Gulf War 1990 Causes and Effects


Gulf War 1990 Causes and Effects


  • The Gulf War actually started when Iraq was at war with Iran. During this war Iran was not only attacking Iraq but also attacking oil tankers from Kuwait at sea too. To support the ending of the war Kuwait financially aided Iraq by lending the country 14 Billion US Dollars. Iraq tried to convince Kuwait to dissolve the debt as Iraq had done Kuwait a favour by being at war with Iran, Kuwait declined and this caused a rift between the two countries.
  • Next Iraq started alleging that Kuwait was drilling in a diagonal manner into Iraq oil field territory over the border; this would mean that Kuwait was stealing Iraq’s oil.
  • Saddam Hussein decided that he had no other option but military might so he stationed 100,000 troops on the border and in early August invaded Kuwait. As the Iraqi forces invaded and took over Kuwait they set fire to hundreds of Kuwaiti oil fields on the way.


  • Most of the economic costs were incurred by Iraq. Losses in military equipment alone totaled over $50 billion. The cost of the war to the United States was calculated by the U.S. Congress to be $61.1 billion.
  • Over 1,000 Kuwaiti civilians were killed by Iraqis. More than 600 Kuwaitis went missing during Iraq's occupation.
  • 146 American soldiers died and 47 British soldiers.
  • On 23 January, Iraq dumped 400 million US gallons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf, causing the largest offshore oil spill in history at that time.
  • The Kuwaiti oil fires were caused by the Iraqi military setting fire to 700 oil wells as part of a scorched earth policy while retreating from Kuwait in 1991 after conquering the country but being driven out by Coalition forces. The fires started in January and February 1991 and the last one was extinguished by November 1991.

Overall summary


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