Saddam Hussein, Iraq, and the Gulf War


One of the most colossal contemporary wars that has ever happened in the world is the Gulf War. The Gulf War occurred because of the struggle for a small country in the Middle East called Kuwait, which is rich in natural resources, especially petroleum. The state of Kuwait hopes that the oil will be managed independently, but because oil is such a vital need for world countries as the primary source of vehicle fuel and industrial needs, several countries, including Iraq, want to control it.

The Second Gulf War (August 1990–February 1991) was a continuation of the previous war, namely the First Gulf War, which took place in 1980–88. In the first Gulf War, the main actors were Iraq and Iran, while in the second Gulf War, Iraq and Kuwait were the main actors. Even though it only lasted for a short time, around 7 months, the impact was quite large for the Middle East and the world. The Second Gulf War was a continuation of the Cold War, during which the Soviet Union and the United States continuously spread their ideologies to all corners of the world, including the Middle East, so that with the involvement of the two in this Second Gulf War, the Soviet Union and the US became supporters of the actors involved. fight on the battlefield.

Saddam Hussein, Iraq, and the Gulf War


The Second Gulf War involving Iraq and Kuwait was Iraq's second largest war after the Iran-Iraq War, as well as the first war in which the US participated as a full actor. This war involved the US and the UN coalition, and most of the Arab countries moved to help Kuwait against Iraq, such as Yemen, Jordan, and the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization). In this war, the Arab League was split into two camps and gave birth to new conflicts among its members.

The war began when 100,000 Iraqi troops marched south, storming and taking control of the capital. The Second Gulf War was marked by Iraq's invasion of its neighboring country, namely Kuwait in the southeast. The reasons for Iraq's invasion of Kuwait are summarized as follows:

1. The Desire to Control Babiyyan Island and the Oil-Rich Rumailah Area in Kuwait To rebuild Iraq, which had previously been at war with Iran for eight years since 1980, resulting in destruction on both sides Moreover, there is no definite winner between the two. So the occupation of the state of Kuwait is a solution to getting state revenue to rebuild the Iraqi nation. Iraq was also harmed by the reduction of oil quotas by OPEC due to international sanctions against Iraq's invasion of Iran, so that the main oil producers of the Gulf countries were Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. This hit Iraq hard because Iraq relied heavily on oil as its main commodity to reconstruct the damage caused by the war with Iran during the first Gulf War.

2. The inability to pay debts to Kuwait as a result of the Iraq-Iran war cost a lot of money, as Iraq received support from several neighboring countries, one of which was Kuwait, which amounted to 14 billion dollars. Since there was not enough money to pay the debt, this was one of the possible reasons Iraq invaded Kuwait. Including the ability to control the source of oil at the same time. 

3. Saddam Husein Claims Kuwait As His Territory "In justifying his invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, Saddam Husein claimed it was an artificial state carved out of the Iraqi coast by Western colonialists." "In fact, Kuwait had been internationally recognized as a separate entity before Iraq itself was created by Britain under a League of Nations mandate after World War I." One of the reasons Iraq invaded Kuwait was that Iraq claimed Kuwait was part of the Iraqi coast that was "cut off" or separated by Western colonialists. Yet the fact is that Kuwait has been recognized internationally as a separate state, independent of Iraq.

The Iraqi state wishes to control the petroleum in the country of Kuwait; this is very contrary to the Theory of the Welfare State (Mr. Kranenburg), namely that the goal of the state according to this theory is to realize general welfare. In this case, the state is seen as a tool to achieve a common goal, namely, a social order in which there is happiness, prosperity, and social justice for all the people of the country. Based on this theory, Iraq does not respect Kuwait as the owner of petroleum wealth, where the wealth should be for the people of Kuwait.

At first, Saddam Husein thought that the US would not interfere with Iraq's agenda as during the First Persian War, but unexpectedly, the UN and the US demanded that Iraq leave Kuwaiti territory. The President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, also tried to mediate the conflict between Iraq and Kuwait but was not successful in accordance with the theory of conflict, namely the theory of conflict, which was the thought of Karl Marx and which began to spread in the 1950s. This theory aims to analyze the origin. The suggestion is that an incident occurs when a violation of rules or the background of someone who behaves deviantly occurs.

According to Macchiavelli, "The Principle of War," conflict and war are considered the main ways to achieve the national interests of a country. When diplomacy did not produce results, in just one week, the US managed to form a coalition force numbering thousands of troops based in Saudi Arabia. On January 16, 1991, US troops and a coalition under UN authority attacked the Iraqi-occupied Iraqi and Kuwaiti territories through airstrikes.

At this time, the constraints and weaknesses that Iran had were conditions that cornered Iraq; the issue of biological weapons used by Iraq to attack Iranian troops was again rolled out after being completely ignored. Earlier, the Iranian news agency, IRNA, alleged that Iraq had launched another chemical weapon onto the southern battlefield and injured 600 Iranian troops. The chemical weapons are bis-(2-chlorethyl)-sulfide, better known as mustard gas, and ethyl N, N-dimethylphosphoroamidocyanidate, a nerve gas otherwise known as Tabun.

