Type: History
Pages: 6 | Words: 1530
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Invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, popularly known as the Iraq-Kuwait War, was a planned war by Iraq that resulted in great losses and destruction in Kuwait. This paper explores the issues that led to the incursion of Kuwait by Iraqi forces and the consequences that this had not only on the economy of this Arab country but also on the livelihood and the citizens of Kuwait (Schwartz 2).

Beginning of the Invasion. In August of 1990, people had been talking in hushed tones over the impending attack that Saddam Hussein and his puppets were planning on Kuwait. There were allegations that Kuwait had no military forces to resist their assault. Everyone was hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. As early as five in the morning, the explosions and big bangs were gradually approaching from a distance. I could also hear jets flying noisily in the airspace. Fighter bombers, air-to-air combats were hovering all over the Kuwait airspace. By midday, the Iraqis were already in control of Kuwait City and the airport (Schwartz 11). Complex assaults and attacks were launched with the support of artillery. The Kuwait defense team was silenced within just few hours into the war.

So fierce was the war that the humanitarian crises that was inevitable in the entire country. With life at stake, the government officials had already taken flight refuge into the other countries living the life of innocent citizens they should defend at stake. The Iraqi military operation team was already certain that the objectives of the attack were not very far from being realized (Schwartz 247).

Reasons for the Invasion. Increase in the Kuwait oil production with the support of the United States aggrieved Iraq. The rise in Kuwait oil production flouted the OPEC oil production quotas for Kuwait (Schwartz 2). Saddam Hussein felt that it was because of this that the price of oil for Iraq registered a decline. This further ruined the Iraqi economy that was already struggling after the war with Iran that left it in $80 debt. There were allegations that in response to this imminent crisis, Iraq warned Kuwait against this development, but instead Kuwait increased its oil production to the detriment of its own economy while harming Iraqi economy even more (Musallam 400).

The dispute over financial debt that Iraq had after its war with Iran was also a trigger for the Iraq-Kuwait war. At the end of its war with Iran, Iraq’s economy was stagnating, and it was unable to repay $14 billion it had borrowed from Kuwait (Schwartz 32). Instead, it requested for the waiver of this debt which Kuwait was reluctant to approve. This caused diplomatic uneasiness between the two countries. This already strained relationship worsened when Iraq claimed about drilling Iraqi oil wells in Rumaila field. However, the slant-drilling claims were dismissed by Kuwait that considered the claims as plots for justifying military action against Kuwait (Musallam 409).

The Iraqi government was also interested in taking control of Kuwait oil wells and fields. They justified this move by alleging that Kuwait had been a part of Iraq before the Imperial British rule. This therefore justified their move to unite Iraq and Kuwait to become one nation. The Iraqi government also argued that their invasion into Kuwait was a move to liberate it from the rule of the Emir (Schwartz 47). This propaganda was spread so successfully that Kuwaitis ended up hating the rule of their Emir. Saddam described the royal family as degenerates, complete parasites and nepotists who ran the country as their own private business enterprise. Many of the Iraqi nationals who fought in the war therefore believed that they were doing so to help Kuwait achieve economic and political freedom (Hamilton 43).

What Saddam Hussein has done in Kuwait. The entry of Saddam Hussein into Kuwait caused more destruction than good. Whereas various reasons were flouted to justify the entry of Iraq into Kuwait, there is consensus that Saddam Hussein was interested in oil wells and large scale economic structures of Kuwait. This attack caused death of approximately 5000 people (Musallam 400). Chemical weapons destroyed lives of innocent people across the Kuwait borders. The attack on Kuwait led to the destruction of the oil infrastructural channels. Gang rapes, molestation and slaughtering of the civilians in Kuwait by the Iraqi soldiers under the instructions of Saddam Hussein were so severe that the human rights bodies from the international community had to intervene.

The Iraqi troops were under instructions to light fire on all the oil wells. As a result, more than 700 oil wells were burned. This caused destruction of more than one billion barrels of crude oil. This destruction also led to air pollution. The massive destruction of oil pipelines, burning of oil wells, environmental disasters that resulted from the attack have been used to interpret the motivation of Iraq in launching the attack against Kuwait (Schwartz 2). There is consensus that this attack was not motivated by genuine reasons but rather resolution by Saddam Hussein to bring down the Kuwait economy so that it is relieved from repaying its debt and in the long term to be in control of the oil wells in Kuwait.

Effects of the Invasion on Kuwaitis. The Iraqi forces managed to overrun the Kuwaiti forces that were ill-prepared for the attack. They managed to occupy our land within four days and claimed it as their 19th province. Saddam Hussein appointed a puppet government to replace the Emir. Alaa Hussein Ali was made the Prime Minister with Ali Hassan al-Majid being the governor of Kuwait. The Iraqi occupation of our land lasted seven months, a period that left Kuwait in a total mess. The Iraqis destroyed everything that had been built in Kuwait. Shopping malls, houses, roads, oil wells, the palace, vehicles among other things were all destroyed or looted during their seven-month occupation of Kuwait. They, for example, set ablaze 70% of the 1000 oil wells of Kuwait (Schwartz 71).

Most of the Kuwaitis that were trapped by the insurgents faced murder, torture, rape and other inhumane things. These sorrowful events also affected Kuwaitis mentally. This destruction resulted in many people losing their jobs too. The economy of Kuwait was thus left in shambles after the attacks. The populace who escaped into Saudi Arabia and those evacuated have never resettled back into Kuwait (Amiri and Soltani 34). Women and children in Kuwait suffered greatly given that the men had already been trapped by the Iraqi soldiers. Mass slaughter, gang raping and untold human right violations left people traumatized.

Personal Experiences with the War. Personally, the war affected me both physically and mentally. We lost all our property as well as our relatives and friends. I had never witnessed such lethal invasion and torturous attack on humanity before. Memories of my close cousin that I lost during the war still remain clear. He was shot dead as he tried to escape when others were running for their lives. This was a great loss for me since he was my closest friend. By this time, all hope was gone. So catastrophic was the entire country that no productive and economic activities could go on. The economy of the oil rich country simply came down. The consequences of this attack still have a bearing in family, especially because it made my dad lose his job that we relied on for our livelihood. From this fatal event, my dad has never gotten a stable job given the destruction that happened to the economy. The oil trading companies where my dad worked in the Gulf Region were all burned to ashes.

For some time, we thought that everything would be well with the civilians. However, as the war intensified, more and more lives were lost. As a result, there was a humanitarian crisis in the entire country with so many people displaced and sleeping in colds after their usual residences were totally destroyed. No place was left secure. Many people were air-lighted through humanitarian intervention to neighboring Arab lands, which were not secure either. This was the most terrifying and traumatizing moment in my life. We lost our business that dad had struggled to put up, our car was burnt. The house was torched leaving us displaced in our own country. Consequently, my family had to relocate to the United States which was the only safe place by this time. The greatest losses we suffered as a family have left me personally traumatized at the sound of gunshot and airplanes. Kuwait has since never regained its economic strength it had before this invasion.


The invasion of Iraq into Kuwait left the country’s economy and infrastructure destroyed. Motivated by the need to contain the economy of Kuwait by gaining access to its oil resources, Iraq made its threat to invade Kuwait real, perhaps to divert attention of the Kuwait government from the debts that Iraqi government secured during its war with Iran. It is only with the intervention of the international community that Iraq forces left Kuwait. The civilians suffered great human right violations in the hands of the Iraqi soldiers. These events caused us loses and we had to migrate from our country and settle in the United States.

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