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In what ways, and for what reasons, did the U.S. contribute to the coalition effort during the 1990-1991 Gulf War?


At night between the 1-st and the 2-nd of August, 1990 military powers of Iraq invaded the territory of the independent state Kuwait under pretence of defense of their economic interests. The territory of Kuwait is only 20,2 thousands km?, its population is about 1,7 million people, the capital is Al Kuwait. Basic riches of country are oil. It gives 92% of national income of the state. According to some data, the recourses of Kuwaiti oil contain 9 milliards of tons.
The political and propagandist campaign of blackmail and threats were preceded by the aggressive action of Iraq concerning Kuwait, which was prosecuted for “stealing” of oil, mined on its territory, and for intentional overstating of oil prices with the purpose of economic injury of Iraq. Tore Kjeilen wrote the following in Encyclopedia of the Orient:
There were tensions over the rights of underground oil
resources along the border, with respect to which Iraq
claimed that Kuwait was depleting resources that
territorially were on Iraqi side of the border.
120-thousandth grouping of the Iraq army, overcoming the resistance of the Kuwaiti army, consisting of 20 300 persons, occupied all of territory of Kuwait by the end of Augusts, 2.
The armed action of Iraq was blamed at once by the world public. The president of the USA named it perfidious, and next day after the beginning of military operations the United States Congress approved the president’s decision about the application of strict economic sanctions against Iraq. The USA tore fully the economic connections with an aggressor and was ready to go on any measures, directed to the defense of its interests in the area of the Persian Gulf. The president hoped that these sanctions could change the policy of Iraq and force them to call off the troops from Kuwait.
On August, 10 political and economic sanctions against Iraq were approved and universal support of the USA policy was expressed on the special session of advice of NATO. All the participants of the session declared a willingness to contribute to the conflict settlement.
On August, 6 the President of the USA made a decision about transference of a large contingent of military powers to the district of conflict after the origin of the real insecurity in Saudi Arabia near Kuwait. Especially the most meaningful reason was that Iraq can take under control 10% world daily booty of oil at once with the capture of Kuwait, and in the case of annexation of Saudi Arabia this number can be increased twice. The countries of NATO expressed readiness to send their military contingents to the district of conflict at the instance of Saudi Arabia.
One more statement was also announced on a session, which read about actions of Iraq against Turkey that would be examined as encroachment upon an ally of the NATO block. At the end of August in the framework of NATO a coordinating center was formed for the analysis of situation in the area of the Persian Gulf. On September, 9, on the conference of representatives of military powers of the USA, NATO and Arabic states the districts of blockade actions were specified for each of countries of anti-Iraq coalition. So, the basic action districts of the USA naval forces were the Red sea, Omani and Persian Gulfs, and eastern part of Mediterranean Sea.
The control after a foreign navigation was laid on blockade forces for the observance of UNO Security Council resolution (August, 6, 1990) about economic sanctions against Iraq.
Not later than Augusts, 23 all of participating in a blockade of Iraq and Kuwait coasts forces united in an operative group, more than 7 thousand of ships were intercepted, 860 of them were examined, and 32 returned back by the end of battle actions.
Realizing the projects and plans, Americans and their allies in a period from August, 7, 1990 for January, 1991 conducted an operation under the code name “Desert Shield”. During this operation in the area of the Persian Gulf the most powerful group of army and forces of fleet from times of Vietnamese war were created. An operation was conducted in the compressed terms and was a practical verification of plans of strategic transfers of forces from the USA and countries of NATO to the Near East.
During the operation “Desert Shield” allies continued not only to intensify their forces and facilities, but also to transfer fuel, food, medicines, spare parts on the seat of war.
In addition to transportations by a sea, the considerable volume of military loads was delivered on the seat of war by air during the operation “Free wind”.
Thus, as a result of the carefully planned and well organized operation “Desert Shield” countries of anti-Iraq coalition at the head of the USA were managed to create the powerful group of different types of military powers and prepare it for conducting a large-scale military operation in the shortest possible time.
The grouping of naval forces of 14 countries of the allied anti-Iraq coalition contained more than 170 thousand of people, 145 battle ships and more than 50 auxiliary ships, including 6 multi-purpose aircraft-carriers, 2 linear ships, 8 atomic multi-purpose submarine boats and so on. More than 20 ships of this amount were the transmitters of the winged rockets “Tomahawk” (about 500 rockets).
In the operative force construction of united naval forces possibility of the battle affecting of Iraq was provided from three main directions - from the Persian bay, northern part of the Red sea and eastern part of Mediterranean Sea. The impact of the united fleet was also enabled in the Persian Gulf. The basis of this group was made up by aircraft shock formation (“Zulu”), two rocket masses of manoeuvre and landing forces.
The group of Iraq military powers contained over 700 thousand of people(42 divisions of ground forces), who had more than 5 thousand of tanks, more than 8 thousand of instruments of the field artillery and mortars, 700 battle airplanes and about 60 battle ships and cutters, including those that were usurped in Kuwait. The quantity of naval forces personnel was about 5 thousand of people.
Military-political guidance of Iraq, using the experience of 8-years-old war with Iran, prepared for the reflection of attack within the limits of the possibilities. Camouflage masking measures were conducted in wide scales, including the use of the beforehand prepared false objects and radio networks, dispersal fields, starting and fire positions, for tanks trenches were dug and other shelters were erected. On the whole advantage was on the side of the USA and their allies on judging by battle possibilities and quality of armament and live ammunitions.
The USA political aims of the operation “Desert Storm” consisted in liberation of Kuwait and returning power to the legal government, renewal of stability in the region of the Persian Gulf; consolidation of principles of the “new world order”, the replacement of the ruling personnel in Iraq and its political course. The soldiery aims of operation consisted in elimination of military potential of Iraq, threatening with its land power to Israel and some countries of the Near east; in deprivation of possibility to produce nuclear, chemical and biological weapon.
