The Gulf War - Kuwait

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The Gulf War - Kuwait

Saddam Hussein found himself in a tight spot and a quick take-over of Kuwait, his neighbor to the south seemed like a good solution to his problems.

Kuwait was a small country that, like Iraq, had once been part of the Ottoman Empire, then a British Protectorate. When that small country had been granted its independence, its borders had been set in an arbitrary manner, the borders are not readily defensible and the population is not necessarily cohesive. The country was ruled by an Emir of the al-Sabah family.

Like much of the Persian Gulf region, most of the country's revenues derived from the oil industry. The population was small, about 1.9 million, and its military was not a factor in regional politics.

Kuwait was in many ways an irritant to Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Besides lowering oil prices (thus cutting into Iraqi oil revenues), Kuwait had committed the unforgivable sin of loaning Iraq considerable sums during the Iran/Iraq war. Iraq claimed to have saved the entire region from the Iranian steam roller in the 1980's and deserved special consideration amounting to renegotiating or even cancelling the debt. Kuwait refused.

During late July of 1990 Saddam built up his military forces on the border with Kuwait. At 1:00 a.m. on 02 August, three Iraqi divisions of the elite Republican Guard rolled over the border. Resistance was nearly non-existent. The Guard reached the outskirts of the capital, Kuwait City, a mere four and a half hours later. The frontal assault was supported by an airborne special forces division attack directly on Kuwait City itself. See map.

Saddam proclaimed his annexation of Kuwait, built up his forces, and waited to see what the world would say and do about his fait acompli.

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For an excellent first hand account of the war, read Rick Francona on the Gulf War

Richard S. Lowry has procuced an excellent chronicle of the war. Read our review!

Check out other books about Iraq and the Gulf War!

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