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Gulf War 1990 Causes and Consequences

Free «Gulf War 1990 Causes and Consequences» Essay Sample


War is among the most unpleasant issues that occur in the life of individuals. It is facilitated by many difficulties and has numerous consequences. Every country struggles to establish a good relationship with its neighbors as a way of avoiding conflict. United Nation Organization Council applies all possible means to prevent two countries from warring against one another. Despite all the human efforts to avoid war, war occurs leaving behind numerous devastations, as well as some positive development. The Persian war is referred to the operation known as the desert storm that occurred after a UN waged war that happened in the gulf region in 1990 and 1991. It involved thirty-four nations in a UN authorized coalition against Iraq. It was a response after Iraq invaded Kuwait that was against the laws of the international community. There are numerous explanations that led to the start of the conflict. The conflict also resulted to numerous consequences. The paper will address the reasons that led to the beginning of the conflict, as well as the consequences of the 1990 gulf war.

Causes of the 1990 Gulf War

Iran-Iraq War

To discern the 1990 Iraq battle from 2003 battle on Iraq, it should be noted that it is known as the 1st gulf battle. The main reasons of the 1990 war can be trailed back in the history of Iraq, Iran and Kuwait. It implies that a number of countries are responsible for the conflict although some of the contributions occurred many years ago (Graham 203). The main causes can be reflected during the Iran-Iraq war. During the period, Iran was attacking both Iraq and Kuwait. Iran was specifically targeting oil tankers from Kuwait and Iraq. It is an issue that facilitated the coming together of Iraq and Kuwait to fund the war through offering financial aid as a way of ending the war. In the process, Kuwait offered Iraq a credit of fourteen billion American dollars for paying soldiers and buying war materials. Later, Iraq experienced some challenges in paying the loan and started to urge Kuwait to dissolve it. Iraq argued that going into war with Iraq was a favor for Kuwait. Therefore, it should consider eliminating the debt since the two countries enjoyed the advantages of the war. Instead of accepting, Kuwait declined causing conflict between the two countries. The conflict lasted for a year, with the two trying to resolve the matter without success. The Iran-Iraq war is noted to contribute to the 1990 gulf war of 1990 since it is the main cause that destroyed the relationship between Iraq and Kuwait. After their relationship became sour, the actions of Saddam to end the conflict and safeguard the country resulted to the Kuwait invasion that is the last immediate action that facilitated the start of the 1990 gulf war.

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Iraq Debt to Kuwait and Oil Production

After understanding that the debt was bringing the conflict in the region, Iraq requested the associates of OPEC to lessen their oil manufacture. This step implied that if oil production was reduced, the price of crude oil would rise. Therefore, Iraq would increase its income and acquire a chance to clear the debt. After the member countries agreed and reduced their oil production, Kuwait broke the agreement and increased its production causing dissatisfaction to Iraq. It is an issue that sparked a new conflict between Kuwait and Iraq instead of bringing a solution. The conflict increased since Kuwait did not adhere to Iraq’s request and instead doubled its oil production resulting to lack of proper debt payment strategy. It is an issue that marks as one of the possible causes of the 1990 Gulf War. In fact, Iraq was struggling to solve the conflict although paying the debt using the easiest strategies possible. Iraq assumed that although it was a debt, Kuwait would be the beneficiary of the agreement since it would use the money to repay their debt. However, due to historical conflicts between Iraq and Kuwait, Kuwait opted to dishonor the request resulting to a shame to Iraq. It ensued in the conflict since Iraq felt that Kuwait was preventing them from resolving the conflict and opting for the military concept.

Iraq Allegations

Among the issues that caused conflict in the Middle East in the early 1990’s, there are the allegations made by Iraq against Kuwait. Iraq alleged that Kuwait was stealing from them through drilling oil in a diagonal manner. The claim further illustrated that instead of Kuwait mining the oil in their territory, they were penetrating their drills in a diagonal angle to the Lumina oil field that is cross to their border. It is an issue that facilitated Iraq president to station his troops along the border and invade Kuwait in August 1990. During the invasion process, Iraq soldiers set on fire hundreds of oil fields in Kuwait. It is an issue that shocked the rest of the world since the act caused environmental pollution that could affect the globe at large. It caused the start of the conflict since Iraq considered it an action of theft of the natural resources, which implied decapitating their economy.

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Iraq Invading Kuwait

Saddam Hussein deployed his soldiers to invade Kuwait in August 1990. The invasion violated international laws calling for Security Council United Nations to act. In a meeting, the UN Security Council made a speech that the actions of Iraq were based on invalid reason. Therefore, it facilitated economic sanctions in Iraq. Iraq continued to control Kuwait, which is a matter that made the UN introduce resolution 678 that reqired Iraq up to the midnight of January 15th, 1991 to withdraw from Kuwait. Iraq did not withdraw its soldiers from Kuwait, which made the coalition that comprised of 34 countries under the leadership of America start an operation known as DesertStorm that marks the beginning of the 1990 Gulf War.

