Oil Blossom Former British Protectorate
Kuwait is the southern and eastern neighbor of Iraq, a typical “oil monarchy” of the Persian Gulf. Historical the fate of the Gulf states is very similar - first, the existence as small Bedouin emirates, then the British protectorate, in the second half of the twentieth century - the declaration of independence and a gradual increase in economic well-being due to oil production and export. In the 1762th century, clans of the Bedouin tribe of Anaza settled in Kuwait, which formerly wandered in Nejd (now Saudi Arabia) and Qatar. They formed a new tribe - Banu-Utub. In 1871, the sheikh of the Banu Khalid Sabah settlement became the first emir of Kuwait under the name Sabah I. The Bedouin tribe managed to quickly improve their well-being, since the Banu Khalid settlement occupied a very advantageous geographical position. Soon, the town turned into a large port of the Persian Gulf, launched trade with the Ottoman Empire. One of the main sources of income for the al-Sabah family, which became the ruling dynasty of Kuwait, was the pearl trade. The wealthy emirate attracted the attention of two major powers vying for influence in the Persian Gulf - Great Britain and the Ottoman Empire. Although Kuwait was formally subordinate to the Ottoman Empire, Britain also did not have much influence, since Kuwait traded with neighboring Arab Emirates and collaborated with the British. In 120, the Ottoman Empire, trying to subjugate Kuwait not in a formal, but in a factual sense, launched a military invasion of the territory of the emirate. But it, like the invasion of Iraqi troops 1875 years later, did not succeed - largely because of the position of Great Britain. Nevertheless, in XNUMX Kuwait was included in the Ottoman vilayet of Basra (Basra is a city in the territory of modern Iraq), but British influence in Kuwait continued.
The British Empire’s naval base was deployed in 1897 in Kuwait, despite protests from the Ottoman sultan, who did not decide to bring his own troops into Kuwait, fearing confrontation with the British. Since then, Britain has become the main patron of small Kuwait in foreign policy. 23 January 1899 was signed an agreement according to which the United Kingdom took over the foreign policy and military issues of Kuwait. 27 October 1913, the ruler of Kuwait Mubarak signed an agreement to grant Britain a monopoly to develop oil fields in the emirate, and with 1914 Kuwait received the status of an "independent principality under the British protectorate." The defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War and its subsequent collapse into independent states only contributed to the further strengthening of British positions in the Persian Gulf, and also entailed international recognition of the British protectorate over Kuwait. By the way, in the 1920s, the British protectorate even helped Kuwait survive - after the invention of artificial pearls, the trade in pearls, which had previously been controlled by Arab merchants from the Persian Gulf emirates, fell sharply. The well-being of the commercial ports of the Gulf began to plummet, and Kuwait did not escape the cruel economic crisis. Kuwait did not have oil in small possession at that time, it was still not produced, and Kuwait did not have other items of income comparable to pearl trade. In 1941, after the German attack on the Soviet Union, British military units were deployed in Kuwait and Iraq.
Iraqi appetites and Kuwaiti sovereignty
The soldiers of the British crown remained in Kuwait until 1961, and were withdrawn after 19 June 1961, Kuwait proclaimed political independence. By this time, oil was already being developed in a small country, which ensured rapid economic growth. At the same time, Kuwait remained a “titbit” for neighboring Iraq. Iraq was a superpower compared to Kuwait. After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War and until 1932, Iraq was in the status of a mandated British territory, although in 1921 the country was proclaimed a kingdom. In 1932, Iraq’s political independence was proclaimed, and on July 14, 1958 a revolution occurred in the country. The king, regent and prime minister of Iraq were killed, and power was seized by Colonel Abdel Kerim Kasem, who commanded the 19 th infantry brigade of the Iraqi army. Like many Middle Eastern leaders of the time, Kasem was oriented toward cooperation with the USSR. Already in 1959, the last British soldiers left the territory of Iraq, and Kasim set about developing economic and military ties with the Soviet Union. Thus began the transformation of Iraq into a state of the anti-imperialist camp.