In the operation “Desert Storm”, beginning from January, 17, the battle use of multinational forces was foreseen within the framework of “air-ground-marine campaign”, including conducting air offensive operation, airily-surface offensive operation and marine landing operation. The project of this campaign implied: conducting of air offensive operation by the massed shots of the winged rockets and aviation on military and industrial objectives on territory of Iraq and Kuwait on the first stage, liberation of Kuwait by the forces of land forces and marines with the direct support of aviation and ships on the second stage; completion of defeat of the ground forces of Iraq on their territory on the third stage. According to a project, the operation “Desert Storm” had to last from a few weeks to 3 - 6 months.
On the first stage of the operation “Desert Storm” it was assumed to carry out radio and electronic suppression and to strike Iraq facilities of air defense, air fields, air-bases, starting positions of operative-tactic rockets, major points of state and military administration, large signal office centers, nuclear and chemical centers with the coordinated shots by a strategic, tactical, topside aviation and winged rockets “Tomahawk”.
Military operations began at 2:30 on January, 17 with a sudden rocket and aviation shots of multinational forces on the military and industrial objects of Iraq. The first rocket-aviation thrust proceeded from 2:30 to 5:00. The objects of the system of air defense, major points of state and military administration, districts of concentration of the Iraq army, signal office centers, aviation on the air fields, starting positions of rockets and nuclear and chemical centers were struck during this time.
On the second day of war air superiority was conquered, strategic bombardments were continued and isolation of the battle district of actions was started.
As a result of rocket-aviation shots multinational forces succeeded to violate the system control of military powers of Iraq on the first stages of air offensive operation. The second stage of operation began on January, 20.
By the middle of February after 30-days of strategic bombardments it was supposed that the petroleum refineries and factories of Iraq had shortened their production to 50 - 90%, the objects of electro energy fell out of action on 25%, military potential was reduced on 50%, about 25% of management organs of Iraq military powers and their vehicle for communication were destroyed it is destroyed completely, and 50% of them were damaged. However, management of military powers, as allies thought, was not fully broken.
With the purpose of exception of strengthening of ground forces groups in the southern part of Iraq and on territory of Kuwait, allies began elimination of bridges, temporary bridges, transport ways and storages, especially with combustive-lubricating materials. As a result of aviation shots the transportation of financial facilities was reduced to 10 per cents and more than 125 storages of combustive-lubricating materials were destroyed. At the same time the isolated group of the Iraq force continued to be struck.
In spite of absence of serious counteraction at sea Americans organized all of types of defense of their aircraft striking forces.
For achievement of ultimate goals of the operation “Desert Storm” the command of multinational forces planned a marine landing operation under the code name “Desert Saber” together with air and airily-ground offensive operations.
The encircled Iraq army with a number of half a million soldiers, having lost almost all of military technique, ended all resistance by 8:00 February, 28. Losses of allies including killed, wounded, captive and disappeared soldiers did not exceed 1 thousand of persons.
The row of factors promoted the success of airily-surface offensive operation. So, large-scale and purposeful preparation beginning from an economic blockade, conviction of aggression and power pressure of world association to undoing of military operations preceded it.
Conducting operations “Desert Shield” and “Desert Storm”, the USA and their allies attained their primary goal: they set Kuwait free and also occupied a considerable part of the territory on the south of Iraq. This short and victorious war became the classic standard of application of military force in districts of “vitally important interests” for the USA and allowed to fasten and strengthen their influence in countries of the Near East.
It is rather hard to describe what the real reasons and purpose of USA contribution to the coalition were and why did they start this war. No doubt the main reason is oil and world oil market. It is sited in the Encyclopedia of the Orient:
The most important single argument for war against Iraq
was that neighboring oil producing countries feared that
Saddam’s Iraq could advance on them in the next round, if
Iraq wasn’t stopped in Kuwait.
And that is a clear idea. Besides the United States needs cheap supplies of oil while the main exporters raise the earlier fixed low prices and it is not lucrative for other countries. The article in “The World Wars” about Persian Gulf War asserts:
a cutoff of oil exports from the Middle East would harm
the Western states and perhaps even help the U.S.S.R. as
the world’s largest oil producer.
So, why should they pay more to the USSR?
At that time a lot of people were mostly discordant with this political reason, as a result most of them became the protesters scanning: “No blood for oil.” Though the politicians have another idea:
Secretary Baker said that the conflict was in fact about
jobs. He meant that a cutoff in oil exports might so
damage the world economy as to spark a great depression,
but it came out sounding as if the administration did not
know what it was proposing to fight.
But mostly the people were right. In spite of all military actions and sanctions there is still no peace between those two countries. The USA has allies and Iraq has oil. What country will meet half-way first and when they will come to mutual understanding?


Bibliography
1. Gulf War. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Internet. Available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_War
2. Persian Gulf Wars. The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Internet. Available from http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0838511.html
3. Persian Gulf War 1990-1991. Wars of the World. Internet. Available from http://www.onwar.com/aced/chrono/c1900s/yr90/fpersiangulf1990.htm
4. Tore Kjeilen. Gulf War. Encyclopedia of the Orient. Internet. Available from http://lexicorient.com/e.o/gulfwar.htm
5. Scott B. Lasensky. FRIENDLY RESTRAINT:
U.S.-ISRAEL RELATIONS DURING THE GULF CRISIS OF 1990-1991. Maria Journal. Internet. Available from http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/1999/issue2/jv3n2a3.html

 

 
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