At that time, the US Department of State stated in its report dated March 5, 1984, "There is evidence indicating that Iraq used lethal chemical weapons." However, Rumsfeld, who is in Baghdad, did not discuss the matter despite reports from the US State Department. In contrast, The New York Times in its March 29, 1984 edition from Baghdad reported, "American diplomats expressed their satisfaction with relations between Iraq and the United States and suggested that diplomatic relations be formally restored." This news was again raised to urge Iraq to get support from Iran, but to no avail.

Following that, the US pounded Iraqi troops back into Kuwait for three days, beginning February 23 and ending February 26, 1991. As a result of fatigue from facing an unexpected enemy, coupled with the internal turmoil of the Kurdish Shia rebellion, which heated up, Iraq was increasingly pressured. On February 27, 1991, President George W. Bush ordered a ceasefire in Iraq. On March 3, 1991, Iraq complied with the US mandate by accepting UNSC Resolutions 660, 662, and 674, and the war was declared over.

In an effort to win the second Gulf War, Iraq responded by launching Scud missiles at enemy military installations and directing missiles at Israel with the goal of luring Tel Aviv into joining the war. This was Saddam's tactic to close the coalition between the US and the Arabs. Assuming that if Israel responded to the provocation by sending troops to join the attack on Iraq, the Arab countries would break away from the coalition as a result of the protracted Arab-Israeli war, reducing US strength with the departure of Arab aid, but this strategy failed because the US guaranteed that Israel was safe from Iraqi missile range, so Israel did not heed Iraq's prodding. 

Almost all members of the royal family, including the Emir, Sheikh Jaber Al-Sabah, flew to Saudi Arabia. In less than a week, on August 6, to be precise. Baghdad officially annexes Kuwait and declares it the 19th province of Iraq.

1. Key Causes There are four reasons behind the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait:

a. During the First Persian Gulf War, Iraq spent between
Iraq's economy was experiencing difficulties at the time, requiring loans of up to $ 55 billion from neighboring countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, while Iraq still required $ 230 billion to rebuild Iraq after the first Gulf War.An invasion of Kuwait was expected to reduce debt and provide new economic flows of natural products from Kuwait.
b. Iraq considers Kuwait to be part of Iraq, so it tries to conquer it as a form of Saddam Hussein's ambition to control a weak country in southern Iraq.
c. Border conflicts that never end, where Iraq claims that Kuwait has taken oil illegally into its territory.
d. After the First Persian Gulf War between Iraq and Iran, bilateral relations between Iraq and Kuwait deteriorated. Arab countries, including Kuwait, which helped Iraq during the war, did not receive gratitude from Iraq.

2. International Engagement: Consequences for Iraq and its Allies After losing the war to invade Kuwait, Iraq experienced several consequences that had to be faced, including:
a. Economic sanctions and international trade
b. huge number of victims
c. United Nations disarmament.
d. Encouraged Shiites and ethnic Kurds to rebel for their rights, which Saddam Hussein had restrained.The Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) received verbal support from the US through George W. Bush's radio speech to overthrow Saddam Hussein's government. However On March 28, 1991, Saddam Hussein announced that the Shiite rebels in southern Iraq could be brought under control, followed on March 30 by the Kurdish rebels.

Meanwhile, the alliance parties that support Iraq, such as Yemen and the PLO, are also experiencing difficult times after the defeat of Iraq's war against Kuwait. Relations between Yemen and Saudi Arabia were strained, and the PLO was getting less help from the Arab world to fight for Palestine. The Iraq war agenda has clearly illustrated that neither the US nor the Arab League supported Saddam Hussein's policy of invading Kuwait. This was conveyed at the Cairo Summit in August 1990, with the results of the deliberations agreeing to form security forces to assist the armed forces of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.


The conclusion is that the war between Iraq and Kuwait was entirely based on Saddam Hussein's ambition to control the area of Kuwait that is rich in natural products and to extract economic benefits from this country, as an implication of Iraq's bankruptcy after the first Persian Gulf war. Unlike the previous war, this time Iraq did not get support. What was expected instead was to find old friends, the US and the Arab nations, turning their backs on criticizing and fighting Iraq for its invasion of Kuwait.
From this description, the lesson that can be drawn from the perspective of military strategy is that in the second Gulf War, the military strategy implemented by Saddam Husen was Saddam Husen's desire to control Kuwait with Iraq's claim to Kuwait, which, according to Iraq, was a part of its country.

Meanwhile, from a leadership standpoint, Saddam Husen's dictatorial leadership, like most other dictators around the world, exhibits one characteristic of dictatorships: paranoia or excessive fear due to extraordinary self-centeredness.What's there to be afraid of? namely, the fear of not being loved by his people.

Saddam Husein used repressive methods in managing his country and did not even hesitate to take cruel steps to eradicate those who were opposed to him. such as executing Iraq's Shia leader, Imam Baqir Al-Sadr, because he was accused of importing Iran's Islamic Revolution. Even though the Shia community in Iraq is around 57%, Saddam Husein doesn't care because he is afraid that he will be overthrown like in Iran. Then the conflict with the Kurds in the North also added to the problems for the internal unity of Iraq under Saddam Hussein. so that it can be ascertained that domestic problems have made Saddam Husein's dictatorship fragile. So a normal situation is one that must be avoided because the people can focus on the dictatorship of Saddam Husein and the rebellion efforts will get bigger.

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