During the first two weeks of the air campaign in January 1991, the allies dropped more conventional explosives on Iraq and Kuwait than in the whole of World War II. This book analyzes the complex political-economic motivation and diplomatic manoeuvring that preceded the 42-day conflict. The author shows how Saddam Hussein made a grievous miscalculation by invading Kuwait. Intent on halting the rise of America as the sole superpower in the region, Saddam Hussein succeeded in enhancing Washington's prestige and curtailing Iraq's independence. This book also investigates the historical causes and consequences of the war - and the prospects of stability in a region where the gulf between those that have and have not got oil are as perilously wide as ever.
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The roots of the conflict between Iraq and Kuwait stem from incidents in July 1897 and were exacerbated in June 1961: Both sets of circumstances involved Kuwait securing protection from Britain against the Iraqi government, which was seeking annexation. Following the conclusion of what is more properly known as the First Gulf War (the Iraq-Iran conflict of September 1980 to August 1988, which Hiro analyzed in The Longest War , LJ 2/1/91), a wide variety of domestic, regional, and international events and circumstances led Iraqi president Saddam Hussein into a major miscalculation: the third attempted annexation of Kuwait. Hiro's treatment of the 1990 Desert Shield and Desert Storm operations (collectively called the Second Gulf War) is exhaustive. The maps and illustrative diagrams are useful and easily read. Despite this work's proximity in time to the Second Gulf War, Desert Shield to Desert Storm may well turn out to be the definitive work on this event.
- David P. Snider, Casa Grande P.L., Ariz.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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