesis of the Gulf War goes back to 1923, when Percy Cox, the British High Commissioner in Baghdad, accepted a proposal submitted by Major More, a British agent in Kuwait, for settling the border dispute between Iraq and Kuwait. By including the islands of Warba and Bubiyan as Kuwaiti, the settlement was based on terms very favorable to Kuwait. Both Cox and More were interested in maintaining the Pax Britannica Pax Britannica (Latin for "the British Peace", modelled after Pax Romana) refers to a period of British imperialism after the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar, which led to a period of overseas British expansionism. . The agreement fashioned by the two Britons left Iraq with a Gulf coastline of less than forty miles. Most of that is made up of alluvial al·lu·vi·al
Of, relating to, or found in alluvium: alluvial soil; alluvial gold.
of or relating to alluvium
Noun mud, unsuitable for the construction of maritime port facilities. Iraq's access to the Gulf is only through the Shatt al-Arab Shatt al-Arab
River, southeastern Iraq, formed by the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. It flows southeastward for 120 mi (193 km) and passes the Iraqi port of Al-Basrah and the Iranian port of Abadan before emptying into the Persian Gulf. River, which it shares with Iran. In recent years, with an increase in imports and exports, this access has become increasingly inadequate for the country's commercial needs and requirements. The agreement with Kuwait has never been ratified rat·i·fy
tr.v. rat·i·fied, rat·i·fy·ing, rat·i·fies
To approve and give formal sanction to; confirm. See Synonyms at approve. by the Iraqi government, and it has become a bone of contention a subject of contention or dispute.
See also: Bone between the two countries.
2. The constant changes and instabilities in the Iraqi political system contributed to keeping alive the border dispute. Consequently, Iraq has weakened its position by submitting different proposals each time the two sides have met at the negotiating table. Alternatively, Kuwait's relatively stable government has made it possible for it to stand firm and to submit the same proposal for the border settlement over and over again. Kuwait refuses to compromise or to accommodate Iraq's needs on the grounds that any concession would lead to more demands. Furthermore, by promising help if needed, Britain has encouraged Kuwait to stand firm.
3. The Iraqi-Iranian War exhausted and weakened the Iraqi economy with Iraq owing debts of $80 billion to Arab and Western countries after the war. Iraq was unable to persuade Arab Gulf countries to contribute substantial amounts of funds for reconstruction. Therefore, the country was forced to rely on its own income from oil. However, income from oil was shrinking due to dropping oil prices, which on occasion dropped to $18 per barrel. The main barrier to higher prices was overproduction o·ver·pro·duce
tr.v. o·ver·pro·duced, o·ver·pro·duc·ing, o·ver·pro·duc·es
To produce in excess of need or demand.
o by the Gulf countries, particularly Kuwait. Kuwait stubbornly refused to go along with a proposal to cut its own production and to raise the price to over $20 per barrel. Both Britain and the United States encouraged Kuwait to stand firm against Iraq, promising their support against any Iraqi threat. Thus, the invasion of Kuwait The Invasion of Kuwait, also known as the Iraq-Kuwait War, was a major conflict between the Republic of Iraq and the State of Kuwait which resulted in the 7 month long Iraqi occupation of Kuwait was one of the consequences of the Iraqi-Iranian war.
5. The Gulf War started on 16 January 1991 and officially ended on 28 February 1991 (forty-two days). The United States and its allies flew over 100,000 sorties which dropped 88,500 tons of bombs, the largest amount in that time flame in the history of warfare. The Gulf War was a testing ground Noun 1. testing ground - a region resembling a laboratory inasmuch as it offers opportunities for observation and practice and experimentation; "the new nation is a testing ground for socioeconomic theories"; "Pakistan is a laboratory for studying the use of American of new weapons such as new anti-personnel, Tomahawk tomahawk [from an Algonquian dialect of Virginia], hatchet generally used by Native North Americans as a hand weapon and as a missile. The earliest tomahawks were made of stone, with one edge or two edges sharpened (sometimes the stone was globe shaped). cruise missiles cruise missile, low-flying, continuously powered offensive missile designed to evade defense systems. Although the German V-1 (1944) was a simple cruise missile, the cruise missile did not realize its potential until the 1970s, when the United States sought to , and many others. Between 80,000 to 200,000 Iraqis were killed and many more were wounded or died as a result of delayed war effects. The war also devastated dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. the Iraqi economy. The Arab Monetary Fund
The Arab Monetary Fund is a Regional Arab Organization, Founded 1976, and has started operations in 1977, it is a working sub-organization to the Arab League. reported in April 1993 that the Gulf war had cost Iraq over $256 billion. The purpose of the war was not only the expulsion of Iraq from Kuwait as announced, but also to destroy Iraq's industrial capacity and its extensive infrastructure. This would deter and prevent Iraq from playing a regional role in the area in the near future; a role that might not be compatible with U.S. interests and its allies in the Gulf.
