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Persian Gulf War
Transcript of Persian Gulf War
Tensions in the Middle East were began to escalate during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988).
Dispute over control of Shatt al-Arab waterway and control of oil shipping in the Persian Gulf. These waterways were key to healthy economies for both nations.
Iraq invaded Iran a few days after closing off the waterway.
The United States was officially neutral in the Iran-Iraq War, but did provide some support to Iraq.
The UN negotiated a cease-fire, neither nation came out as a clear winner.
After the Iran-Iraq War the citizens of Iraq called for greater political freedom because after the war such a strong government did not seem necessary.
The Iran-Iraq War
After fighting such a long war and spending so much on weapons, Hussein had a debt-riddled nation.
Most of the country’s wealth from oil had been used to buy weapons for the Iran-Iraq War.
Saddam Hussein contemplated many ways of reconstructing the nation’s financial situation.
Debt After War
Kuwait was sitting on a giant expanse of oil fields, which lead to a very wealthy nation.
All of the nations oil production made it a part of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The organization decided the price of oil.
Iraq owed Kuwait millions of dollars from funding provided during the Iran-Iraq War.
Saddam Hussein repeatedly tried to convince Kuwait to decrease or drop the war debts.
Kuwait became an appealing nation to conquer for Hussein because of the wealth and prosperity that the oil fields brought. By taking over Kuwait, Hussein would have control over 20% of the world’s oil supply.
Iraq attempted to purchase oil lands from Kuwait in the mid 1900s, Kuwait refused to sell the lands, this soured relations between the two countries
Iraq refused to recognize Kuwait as a country and denounced Britain for the creation of a country that cut off “its natural access to the waters of the Arab Gulf”
Iraq was backed by Jordan
Iraq emerged from the war with Iran with a massive war debt
Sought to alleviate this debt by raising oil prices
Planned to do this by restricting production, supply and demand style economics
Went to OPEC nations to try to get them to all to decrease supply
All did except for Kuwait and United Arab Emirates
Iraq took this as a personal attack, the effect of which was compounded with the already bitter relations between the countries and the previous disagreement on selling of lands
Saddam Hussein also accused Kuwait of illegally pumping oil from Iraq’s Rumaila oil field
Iraq invades Kuwait to take the oilfields
The addition of the Kuwaiti oilfields to the Iraqi ones put Iraq in charge of bigger oil reserves than Saudi Arabia
Global prices fluctuate
Over the course of the First Persian Gulf War the price of crude oil rose 93% due to the restricted production of oil
Saudi Arabia stepped up its production to fill the demand and before the war was over prices had returned to prewar levels
In-Depth on Debt
Oil Shifting Hands
• Operation Desert Shield amassed a global coalition of forces to engage Iraqi forces
• Operation Desert Storm was the name of the general military offensive against Iraqi forces, and compromised of other component operations that focused on utilizing different attack strategies to shut down Iraq’s offensive capabilities.
• General Norman Schwarzkopf, also known as “The Bear”, was the commander of coalition forces. Schwarzkopf proved himself to be a great leader and coordinator through the Desert Storm operation that efficiently defeated the Iraqi forces
• The war began with a powerful bombing campaign of Iraqi forces by coalition forces.
• This aerial campaign was know as Operation Instant Thunder, and the aerial campaign began on January 17, 1991.
• U.S. aircraft used included the F-15 fighter jet, the immense B-52 bomber, and the F-111. The use of stealth bombers such as the F-117 gave the coalition a huge technological edge
• Instant Thunder was devised by Lieutenant General Chuck Horner, and was focused on crippling Iraqi’s potential to fight.
• Targets of the bombing campaign were originally command centers of Iraqi forces, Scud missiles, and communication facilities.
• Ultimately, Instant Thunder devastated Iraqi forces exposed in the desert, and also successfully cut off the resupply of Iraqi forces, while simultaneously preventing organization of large scale military operations.