In an effort to turn Iraq into a strong regional power, Kasem did not hide his territorial claims against neighboring states. So, it was Kasem who became the first leader of the Iraqi state who began preparations for the Iran-Iraq war. In particular, Qasim announced Iraq’s claim to the Khorramshahr area, which, according to the Prime Minister, was illegally transferred to Iran by Turkey, and in fact historically represented Iraqi land. When Qasem began, the support of Arab separatists in the Iranian province of Khuzestan began. Of course, the neighboring Kuwait did not avoid territorial claims. The main reason for the territorial claims, in fact, was not even the desire to gain control over the Kuwaiti oil fields - there was enough of its own oil in Iraq, but Iraq’s need for its own port on the Persian Gulf. Being a large and promising economically state, Iraq suffered from a lack of full access to the sea. The waters of the Persian Gulf wash only a very small part of Iraqi territory, but in general, access to the sea is blocked by just Kuwait. Therefore, Iraq has long claimed the inclusion of the emirate in its membership. But before 1961 the plans of the Iraqi nationalists were held back by the British military presence in Kuwait - the political elite of Iraq knew very well that the country could not resist Britain. But as soon as Kuwait was proclaimed an independent state, Iraq was quick to declare its claims to its territory. 25 June 1961, less than a week after the independence of Kuwait, the Prime Minister of Iraq, General Kasem, called Kuwait an integral part of the Iraqi state and is a district in the province of Basra. There were serious fears that the words of the Iraqi Prime Minister would get to the point and move the Kuwait army into Kuwait. Therefore, British troops numbering about 7 thousands of troops were reintroduced into Kuwait. They remained in the country until October 10 1961, when they were replaced by units of the armed forces of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt (then called the United Arab Republic) and Sudan. Since that time, Kuwait has always been under threat of annexation by Iraq. The temporarily verbal attacks by Iraqi leaders on Kuwait ceased after the overthrow and execution of General Qasem in 1963. October 4 1963 Iraq recognized the independence of Kuwait, and Kuwait even provided Iraq with a large cash loan. But already in the 1968 year, after the Ba'ath Party re-took power in Iraq, relations between the two states again became complicated. The Baathists refused to accept the agreement on the recognition of Kuwaiti sovereignty from 4 in October 1963 of the year, regarding the establishment of borders. The fact is that the Iraqi leadership insisted on the transfer to Iraq of the Island of Varba, the northern part of the island of Bubiyan. True, as compensation, Iraq offered Kuwait much larger territories on the southern border. Saddam Hussein, who came to power in Iraq in 1979, even offered to rent the islands of Warba and Bubiyan for a period of 99 years. Among other proposals was a request to allow Iraq to build its pipeline through the Kuwaiti lands. However, Kuwait rejected all offers by Baghdad. It is likely that the refusal of the Kuwaiti government was motivated by pressure from the United States and Great Britain, which feared that Iraq could acquire its own ports or oil pipeline. Repeatedly, conflicts erupted on the Kuwaiti-Iraqi border. In 1973 was There were armed clashes between Iraqi and Kuwaiti troops, and in 1977 Iraq closed the state border with Kuwait. Relative normalization of relations followed in July 1977. In 1980 was Kuwait supported Iraq in the war with Iran (although it was for that reason that the monarch of Kuwait feared the spread of the ideas of the Islamic revolution on the monarchy of the Persian Gulf). The Kuwaiti side of Iraq even provided a large cash loan, since Iraq needed to finance a military campaign against Iraq. It should be noted that during the Iran-Iraq war, Baghdad was supported by the Soviet Union, Western countries, and Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf, including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The Iran-Iraq war lasted eight years and cost both countries tremendous loss of life and economic costs.
