Operation Iraqi Freedom

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Operation Iraqi Freedom

On August 2nd, 1990 Iraqi military forces invaded and occupied the small Arab state of Kuwait. The order was given by Iraqi dictatorial president Saddam Hussein. His aim was apparently to take control Kuwait's oil reserves (despite its small size Kuwait is a huge oil producer; it has about 10 per cent of the world's oil reserves ). Iraq accused Kuwait, and also the United Arab Emirates, of breaking agreements that limit oil production in the Middle East. According to Saddam Hussein, this brought down world oil prices severely and caused financial loss of billions of dollars in Iraq's annual revenue.

Saddam Hussein had the nearly hopeless task of justifying the invasion. He plead the fact that Kuwait had been part of the Ottoman province of Basra, a city in the south of Iraq. However, the Ottoman province collapsed after World War I and today's Iraqi borders were not created until then. There was also a further and more obvious blunder in a bid to justify this illegal invasion. Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, had namely recognized Kuwaiti independence in 1963. Furthermore, Hussein claimed that Kuwait had illegally pumped oil from the Iraqi oil field of Rumaila and otherwise conspired to reduce Iraq's essential oil income.

By invading Kuwait, Iraq succeeded in surprising the entire world. The USA ended her policy of accommodating Saddam Hussein, which had existed since the Iran-Iraq war. Negative attitude toward Iraq was soon a worldwide phenomenon. The United Nations Security Council passed 12 resolutions condemning the invasion. The ultimate decision was to use military force if Iraq did not withdraw unconditionally by January 15, 1991. Then, when the deadline was set, it was time to start prepa...

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...representatives accepted allied terms for a provisional truce on March 3 and a permanent cease-fire on April 6. Iraq agreed to pay reparations to Kuwait, reveal the location and extent of its stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and eliminate its weapons of mass destruction. Subsequently, however, UN inspectors complained that the Baghdad government was frustrating their attempts to monitor Iraqi compliance, and UN sanctions against Iraq were kept in place.

The following chart shows total equipment and casualties of the Gulf War. In addition, 300,000 Iraqi soldiers were wounded, 150,000 were deserted, and 60,000 were taken prisoner (an estimate of U. S. Defense Intelligence Agency). The United States suffered 148 killed in action, 458 wounded, and 11 female combat deaths. 121 were killed in nonhostile actions; they were mostly victims of friendly fire.

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