Presentation on theme: "America at War: 1950-2010 Examining Presidential Decision Making in Crisis Persian Gulf War: Issues and Decisions Jan. 16 to Feb. 27, 1991 Shirley Hammond."— Presentation transcript:
America at War: 1950-2010 Examining Presidential Decision Making in Crisis Persian Gulf War: Issues and Decisions Jan. 16 to Feb. 27, 1991 Shirley Hammond Education Director http://bushlibrary.tamu.edu
Kuwait, A Peaceful Emirate A small nation located at the northwestern end of the Persian Gulf The ruling monarchy of the Al-Sabah family dates from the 1700s when first settled Vast underground oil reserves found in 1930s Kuwaitis have enjoyed a high standard of living including no income tax and benefits of free education, health care as well as social services
Disputes: Territory, Oil, and Money Iraqs territorial claims: Kuwait, two islands, and a border over a rich oil field Of the worlds oil reserves, Iraq claimed 10% versus Kuwait which possessed 11% Saddam Husseins accusations: OPEC exceeded production quotas and lowered prices Iraqs war debt from the 8-year war with Iran created a debt greater than $250 billion dollars and $30 billion was owed to Kuwait which Saddam wanted forgiven August 2, 1990: Iraqi tanks swept into Kuwait City. In two days Iraqi occupied Kuwait. Iraq had the 4 th largest army in the world – 1 million men and 5,700 tanks
U.S. Foreign Policy vs. Iraqi Dilemma U.S. Objectives: Regional stability & access to vast oil resources Problems with Iraq: Repeated human rights violations, threats against Israel (Saddam pledged to incinerate Israel), build-up of weapons and the invasion of Kuwait Now Iraqi forces were poised on the Saudi border. Saddam would control 65% of the worlds oil supply if he overtook Saudi Arabia.
President Bush takes charge Diplomatic, economic and military responses Personal: Forged powerful international coalition and followed international law Directive: Freezing of Iraqi & Kuwaiti assets in the U.S. Order: Aircraft carrier USS Independence to Arabian Sea Internal: National Security Council Members (Gang of 8) Desert Shield operation began in August of 1990 USS Independence
President Bush meets with Gates, Sununu, Cheney, Quayle, Baker, Scowcroft, and Powell – the Gang of 8. 15 Jan 91
Primary Sources Related to Gulf War Message dated September 11, 1990, from Richard Haas of the NSC to Bob Kimmitt at the State Department to be forwarded to the American Embassy in Baghdad Draft of letter from President Bush to his children dated December 31, 1990 Letter from President Bush to Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq dated January 5, 1991. Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz met with Secretary of State James Baker for six hours, read the letter, and refused to deliver it to Saddam Hussein. Statement by Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater on Allied military action in the Persian Gulf delivered on January 16, 1991. Fitzwater considers this the most important speech he ever made. Timeline of Desert Storm from Jan. 16 to Feb. 27, 1991 40 photos from the beginning of the response to the invasion to the celebration following the end of the Gulf War 22 political cartoons from this time