Gulf War (1991)
Iraq War (2002)
Summarize the situation that brought us into the conflict
Saddam Hussein blamed Kuwait for flooding the world oil market. As a result, Iraq waged “economic war” against Kuwait. In desperation, Kuwait asked for help from the U.S. government. George H. W. Bush was president at the time, and he condemned Iraq’s actions. Congress granted President Bush the authority to declare war on January 12th (“Military”).
After the Gulf War, the UN had established a weapons ban on Iraq to prohibit it from developing any biological or nuclear weapons. After an inspection in 1990, the UN discovered that Iraq had been blatantly disregarding the UN’s restraints. This led President Bill Clinton to bomb military bases in Iraq. Iraq was astonished by the bombing and prohibited any further inspections into the country. Four years later, George W. Bush was elected president in 2002. After the 9/11 attacks and Iraq’s continuous manufacturing and trade of weapons, President Bush decided that disarming Iraq would be his new priority. In 2002, the UN demanded Iraq allow weapon inspections again. Iraq seemed to have agreed, but in 2003 it was revealed Iraq had continued to prohibit inspections. Bush gave Saddam Hussein forty-eight to leave Iraq. When Saddam refused to leave, the U.S. launched an attack on March 20th (“Iraq War”).
Is this a "declared war"?
No, this is not a “declared war.” Congress simply authorized President Bush to make war (“Military”).
No, this is also not a declared war. Congress only authorized the president to make war.
How was Congress and the President involved in the conflict?
After Iraq failed to meet the UN’s demands to withdraw their troops by January 15th, the U.S. Congress gave President Bush the authority to declare war. President Bush himself condemned Iraq’s actions (“Military”).
When Saddam Hussein failed to leave Iraq, President Bush issued an ultimatum. Congress then authorized the president to make war.
How was the conflict resolved, or what was the outcome?
Kuwait and Iraq settled for an agreement of a ceasefire. In this agreement, the Allied forces of Kuwait would remain in the defensive positions of Iraq while the people of Iraq in that area would be able to leave but without taking any supplies. President Bush announced the liberation of Kuwait on March 6th (“Military”).
The conflict was resolved on October in 2011. The U.S. President Barack Obama said he would remove the remaining troops by the end of 2011. On December 15th, the U.S. officially declared the end of its mission (“Iraq War”).
Did the president overstep his authority legally and/or morally?
Legally, President Bush did not overstep his authority. Morally, Bush did not really overstep his authority. He made his decision to help a country from falling into the hands of a dictator.
President Bush did not overstep his authority legally either. He had to ensure that Iraq was not developing weapons of mass destruction. It is debatable whether President Bush overstepped his authority morally by keeping troops in Iraq for so long. Many viewed his decisions as reckless while others believed it was necessary to protect human rights.
What effect did this conflict have on global relations?
After Kuwait, the U.S. still had much respect from the rest of the world. Iraq, however, had lost much respect globally.
Globally, people lost a lot of respect towards the United States because they felt the war was fought under a false pretext.
What effect did this conflict have on the economy?
Right after the war, the economy went down. After President Clinton was elected, the economy started to go up again. The Gulf War, however, it is thought to either have triggered or aggravated a recession (Silk).
After the Iraq War, unemployment rates went up from 4.9% to 9.1%. The stock market went up as well. Gas prices and housing prices went up also (“Investor Pro”).
Any additional information about Presidential popularity or public opinion?
Since the economy had not approved, President Bush was reelected. He had much popularity at first, especially after he had promised no new taxes. After President Bush broke his promise, he did not become as popular.
Initially, people were really happy with the election of President Bush. After his response to 9/11 and his patriotism, people loved Bush even more. Later in the Iraq War, however, people started to lose faith in President Bush and his popularity declined.
Write a paragraph that compares/contrasts the two conflicts you selected. Please go into some depth on the similarities and differences between the two conflicts. (10 points)
The Gulf War and the Iraq War go hand in hand. In both wars the target was essentially Saddam Hussein. In the Gulf War, the conflict was resolved much quicker than in the Iraq War. The Gulf War seemed to have a more legitimate reason for going to war. The Iraq War was a much more drawn out conflict and the reason for war seemed for rush and not as well planned out. The primary concern in both wars was whether or not Iraq was building weapons of mass destruction. The constant resistance towards the weapon inspections aggravated both Bush’s. While the Gulf War conflict did not have many casualties, the Iraq War had many casualties. After both wars, the economy did not do well and it took time for it to recover. Both presidents were received with popular reception at first but began to lose popularity during and after their terms.
"Investor Pro." MSNMoney. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.
"Iraq War (2003-11)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.
"Military.com Resources." Military.com Resources. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.
Silk, Leonard. "Economic Scene; The Broad Impact Of the Gulf War." The New York Times. The New York Times, 16 Aug. 1991. Web. 22 Nov. 2013.