United States intervention and the Gulf War - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Discovery of oil in the Middle East after the Second World War, and in the aftermath of the Cold War, fierce competition ensued between the two Great Powers to expand their regional exploration using oil diplomacy to extend their spheres of influence by mollycoddling the oil-rich countries in general, and the warring countries…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER95.1% of users find it useful
United States intervention and the Gulf War
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "United States intervention and the Gulf War"

United s intervention and the Gulf War Discovery of oil in the Middle East after the Second World War, and in the aftermath of the Cold War, fierce competition ensued between the two Great Powers to expand their regional exploration using oil diplomacy to extend their spheres of influence by mollycoddling the oil-rich countries in general, and the warring countries, foes, and at loggerheads with each other - Iraq and Iran, in particular. With Saudi Arabia as an ally nurtured by President Truman way back in 1947, the U.S in its seemingly hegemonistic pursuits and driven by the vision of global interdependence in respect of oil, backed up by the Nixon’s Twin Pillar Policy of the early seventies, adopted the strategy of “Active and Offshore Balancing” to cultivate the moderates in Iran against Iraq, which, with its communist leanings, was being protected by Soviet Russia. In effect, U. S was attempting to balance against the ‘strongest state’ in the region. While China joined hands with Russia to counterbalance the U.S initiative, the Soviet focus was on checkmating the U. S-supported belligerent Shia Iran against the bellicose Sunni Iraq. Despite the adverse Vietnam experience of the sixties, the U. S initiative failed to visualize a grand, structured and proactive, long-term balance-of-power (BOP) strategy in the Middle East in dealing with both Iran and Iraq, in the period preceding the late seventies. The sequence of bizarre events commencing from November 1979 and thereafter, involving the Khomeini-led Iranian Revolution, seizure of the U. S embassy in Teheran, American hostage crisis in Lebanon, the Iran-Contra affair (supply of arms in exchange of hostages), and the then Shah of Iran being denied medical treatment in the U.S etc. made the Reagan Administration tilt towards Iraq in the early eighties. The need for up gradation of the U. S Military in the Middle East by deployment of RDF got envisioned in Carter’s Security Framework for protection of American interests, thereafter. It was immediately followed up with the Senior Bush-administered U.S policy of “Constructive Engagement”, in which the buzzwords were: “Placate or Confront!” It was then that the American balance-of-threat (BOT) policy came into vogue. It was to the dismay of the U.S. government that even the policy of placating Iraq by political and economic inducements, with a resolve to balance the ‘most threatening state’, did not deter Iraq from mending its ways. The cautious U. S approach of attempting “to cross the bridge, after reaching the bridge” therefore, did little to further their cause of balancing either by BOP or by the BOT strategies. Against the backdrop of the First Persian Gulf War in which Iraq had invaded Iran, supported by Arab countries and Kuwait in particular, the long standing territorial disputes between Iraq and Kuwait with implications of ownership of oil reserves and Kuwaiti sovereignty came to the fore in the nineties. Non-cooperation to U. N mandated sanctions apart, Saddam Hussein in his bid to execute his ambitious program of post-war economic and military reconstruction and to settle scores with Kuwait - deemed a weakling by him on his country’s south side borders, invaded it on the 2nd August 1990. In the absence of a well conceived long term planned strategy to combat the situation, the U.S was left with no other choice other than to adopt an overarching reactive strategy of responding to Saddam Hussein’s threat, by organizing the two short term campaigns, ‘Operation Desert Shield’ and ‘Operation Desert Storm’ respectively, to protect Saudi Arabia from Iraq and to evict the Iraqi military forces from Kuwait, to ensure collective regional security. This U. S policy of “Dual Containment” enunciated by the Clinton Administration and implemented by the elder Bush Administration had harsher overtones to contain both Iraq and Iran, including overthrow of Saddam Hussein, if the situation warranted. Unforeseen circumstances necessitated the intervention of the U.S, leading the war to end on 3rd March 1991, with Iraq agreeing to a cease fire. A closer scrutiny of the policy of American involvement and intervention would reveal that, U.S in effect had barely given any importance to “Planning” to achieve “Foreign Policy goals” in the Middle East. Instead of being in the driver’s seat to control the events, the ground realities virtually controlled their actions on an “as-is-where-is” day-to-day basis. Washington politics and the coalition issues thus got overriding priority, and ‘Planning for Long term Strategies” was relegated to the background, much to the disadvantage of U. S. foreign policy in the Middle East. A golden chance of U. S earning the tag of an “Effective and Reliable Balancing Force” in the Gulf was thus lost. This aspect has been brought out elaborately and very effectively in the John Hopkins University Publication: “Absence of Grand Strategy: The U. S in the Persian Gulf, 1972 – 2005”, authored by Steven. A. Yetiv, Baltimore, MD. The impromptu policies which U. S pursued in the context of the Gulf War have been crisply summarized in the webpage. Bibliography: Yetiv, Steven. A. Absence of Grand Strategy: The United States in the Persian Gulf, 1972 – 2005: Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press, 2008. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“United States intervention and the Gulf War Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(United States Intervention and the Gulf War Essay)
“United States Intervention and the Gulf War Essay”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF United States intervention and the Gulf War

Gulf War

...?Gulf War The Gulf war spanned a few months and involved troops from several countries both in the Arab word and elsewhere. It started when Iraq invaded its neighbour Kuwait claiming Kuwait was illegally using Iraqi oil reserves. Iraq had oil reserves but not enough production to meet its creditors and this issue was aggravated upon an increase in production in oil coupled with a reduction in prices by several other Arab states. On the 2nd of August, 1990, Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait and took over control. The Kuwaitis were subjected to much torture and suffering in the months that followed. Saddam Hussein, the president justified the invasion saying...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