Military Operations and the Air Campaign
•Iraq initially bombarded Israel and Saudi Arabia with Scud missiles, which were Soviet ballistic missiles developed during the Cold War
•Iraq also began laying waste to occupied oil facilities during the war, they would blow the caps of refineries to create the oil fires of Kuwait, and also dumped large amounts of oil into the Gulf
•Iraq initially threatened to use chemical weapons in the war, and although it was not used on a wide scale during the ground campaign, Iraq still made use of nerve gas and military grade insecticides.
•This tactic was taken in order to cut off Iraqi commands from their forces, disabling their ability to communicate and organize military operations.
•Operation Desert Saber was the ground component of the Gulf War
•Desert Sabre began on February 24, 1991
•Desert Sabre tactics were to essentially avoid engaging strong defensive points and eventually envelop Iraqi forces
•Ground forces comprised of battalions of coalition tanks
•American M1 Abrams and British Challenger 1 tanks surpassed Chinese Type 69 and Iraqi T-72 tanks vastly
•Coalition had upper hand in both air and ground campaign
Iraq and the War
• Iraqi forces were already demoralized (success of air campaign, micromanaging of Saddam Hussein, Iraq-Iran war)
• This demoralized status made the ground campaign increase in ease as ground forces pushed further
• Battle of Khafji
• Iraqis invaded and occupied Saudi city Khafji, were driven out two days later by Saudi and Marine forces, with aid of close air support and artillery fire
• By the end, Iraqi forces seemed to be an unsuccessful resistance instead of an organized and formidable military opponent
• Highway 80 also Highway of Death, was a factor in President Bush’s calling for a cessation of hostilities
Hussein’s interference with UN weapons inspectors nearly brought Iraq into another military crisis in early 1998. Through 2001, Iraq continued to challenge the patrols, and British and U.S. planes struck Iraqi missile launch sites and other targets.
Events eventually led to the second gulf war.
Disaster in Iraq
Shiites in southern Iraq rebelled against Saddam Hussein on March 1
Kurds in northern Iraq rebelled on March 5.
Both groups were temporarily victorious, but by March 20 the Shiites were defeated and by April 3 the Kurds were in retreat.
By the middle of April more than a million Kurds had fled attacks by Hussein's forces, on April 17 United States, French, and British troops established a protected zone for Kurdish refugees in north Iraq.
Near the end of the war Iraq had set fire to more than 500 oil wells in Kuwait. The fires continued to burn for months, causing massive air pollution throughout the region.
5In 1994 Iraq continued its efforts to crush internal resistance with an economic embargo of the Kurdish-populated north and a military campaign against Shia rebels in the southern marshlands. The Shias were quickly crushed, but the crisis in the Kurdish region, the conflicts became more extreme and eventually led to a state of civil war.
In August 1996 leaders of the KDP asked Hussein to intervene in the war. He sent at least 30,000 troops into the Kurdish enclave protected by international forces, capturing the PUK stronghold of Irbil. The KDP was quickly installed in power. The United States responded to Hussein’s incursion with two missile strikes against southern Iraq, but the situation remained the same.
In September 1998 the two sides of the Iraqi civil war signed an agreement calling for the establishment of a joint regional government.
Under all the sanctions the Iraqi economic situation worsened and the people didn’t have enough to eat.
• Saddam Hussein in power.
• July 23rd, mass movement of troops.
• Jeddah, Saudi Arabia talks.
• Iraq invades after their demands aren’t met by Kuwait.
• UN passes resolution 660, 661, 665 in response to invasion.
• Hussein responds very well…
• Resolution 678 is agreed on by the UN.
• Further strikes against Saudi Arabia’s oil fields could have been bad.
• Hussein begins to verbally attack Saudi Arabia and does not meet the standards of resolution 678.
• Coalition of 34 countries is formed to liberate Kuwait. (73% of forces were American.)
• Ceasefire is called and Hussein remains in power, crushing rebellions against him.
Calm Before the Storm