Kuwait war / Gulf War

By : Hania M. 7th period

At about 2 a.m. local time, Iraqi forces invade Kuwait, Iraq’s tiny, oil-rich neighbor. Kuwait’s defense forces were rapidly overwhelmed, and those that were not destroyed retreated to Saudi Arabia. The emir of Kuwait, his family, and other government leaders fled to Saudi Arabia, and within hours Kuwait City had been captured and the Iraqis had established a provincial government. By annexing Kuwait, Iraq gained control of 20 percent of the world’s oil reserves and, for the first time, a substantial coastline on the Persian Gulf. The same day, the United Nations Security Council unanimously denounced the invasion and demanded Iraq’s immediate withdrawal from Kuwait. On August 6, the Security Council imposed a worldwide ban on trade with Iraq.

Cause of the Kuwait War

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion and occupation of neighboring Kuwait in early August 1990. Alarmed by these actions, fellow Arab powers such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt called on the United States and other Western nations to intervene.

Important Leaders

Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
George H. W. Bush
Dick Cheney
Colin Powell
Norman Schwarzkopf
Charles Horner
Frederick Franks
Calvin Waller
John A. Warden III
Margaret Thatcher
Important opposition leaders:Saddam Hussein
Ali Hassan al-Majid
Salah Aboud Mahmoud
Hussein Kamel al-Majid
This was a unique war in American history in terms of its effect on the budget and the economy, both because it was fought out of inventories and because America's allies paid for the war, at least in the short run. Indeed, the United States made a "profit" on the war during the fiscal year 1991.

Operation Desert Shield

On August 7,1990, President George Herbert Walker Bush orders the organization of Operation Desert Shield in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. The order prepared American troops to become part of an international coalition in the war against Iraq that would be launched as Operation Desert Storm on January 16-17,1991. To support Operation Desert Shield, Bush authorized a dramatic increase in U.S. troops and resources in the Persian Gulf.

Operation Desert Storm

Operation Desert Storm was a war waged by coalition forces from 34 nations led by the United States against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.

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This picture above shows how people were trying to stop oil from gushing out because of the damage Iraq had done to the oil wells.


President Bush's decision to liberate Kuwait was an enormous political and military gamble. The Iraqi army, the world's fourth largest, was equipped with Exocet missiles, top-of-the-line Soviet T-72 tanks, and long-range artillery capable of firing nerve gas. But after a month of allied bombing, the coalition forces had achieved air supremacy; had destroyed thousands of Iraqi tanks and artillery pieces, supply routes and communications lines, and command-and-control bunkers; plus, had limited Iraq's ability to produce nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. Iraqi troop morale suffered so badly under the bombing that an estimated 30 percent of Baghdad's forces deserted before the ground campaign started.
Iraq had one of the largest militaries in the world and was among the world leaders in tanks. They entered the war with 4,280 tanks but lost 3,700 of them in just days. Most of the tank kills were from aircraft like the A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog) and AH-64 Apache. Iraq also lost 2,400 of 2,870 other armored vehicles like BMPs and armored anti-aircraft batteries.

Air Attacks

By mid-February, the coalition forces had shifted the force of there air attacks Iraqi grounds to Kuwait.
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Even though Iraq had always claimed Kuwait part of its territory, they had seized and took control of Kuwait in 48 hours.

Saddam Hussein

The picture below is the President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein.
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United Nation

The Amir of Kuwait at the time, Sheikh Jaber Al-Sabah pleaded to the United Nation for help.
Within hours of the initial invasion, the Kuwaiti and United States of America delegations requested a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, which passed Resolution 660, condemning the invasion and demanding a withdrawal of Iraqi troops. On August 3, the Arab League passed its own resolution condemning the invasion and demanding a withdrawal of Iraqi troops. The Arab League resolution also called for a solution to the conflict from within the Arab League, and warned against foreign intervention. On August 6, the Security Council passed Resolution 661, placing economic sanctions on Iraq.
The U.S. Department of Defense estimated the cost of the Gulf War at $61 billion.
United Nations authorizes use of force after January 15, 1991.
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Affect on the U.S.

The Persian war has left a long standing effect on many nations especially the US. The losses for the US have been the maximum ever with an estimated financial expenditure of $150 million per day to support the soldiers, loss of lives at an estimated 2,300 and injuries to approximately 17,000 soldiers.
The United States went through a number of different public justifications for their involvement in the conflict. The first reasons given were the importance of oil to the American economy and the United States' longstanding friendly relationship with Saudi Arabia . However, some Americans were dissatisfied with these explanations and "No Blood For Oil" became a rallying cry for domestic peace activists, though opposition never reached the size of opposition to the Vietnam War. Later justifications for the war included Iraq's history of human rights abuses under President Saddam Hussein, the potential that Iraq may develop nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction.

President Bush

On August 6, 1990, President Bush dramatically declared, "This aggression will not stand." With Iraqi forces poised near the Saudi Arabian border, the Bush administration dispatched 180,000 troops to protect the Saudi kingdom. In a sharp departure from American foreign policy during the Reagan presidency, Bush also organized an international coalition against Iraq. He convinced Turkey and Syria to close Iraqi oil pipelines, won Soviet support for an arms embargo, and established a multi-national army to protect Saudi Arabia. In the United Nations, the administration succeeded in persuading the Security Council to adopt a series of resolutions condemning the Iraqi invasion, demanding restoration of the Kuwaiti government, and imposing an economic blockade.

Oil Production

After the loss of Iraqi and Kuwaiti supplies, oil prices initially soared from a pre-invasion average price around $18 a barrel to slightly above $40 by the late fall. But they fell back to roughly $21, as greater shipments came in from other producers, and world oil demand lagged.
Fires of Kuwait IMAX 720p


With Iraqi resistance nearing collapse, Bush declared a ceasefire on February 27, ending the Persian Gulf War.Kuwait was finally liberated! According to the peace terms that Hussein subsequently accepted, Iraq would recognize Kuwait’s sovereignty and get rid of all its weapons of mass destruction (including nuclear, biological and chemical weapons). In all, an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 Iraqi forces were killed, in comparison with only 300 coalition troops.
Although the ground war ended on February 27th, the official end of the war was April 11, 1991 when the United Nations declared an end to hostilities. Iraq signed the cease-fire agreement on April 6, 1991. However, hostilities would occasionally erupt as Iraq challenged no-fly zones above their country.

After the War

Aftermath of the Persian Gulf War. Though the Gulf War was recognized as a decisive victory for the coalition, Kuwait and Iraq suffered enormous damage, and Saddam Hussein was not forced from power.


There were 292 deaths. However, only 147 were related to enemy actions. 145 deaths were listed under non-battle related deaths. The casualty list increased up to 383 fatalities, most of them due to illness and friendly fire.