The Cold War

The cold war also made a contribution towards the starting of the first Persian war. It occurred since, during the cold war, Iraq was one of the closest allies of the Soviet Union. It is a matter that did not please American leaders hence resulting to America speeding up the start of the 1990 Gulf War (Mughal 1001).

International Law

For every organization, institution, city or country to operate, laws need to be enacted to define how every entity should operate. Although there is no global constitution, there are rules that indicate things that every country should not do without restrictions. The international law provides detailed information on how every country should treat its neighbors and the restrictions that should not be violated. The United Nation Security Council is responsible for following up the adherence of the international law by a member state (Knights 20). The fact that Iraq invaded Kuwait without giving the UN enough time to investigate its allegations was against the set procedures that made the UN act accordingly. In addition, the war in Iraq had to be funded by the UN to warn other countries against invading their neighbors, without valid reasons. The UN intervened as a way of protecting the citizens of Kuwait from suffering on the hands of Saddam soldiers. The 1990 conflict started because Iraq did not follow the right procedure while invading Kuwait as required by the United Nations organization.

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Dominance in World Oil Supplies

Oil is one of the most valuable minerals in the earth. It is expensive and scarce in many areas. In fact, it is found in plenty in the Middle East. Most of the nations in the Middle East were rivaling on who is supposed to dominate the oil supplies. For a period, Hussein felt that he was the most influential person in the Middle East who would control oil supplies in the world. However, his ambition was shut down by Kuwait when he urged all the associates of OPEC to reduce oil manufacture and Kuwait declined. It resulted into a war of power, with Saddam Hussein intending to show his power and influence in the region. It is one of the matters that made him invade Kuwait as a way of eliminating opposition in the region. The conflict also started because the world was interested in protecting the Middle East as the main source of oil supply. It was after Iraq invaded Kuwait and burned down oil fields, which could cause instability in the oil market and lead to high prices of oil products that can affect the world at large.

Poor Leadership

It is the responsibility of leaders to introduce the most effective strategies of solving disputes when they arise. Iraq and Kuwait lacked good political leaders who could introduce better strategies of solving conflict, without necessarily resulting to war. Poor leadership skills of Iraq president is the main contribution to the 1990 Gulf War because he opted to use military invasion before trying other methods of solving conflicts that are more effective.

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Consequences of the 1990 Gulf War

The 1990/1991 Gulf War is one of the most recent wars to be witnessed in history. It marks a modern war where modern war equipment is applied and tested. It is a war that had many consequences both positive and negative. The consequences are related to the political, environmental, economic, and social life of Iraq, Kuwait, Middle East, and the world at large. The following are the consequences of the 1990 Gulf War.


After the United Nations Security Council declared a military concept to stop Iraq from invading Kuwait, America together with other 33 countries moved their soldiers and war facilities to the region. The commencing of the operation Desert Storm caused deaths of many Iraq soldiers who were deployed by Saddam in Kuwait and along the border. Soldiers from the allies also suffered the same consequence since a number of them lost their lives. During the operation, the corrateral damage was also reported where innocent civilians accounting of women and children suffered (Cooper et al. 78). The occurrence of death during the war exposed many families to suffering economically, especially when the dead members of the family served as the breadwinners of the family. The war also exposed many children to social challenges after causing death to their parents hence forcing them to grow up without parental love. Along with that, it affected hundreds of people emotionally after losing their loved ones.

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Many veterans who participated in the 1990 Iraq war later suffered from post-traumatic disorder due to experiencing challenging moments during the war. It has also been reported that the veterans are recently suffering from illnesses because they were exposed to toxic chemicals including pesticides, as well as been administered drugs to protect them from nerve gas during the war. It is an issue that is exposing most of the soldiers’ health issues. Soon after the war, many epidemics were reported in the areas where the war was taking place. The epidemics were occurring because the electrical grid was damaged affecting access to water and thus worsening the sanitation condition. It is an issue that contaminated drinking water in the region resulting to diseases outbreak including dysentery and cholera. Unfortunately, most of the facilities were destroyed, which prevented the health and treatment team from operating effectively due to lack of refrigeration, as well as shortage of medical provisions such as drugs.


Before the occurrence of the 1990 Persian war, people living in the Middle East considered one another as brothers. It is evident that the region has people from different ethnic groups. However, the issue of tribalism was rarely heard of, with both citizens of Iraq and citizens of Kuwait working together without discrimination. After the war, a sense of enmity developed among the residents of the region (Knights 20). It came along with a trait of tribalism, with each tribe taking aside. Some of the local communities were supporting the move of Saddam Hussein while others were against it. It is an issue that affected national unity and social development of the region. It is evident that most of the locals were influenced by the West, which was the fact that destroyed the social life of many since some could not get employment on the basis of tribalism.

