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ISN: The Second Gulf War (1990-1991)

Author: Kenneth Estes
July 23, 2007



Curiously enshrouded with more even doubts
because of its successor campaign of 2003, the
Gulf War of 1990-1991 between Iraq and a USled
international coalition organized under UN
auspices decisively settled the issue of Iraq's
seizure of Kuwait on August 2, 1991. It inaugurated
the permanent introduction of US ground and air
forces into a region previously frequented only by
its naval forces. In the process, US foreign policy
became more entangled with the relations and
problems of the Islamic states of this region than
ever before.
Known in neighboring states as the Second Gulf
War, the 1990-1991 Gulf War draws some origins
from the Iraq-Iraq War of 1980-1988 (the First Gulf
War), which began similarly with a surprise attack by
Iraqi forces on the orders of Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein. He seized the opportunity in the aftermath
of the 1979 Iranian Revolution for a quick military
strike that would settle various border issues and
prevent Iraq's large Shi'ia Muslim population from
rallying behind Iranian fundamentalism. The war
went badly and consumed much treasure and blood
on both sides, each resorting to chemical weapons
to avert military collapse. In July 1988 both sides
ceased hostilities.

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