6. The authors, on numerous occasions, have asserted that the United States has manipulated the United Nations and has not allowed the U.N. to discharge its duties properly. For example, the Arab League Arab League, popular name for the League of Arab States, formed in 1945 in an attempt to give political expression to the Arab nations. was not given an opportunity to resolve the crisis prior to the war. This seems inconsistent with the U.N. charter, which empowered regional organizations to deal with all such matters as appropriate for regional actions. See Article 52 of the Charter.
7. The authors raise a very interesting and important point regarding United Nations Resolution 678 which the United States used to justify its military action. The authors indicate that China, a permanent member, abstained. This therefore raised the question as to whether this resolution was valid under the Charter. Article 27(3) indicates that the abstention ABSTENTION, French law. This is the tacit renunciation by an heir of a succession Merl. Rep. h.t. of one permanent member of the Security Council will not fulfill the requirement as stated in the text of the Charter. The abstention of one or more member means that the resolution will no longer be binding.
8. The responsibility of the Gulf War falls on many shoulders. Hussein's regime bears a prime responsibility for pursuing the wrong method, in asserting by force, otherwise legitimate territorial claims. Kuwait shares part of the blame. The negative and inflexible attitude it took toward the border dispute with Iraq contributed to the Gulf War. Kuwait rejected all Iraqi proposals, including the modest request to meet its essential requirements for trade and security. Britain also bears enormous responsibility. It arbitrarily demarcated the border between Iraq and Kuwait in 1923 in favor of Kuwait. It then encouraged Kuwait not to compromise and to stand firm in the border dispute with Iraq. Britain seems to have decided that its imperial interest in the Gulf would be better served by Kuwait rather than Iraq. The Bush Administration was also partly to blame by not warning Iraq that resorting to force would be a matter of great concern. To the contrary, in meeting with Hussein, the American Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie April Catherine Glaspie (born April 26, 1942) is an American diplomat, best-known for her role in the events leading up to the Persian Gulf War of 1991. Biography , gave him the impression that the U.S. had no opinion on a conflict between the two countries, i.e., a border dispute between Iraq and Kuwait. Last but not least, regional organizations such as the Arab League and the Islamic Conference failed to act promptly to resolve the conflict. Both operate under cumbersome bureaucracies which, coupled with disunity dis·u·ni·ty
n. pl. dis·u·ni·ties
Lack of unity.
Noun 1. disunity - lack of unity (usually resulting from dissension) and dissention, impeded their ability to resolve the problem.
9. Two important upshots in the aftermath of the Gulf War were the popular uprisings of the Muslim Shi'i in southern Iraq and the Kurds in the north. The uprising in the south failed for several reasons: it was spontaneous and was not the result of a well-planned action: it also lacked alternative vision or a political program. More importantly, it lacked leaders from inside the country who could be alternatives to Hussein. The Kurdish situation was somewhat different. They gained control over the major part of Iraqi Kurdistan Noun 1. Iraqi Kurdistan - the part of Kurdistan that is in northwestern Iraq
Al-Iraq, Irak, Iraq, Republic of Iraq - a republic in the Middle East in western Asia; the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia was in the area now known as Iraq and established an entity short of independence under Western protection. However, personal rivalries exacerbated by interference and manipulation of external supporters, undermined the credibility of the Kurdish leaders at home and abroad.
The U.N. Security Council settled the border dispute between Iraq and Kuwait in favor of the latter, without much consideration for Iraq's legitimate concerns and needs. Iraq protested, but to no avail. The demarcation confirmed that the rich oil field of south Rumayla and the two islands of Warba and Bubiyan fell within Kuwait's border. Also, it gave Kuwait the southern part of Umm Qaser, which had been under Iraqi jurisdiction before the war. The authors' opinion is "that the frontier between the states will be of continuous trouble as long as it has not been settled by agreement freely reached between them." In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently , what the Security Council did was a sure recipe for further trouble between the two countries.
