What Was Operation Desert Storm?

In August 2, 1990, the Iraqi army conducted a 2-day campaign to annex Kuwait and claim natural resources and land for Iraq. The initial operation was a resounding success and the Iraqi armed forces occupied the entire neighboring country by bypassing most of the Kuwaiti army. The invasion led to the seven-month Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, and many from the country fled to Saudi Arabia or Bahrain. The invasion was expensive for the Kuwaiti army, losing 4,200 troops on the battlefield and some 12,000 were captured by the invading Iraqi army which suffered fewer losses in comparison. Kuwait has also been declared “19th Province of Iraq” by the dictator Saddam Hussein.

Hussein, the Iraqi leader at that time, and his country had recently come to the end of an expensive and bloody war with Iran and had accumulated huge debts from Kuwait during this time of war. Kuwait has tried to curb the influence of a revolutionary Islamic state like Iran and has agreed to finance a significant part of the Iraqi war effort in this conflict. It was thought that this debt amounted to USD 14 billion and that the country needed to somehow recover and recover some of this huge debt. Iraqi financial struggles during this time were often blamed in neighboring countries as a way to divert criticism from Saddam Hussein. After asking Kuwait to forgive the debt and Kuwait rejected this request, Saddam Hussein started to start diplomats with his neighbor. Kuwait had begun to produce what Hussein thought was too much oil, creating a dent in his country’s oil profit due to increased supply. Saddam Hussein also accused Kuwait of drilling oil from Iraqi lands, accusing him of stealing Iraqi national resources, which for him constituted a declaration of war. All these factors lead to the decision to invade Kuwait. Saddam Hussein also accused Kuwait of drilling oil from Iraqi lands, accusing him of stealing Iraqi national resources, which for him constituted a declaration of war. All these factors lead to the decision to invade Kuwait. Saddam Hussein also accused Kuwait of drilling oil from Iraqi lands, accusing him of stealing Iraqi national resources, which for him constituted a declaration of war. All these factors lead to the decision to invade Kuwait.

Accumulation and start of Operation Desert Storm

The United Nations promptly condemned the invasion of Iraq by a sovereign nation and issued economic sanctions in addition to a resolution denouncing Saddam’s actions and calling for withdrawal. As discussed above, Iraq has successfully invaded Kuwait and occupied the country for seven months, effectively ignoring the United Nations. This led the United States to lead a military coalition of 39 different countries after the United Nations authorized the use of force in 1990. Before conducting the military operation, the United States built troops in Saudi Arabia to prevent the Iraq to attack another country. In January 1991, the army of the coalition troops in Saudi Arabia had reached 700,000,

To ensure that the Iraqi army was sufficiently weakened before launching the counter-invasion, the Coalition began a vicious aerial bombardment of Iraq and Iraqi forces in Kuwait. The air campaign supported by the Coalition has targeted air defense systems, communication systems, government buildings, oil fields, bridges and Iraq’s vital roads. February 24th, 1991 meant the first day of the land campaign with coalition troops attacking the Iraqi armed forces in Kuwait and also attacking from the border between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. After only three days of campaigning, Kuwait was released and on February 27, 1991, Coalition troops stopped attacking Iraqi forces after learning that they had to comply with the original UN resolution. April 6, 1991, marked the day when Iraq accepted the terms of a ceasefire agreement and the First Gulf War ended formally.

Consequences and cost of the Desert Storm operation

The financial cost of the war for the United States of America has been estimated at 61.1 billion dollars, although most of these have been repaid by other countries. A combined $ 36 billion was paid to the United States by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations. Some of these payments were not monetary but related to service, such as food and transport, while US troops were based in Saudi Arabia. Because US forces represented almost three-quarters of the troops fighting the conflict, the country has absorbed many of the initial costs.

While withdrawing from Kuwait, the Iraqi armed forces promulgated what is known as “scorched earth: politics”, destroying anything of economic value. The Iraqi army subsequently set fire to oil wells 700 in January and February of 1991, and some of these fires did not become extinct until November of the same year. Estimates put losses at around 6 million barrels of oil a day and the $ 1.5 billion of Kuwait paid to extinguish the fires was a huge sum.

The losses on both sides were very different, as the United States had a distinct advantage with their superior air power and technology. The United States and other Coalition troops suffered 190 troops and 776 wounded on the battlefield. The Iraqi army has suffered many, many more victims with numbers ranging from the deaths of 20,000-30,000 and as much as 75,000 injured during Operation Desert Storm. This war was the first conflict to be broadcast live 24 hours a day, and many media scholars maintain that the coverage of the war was similar to that of a video game, effectively desensitizing the public to see live killings and military operations broadcast on news networks.

Some authors argue that the 1991 invasion of Kuwait eventually led to the invasion and occupation of 2003 US Iraq because of the tactics used by Saddam Hussein in the aftermath of the First Gulf War. For example, the Kurdish people in the north and the Shiites in the south of the country saw the opportunity to take advantage of an Iraqi state weakened after the desert storm. The way in which Hussein dealt with these revolts led to further economic sanctions, a no-fly-zone, as well as a brief bombing campaign against Iraq by the United States in 1998.

 

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