The Persian Gulf War

Powerful Essays

Wars have been apart of this world almost as long as anything else has. Even in the Bible days there are records of wars. There are many reasons that states choose to go to war. Sometimes it is for the expansion of a nation or state, other times it is for financial gains, and it also could be for security or defense purposes. Whatever the case may be, wars have been apart of human life and will always be. There were no differences when it came to the Persian Gulf War. This war involved the United States, Iraq, and Kuwait. When trying to determine the purpose behind this war I chose to view it from a comparison of both the realist and liberalist views on the war.

The Case

The Persian Gulf War stemmed from tension over long-term border issues and oil possession disputes between Iraq and Kuwait. Iraq had long claimed Kuwait to be part of Iraq. Kuwait was part of the Ottoman Empire until 1899 when it asked for, and received, British protection in return for autonomy in local affairs. In 1961 when Britain granted Kuwait independence, Iraq revived an old claim that Kuwait was rightfully theirs since it had been governed as part of an Ottoman province in southern Iraq. Only after intense global pressure did Iraq recognize Kuwait in 1963, though there still were clashes along the Iraqi - Kuwait border. When Iraq went to war with Iran, Kuwait assisted Iraq with loans and diplomatic backing in hope that this would ease tensions between them and for a while it did. After the Iran - Iraq War ended, the Iraqi government launched a costly program of reconstruction. After Iraq had fallen $80 billion in debt, it demanded that Kuwait forgive its share of the debt and to help them with other payments.
Also at this time, Iraq was claiming that Kuwait was pumping oil from a field that was evenly between the Iraqi - Kuwaiti border and was not sharing the revenue. Iraq also accused Kuwait of producing more oil than was allowed under limits set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), thereby depressing the price of oil, Iraq’s main export. As Iraq’s complaints against Kuwait grew increasingly harsh, Iraq began to mobilize its troops near Kuwaiti border. Kuwait decided not to call on the United States or other non-Arab powers for support. The United States and others agreed not to get involved. Knowing this information, on August 2, 1990, Ira...

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...ves you a total look at the war, with the negatives included. This war from the start was based on the conquest of oil interests by both the United States and Iraq and realism is the only theory that captures the plans of these two states.

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