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The surrounding is among the most important things in human life (Richard et al. 48). The environment determines the climate, availability of food and the eminence of life that one lives. The 1990 Gulf War had a negative impact to the environment. It started when Iraq soldiers set on fire oil fields in Kuwait. As the result, this produced high volumes of carbon dioxide and sulfur gar to the environment. Emission of these poisonous gasses polluted the air, as well as interfered with the growing vegetation. The fire also destroyed trees and other vegetation growing in the region hence affecting the environment negatively. After the onset of the operation Desert Storm, the environment was further polluted since the coalition soldiers utilized war facilities that produce poisonous gases, which polluted the air and vegetation at large. Noise pollution was eminent, as well as water pollution throughout the war.

Restoration of Democracy

Many people associate the 1990 Gulf War with negative consequences. However, it is important to note that the war also had some positive consequences. One of them is the fact that there was restoration of democracy in Kuwait (Cooper et al. 77). When Saddam Hussein attacked Kuwait in August 1990, he intended to bring an end to the democratic leadership of Kuwait and considered Kuwait as a district of Iraq where he practiced dictatorship. One of the results of the war is that the plans of Saddam were ruined, democracy restored, and his further determination of making Kuwait one of his provinces failed. The people of Kuwait were given a new chance to enjoy independence, with no influence from Iraq or any other country.

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A Lesson for Saddam

Saddam Hussein is marked as one of the recent world dictators. He practiced dictatorship in his country and intended to extend his authority in the Middle East. Although he was influential, the 1990 Gulf War served as a warning to him and other dictators to restrict them from extending their dictatorship to other countries. The war enabled world leaders to view the abilities and powers of the United Nations in monitoring the activities of the world rulers.


The Middle East has most of the parts dry, which makes most of the people rely on employment and businesses for survival. The majority of its population work in oil fields either as specialists or as assistants. Others run their businesses both in towns and rural areas. At the commencing of the 1990 war, Iraq soldiers set on fire hundreds of oil fields. The matter exposed many to joblessness since their place of work was no more there. In the process, many businesses were burned down thus exposing businessmen to joblessness. When the operation Desert Storm started, many operating stations and private businessed were closed down resulting to joblessness. Joblessness exposed the residents of both Kuwait and Iraq to financial challenges since they could no longer make money independently. Even after the war, most of the workplaces were destroyed, which was the issue that exposed people to the lack of essential facilities in life.

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Destruction of Property

Before the beginning of the 1990 Gulf War, both Kuwait and Iraq had good infrastructure. There were good road networks connecting different districts, a good railway network, as well as numerous private properties. At the begging of the war, Iraq soldiers destroyed both private and government property in Kuwait. Among them, there were private businesses, private vehicles, houses, and government facilities. They also burned down hundreds of oil fields exposing Kuwait to numerous challenges (Knights 20). When the United Nations funded coalition forces started their operation in Iraq, they destroyed roads, railways, barracks, and other public facilities in Iraq, as well as Kuwait. These were important infrastructure that supported individuals and public development of the citizens in the region.


The 1990 gulf war displaced many people, especially those who were left homeless after their homes were destroyed. Many foreigners as well as locals were left homeless and broken after all their properties were destroyed. They were left as internally displaced people while others moved away from their country and became refugees in the neighboring countries. After the end of the war, the citizens of Iraq who were living in Kuwait could no longer live there since they were ill-treated by the locals.

Negative Impact on the Economy

The 1990 Gulf War is one of the wars that destroyed the economy of the world. The world economy relies on oil and oil products. Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia are among the key sources of oil products worldwide. Therefore, the war affected the economy of the world since, during the war, the oil market was interacted. The wealth of the directly affected countries, especially Kuwait and Iraq, was also negatively affected. There was the lack of food supplies since most of the food stores were destroyed during the war (Graham 203). It made the countries import food from other countries on higher prices resulting to a negative impact on the wealth. The workplaces of many people were destroyed resulting to joblessness. It is a matter that affected government revenue and increased the number of people who relied on relief and government support. The ability of people to buy goods also went down due to joblessness, which also negatively affected the economy. Many banks were frozen while others were looted during the war. Cultural assets and infrastructure was destroyed thus bringing down the economy of the affected countries. Economic sanctions were also put in place to Iraq by the United Nations Security Council after Saddam Hussein refused to remove his soldiers from Kuwait in 1990. The sanctions made Iraq’s economy face numerous negative consequences.

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