Write a paper (no more than 8 pages, no less than 4),
double-spaced with proper in-text citations and a bibliography on the following
topic:
Mini Case Study on International Crisis In 1990, Iraq
invaded Kuwait, claiming that Kuwait was stealing oil from an oil field that
straddled the Iraq-Kuwait border and that the territory of Kuwait had
historically been a province of Iraq. Iraq quickly overran Kuwait, which was
much smaller and militarily weaker than Iraq. Once Iraq had taken over Kuwait,
it destroyed property records and other important documents, as if to eradicate
the legal vestiges of the Kuwaiti government. Iraq also postured in a way that
was widely viewed as threatening Saudi Arabia, home to the most important oil
fields in the world. In 1991, the United Nations Security Council authorized
military action to evict Iraq, and a multinational force with 34 members soon
evicted Iraq from Kuwait and restored the Kuwaiti government. The League of
Arab States also approved of military action to reverse the invasion of Kuwait;
both Iraq and Kuwait were (and still are) members of the league, and a number
of Arab states participated in the military action. Under the terms of the 1991
ceasefire after the restoration of the Kuwaiti government, Iraq pledged to
dismantle its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs. It was widely
believed that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons. Furthermore, it was
documented by the UN that Iraq had actually used chemical WMDs against Iranian
troops during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s and against a minority population
in Iraq in 1988. In response to Iraq’s noncompliance with the commitments it
made in the 1991 ceasefire, the UN authorized economic sanctions against it.
Despite the sanctions, Iraq continued to defy the UN inspectors who were
responsible for checking on Iraq’s progress in dismantling its WMD programs,
and relations between Iraq and the United States reached a critical level. In
part, this may have been a reaction on the part of the United States to the
September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon. Iraq
had nothing to do with the attacks, but the attacks heightened the concerns of
US leaders about the dangers of nuclear weaponry in the hands of adversaries.
Convinced that Iraq was developing WMDs, the United States raised its concerns
at the UN, but did not request Security Council authorization for military
action against Iraq to enforce the WMD terms of the 1991 ceasefire. UN
authorization may not have been requested because the United States knew that
the Security Council would not authorize the action; five members of the
Security Council have veto power, which is to say any one of them could have
prevented the authorization from being passed. The United States claimed that a
UN authorization was not necessary because the 1991 ceasefire agreement
provided the necessary authority; this view was not widely shared. In 2003, the
United States and several allies (the United Kingdom, Australia, and Poland)
invaded Iraq to enforce the WMD provisions of the ceasefire, but even after
defeating Iraqi military forces, no WMDs were found.
Setting aside your personal views of the Iraq War and its
aftermath of violence, compare and contrast the 1991 and 2003 military actions
with respect to the roles of the United States, the United Nations, and other
states.

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