11. The pundits and experts of the region, as well as Western and American officials, predicted the immediate downfall of Hussein in the aftermath of the Gulf War. Contrary to these predictions, Hussein's regime survived and outlasted many of the players of the Gulf War like Bush, Thatcher Thatch·er , Margaret Hilda. Baroness. Born 1925.
British Conservative politician who served as prime minister (1979-1990). Her administration was marked by anti-inflationary measures, a brief war in the Falkland Islands (1982), and the passage of a , and Major. Hussein's durability and survival are due to several factors. Among these are: (1) his brutal elimination of opposition groups through countless secret agencies. (2) his strength compared to that of non-unified opposition groups. There are currently no unified opposition groups. There are more than sixty opposition groups operating mostly abroad, all of which suffer from splintering and rivalry. These consist of varieties of ethnic and religious groups such as Muslim Shi'i, Kurds, Turkoman, and Assyrians, as well as Communists, Islamists, secularists, panArabist parties, and many independent figures. Most of the leaders of these opposition groups live abroad and are unknown to most Iraqis. (3) Last but not least has been Hussein's ability to manipulate the sanctions by blaming and accusing western powers of deliberately seeking to divide the country, destroy its weapons, and weaken its capacity to play its role in the region works to his advantage.
12. The authors conclude by saying that the Gulf war was not inevitable. Had Western powers been patient in dealing with Arab leaders, or had the Arab leaders acted more quickly before the wheels of Western intervention rolled, the crisis might have been resolved by peaceful means.
The book suffers from some minor problems, of which four will be noted here. The most important one is that there is no systematic discussion of Hussein's personality, the general characteristics of his profile, and his decision-making processes Presented below is a list of topics on decision-making and decision-making processes:
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tr.v. o·ver·es·ti·mat·ed, o·ver·es·ti·mat·ing, o·ver·es·ti·mates
1. To estimate too highly.
2. To esteem too greatly. his own power and to underestimate the power of his external enemies. One example is the Iraqi-Iranian war. He thought the war was going to be short and speedy, with a quick victory. Instead, it turned into a monstrosity monstrosity
1. great congenital deformity.
2. a monster or teratism. that lasted eight years and had immeasurable consequences. Iraq paid heavily in lives and wealth. Thousands of Iraqis were killed and wounded and the country was left with a debt-burdened economy. One might think Hussein had learned a lesson and would not allow himself to be trapped in another war. But his invasion of Kuwait shows the same characteristics of overestimating his power and underestimating the power of his external enemies.
Another problem that should have been addressed is the impact of the sanctions on Iraq. Although the sanctions were discussed throughout the book they merited more focus. One thing the authors could have done was to reprint reprint An individually bound copy of an article in a journal or science communication United Nations reports on the impact the sanctions were having on the Iraqi people. Most of these reports are not easily accessible to the general public.
The authors also fail to deal with issues of the United States' intentions about what to do with Hussein during and after the war. There is an abundance of credible evidence that suggests, while the U.S. publicly wanted him out of power, privately it pursued a policy of keeping Hussein weak and confined rather than eliminated. Having Hussein in power better serves American interests. He is a "villain" that can be blamed for all of the troubles of the area. The U.S. can and does use him to frighten fright·en
v. fright·ened, fright·en·ing, fright·ens
1. To fill with fear; alarm.
2. the Gulf countries, particularly Kuwait. As a result they accept and tolerate a continued U.S. military presence in the area. Furthermore, the U.S. can sell arms to the wealthy Gulf countries thereby bolstering its own industrial military complex. Hussein can be used to justify the high investment in the American armed forces. Also, having Hussein in power absolves the U.S. from its moral and ethical responsibilities for the reconstruction of Iraq Reconstruction of Iraq describes attempts by the international community, and particularly the United States, to improve and repair the infrastructure of Iraq in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion. .
Lastly, the U.S. wants to keep the sanctions in tact to box in Hussein and to prevent Iraq from entering the oil market. The current price of oil on the international scene is low, often at less than $15 per barrel. If Iraq reenters the oil market, it will lead to a further decline in oil prices. This will affect the economies of U.S. Gulf allies and the economy of Alaska, Texas, and other states. Another problem which needed more attention was why Hussein decided to invade the entire country of Kuwait rather than just the disputed area.
These shortcomings A shortcoming is a character flaw.
Shortcomings may also be:
Ayad Al-Qazzaz is a professor of sociology at California State University, Sacramento California State University, Sacramento, more commonly referred to as Sacramento State or Sac State, is a public university located in the city of Sacramento, California, USA. It is part of the California State University system. .