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Saddam Hussein and the US: Origins of the First Gulf War

by Ayers, Jessica

Abstract

In 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded his tiny southern neighbor, Kuwait, and sparked the First Gulf War. The US responded with swift and decisive force—throwing Iraqi forces out of Kuwait in a matter of days. The episode is often remembered merely as a shining example of American military might, but the diplomatic history behind the First Gulf War reveals a much more nuanced story. This essay delves into first the American, then the Iraqi diplomatic perspective in the decade leading up to the First Gulf War, and explores the causes at the root of the conflict. These include failure of American diplomats to give Saddam Hussein agency, and Saddam’s unique political education, which led him to harbor a deep and unshakable mistrust the US. In the run up to the First Gulf War, both sides inadvertently exacerbated the tension between them, building on existing mistrust, and eventually resulting in outright war.

Note

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Includes bibliographical references.

Administrative Notes

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply.
Publisher
Colorado College
PID
coccc:11114
Digital Origin
born digital
Thesis
Senior Thesis -- Colorado College
Thesis Advisor
Monroy, Doug
Department/Program
History
Degree Name
Bachelor of Arts
Degree Type
bachelor
Degree Grantor
Colorado College
Date Issued
2015-05