United States and Mexican War

...?United s and Mexican War ‘Our age is … of a different character from the past,’ said the Senator Daniel Webster Society is full of excitement.’ America was going through a boom time. The 1840s saw rapid expansion in the industries. (Feldman, 2004) Some people in America thought the ‘western expansion was their God-given right.’ 2 The United States and Mexico could not agree on the border them. The United States argues that Mexico infantry to attack U.S. soldiers. Some The United States said it was just an excuse to get land claimed by Mexico. Others feared that the practice of slavery spreading the new...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Gulf War

... (HIST 1302) History and Political Science (The Gulf War) 03 June First Section The 1991 Iraq War is one of the most “misunderstood” wars because there were no clear goals on why the United States went to war in the first place. The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq was viewed by most of ordinary American citizens as something that is quite distant to them in terms not only of geographical distance but of its immediacy in terms of a threat to the nation’s oil supply, threat to Mideast peace and the overall geopolitical balance of power. The US military had done away with the war draft and so it is mainly a volunteer army. As such, it relies usually on people who freely and voluntarily join the military service and the people who enter... than that,...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Analysis of United States performance in 1990 Gulf War

...Post, 19 April. Hiro, Dilip, 1992. Desert Shield to Desert Storm: The Second Gulf War. London: Harper-Colins Humanitarian Relief and Foreign Assistance’, Air Force Law Review 37: 225–238. International Law Annual Meeting 96: 85–94. Meek, Colonel Philip A., 1994. ‘Operation Provide Comfort: A Case Study in Mirra Carl. 2006. Conscientious Objection in Operation Desert Storm. Journal of Social Justice, 18:199–205 Murphy, Sean D., 1996. Humanitarian Intervention: The United Nations in an Evolving World Order. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Pro-Con 2011. US-Iraq war...
3 Pages(750 words)Research Paper

The united states after the civil war

... The United s after the Civil War The cost of the Civil War to the United s was massive. The American economy boomed after the Civil war and the country witnessed remarkable economic growth and development (Peacock 11). As a matter of fact, there are only a few nations in the world history that have transformed as rapidly as the United States from a relatively isolated, agrarian, rural, and backward nation into one of the most industrially advanced pluralistic and urban societies in the world. What became apparent during this development is the realization that modernization always extracts heavy price. The United States extracted a heavy price in regard to its natural resources, politics, environment, and landscape. In addition... , this...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

The Gulf War

...Cited Cashman, Greg & Robinson, Leonard. An Introduction to the Cause of War: Patterns of Interstate Conflictfrom World War Ito Iraq. New York: Rowman& Little Field. 2007. Print. Costigan,Sean & Perry, Jake .Cyberspaces And Global Affairs.New York: Ashgate Publishers. 2012. Print. Schwab ,Orrin.The Gulf Wars And The United States: Shaping the Twenty First Century.Psi Reportsa. Preager Security International Reports. New York: Abc-Clio. 2009. Print. Geis, Anna, Harald ,Muller &Niklas Schornig. The Militant Face of Democracy: Liberal Forces for Good. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2013. Print. Macarthur, John.The Selling Off “Free...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Gulf War

...contemporary survey: volume XV, 1991. Boulder, Colo: Westview. 1993. Baird, Jacqueline. Conduct of the persian gulf conflict: an interim report to congress. [S.l.]: Diane Pub Co. 1991. Diehl, Paul F., and Joseph Lepgold. Regional conflict management. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield. 2003. Finlan, Alastair. The Gulf War of 1991. New York: Rosen Pub. 2009. Lewis, Bernard. "RETHINKING THE MIDDLE EAST." Foreign Affairs 71, 4: 99-119. Mearsheimer, John J., and Stephen M. Walt. "AN UNNECESSARY WAR." Foreign Policy no. 2003. 134: 51. Renshon, Stanley Allen. The Political psychology of the Gulf War: leaders, publics, and the process of...
16 Pages(4000 words)Essay

Gulf War

...143730 When Iraq attacked Kuwait on 2nd of August 1990, with 100,000 soldiers, for no convinctingly apparent reason, United s and its allied forces acted quickly and decisively against Iraq and unlike today's Gulf War, it was a war that most of the countries in the world, and in Middle East appreciated, because Iraq's act was seen as pure and naked aggression against the smaller country, an act, which could not be permitted to go further. Not only the oil supply was threatened, but also there was a danger of emboldened Saddam invading the neighbouring countries like Saudi Arabia. Hence, operation 'Desert Shield' was launched with great public support and at that time,...
12 Pages(3000 words)Essay

The United States Civil War

...Why the South Lost The United s Civil War The Civil War was one of the bloodiest wars in that it took more lives than any other war in the United States' history. With such confusion, it divided people - brothers against brothers, families against families - fighting in military forces on opposing sides. The North (Union) fought to prevent a threat to the Union while the South (Confederate) fought for independence and a particular institution, slavery. Historians have long debated on the causes as well as why the South lost the war. Progressive historians stressed that the economic gap between the North...
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay

The gulf war

...Client’s 14 November News channels play a pivotal role in covering a war; CNN has been given much credit for establishing peace and acting like a global actor. The channel also inspired the likes of BBC and others to cover war and give a minute-by-minute update to people who are interested in knowing what is happening across the globe. Reporting plays a huge role in a war, it can easily manipulate the sentiments of people and a huge uproar would be caused should this happen. Media is extremely powerful and it influences the people beyond imagination, even one manipulated story can change the sentiments of the people and a lot of damage can caused because of the same. The...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic United States intervention and the Gulf War for FREE!

Contact Us