The fact is that by 1990, oil prices had fallen significantly, which affected the economic well-being of Iraq. Saddam Hussein blamed the Gulf countries for this, which increased oil production and thereby contributed to lower prices. At the same time, Hussein did not hesitate in expressions and stressed that in the conditions of the economic crisis, an increase in oil production by the countries of the Persian Gulf brings damage to Iraq in the amount of at least a billion dollars a year. In addition, Baghdad owed Kuwait 14 billions of US dollars, and the annexation of this state would allow not to pay the bills. Iraq accused Kuwait of stealing oil from Iraqi fields and of complicity in an international conspiracy against Iraq, initiated by Western countries. As a pretext for making claims against Kuwait, Kuwait’s entry into the Basrah wilayet during the Ottoman rule in Iraq was also used. Saddam Hussein saw Kuwait just as the historical province of Iraq, cut off from it by the British colonialists. At the same time, of course, the Kuwaiti people themselves did not long for the entry of their small country into Iraq, since the standard of living of Kuwaiti citizens was much higher. 18 July 1990, Saddam Hussein accused Kuwait of illegally extracting oil from a border field belonging, in his opinion, to Iraq. From Kuwait, the Iraqi leader demanded compensation in the amount of forgiven Iraqi debt of 14 billion dollars and paying 2,5 billion more dollars "from above". But the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah, did not go to fulfill Iraqi demands. The monarch of Kuwait was counting on help from his British and American allies and hoped that Saddam Hussein would not risk attacking the neighboring state. As it turned out, he was wrong. Soon after Saddam Hussein’s speech, the redeployment of Iraqi ground forces to the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border began. At the same time, Saddam Hussein continued to assure Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was trying to act as a mediator between the two Arab states, that he was ready for a peaceful dialogue with the Emir of Kuwait. However, the 1 of August of 1990 of the year Iraq put forward the obviously impracticable demands on Kuwait, hoping that the emir would pay them off and would really provide billions of dollars to Baghdad. But that did not happen. Sheikh Jaber refused to meet the requirements of his northern neighbor.
The military potential of Iraq and Kuwait on the eve of the conflict was, of course, incomparable. Defense spending occupied a critical place in the Iraqi state budget. By 1990, Iraq possessed one of the largest armies in the world. The country's armed forces amounted to 1 million troops with a total population of Iraq of 19 million. That is, more than every twenty Iraqis were in military service. At the end of July 1990, about 120 thousand troops of the Iraqi army and about 350 were concentrated on the Iraq-Kuwait border tanks. 2 1990 of August in 2.00, the Iraqi army crossed into Kuwait and invaded Kuwaiti territory. Iraqi ground forces moved into the capital of the country in two directions - the main road to Al Kuwait and south to cut off the capital from South Kuwait. At the same time, detachments of the Iraqi marines landed in Kuwait, and Iraqi air forces launched air strikes on the Kuwaiti capital. Iraqi special forces attempted to seize the emir’s palace, having landed from helicopters, but the guard of Sheikh Jaber was able to fight back the Iraqi commando. While the Iraqi and Kuwaiti special forces were fighting, the emir and his inner circle were evacuated by helicopter to Saudi Arabia. Only in the evening of August 2, Iraqi troops managed to take the palace of the emir of Kuwait by storm, but the monarch himself was no longer there. Another major battle took place the same day in Al-Jahra - between parts of the 35 Tank Brigade of Kuwaiti Ground Forces, commanded by Colonel Salem al-Masood, and the Hammurabi Tank Division of the Republican Guard of Iraq. As a result of the battle, 25 of the Iraqi T-72 tanks was destroyed, while the Kuwaiti brigade lost only the 2 of the Chieftain tank. Such high losses for the Iraqi Hammurabi division were due to the surprise attack of the Kuwaiti tank battalion. However, in the end, the 35 of the Kuwaiti brigade still had to retreat to the territory of Saudi Arabia. By 4 August 1990, the entire territory of Kuwait was under the control of the Iraqi army. As a result of a two-day war, 295 Iraqi soldiers died. Kuwait suffered much more serious losses - 4200 killed Kuwaiti soldiers and officers in battles, and 12000 soldiers of the Kuwaiti army were captured. In fact, the Kuwaiti armed forces ceased to exist, with the exception of those units that managed to retreat to Saudi Arabia. 4 1990 of August the creation of the “Provisional Government of Free Kuwait” was announced and the “Republic of Kuwait” was proclaimed. The "Provisional Government" included 9 Kuwaiti officers who joined the Iraqi side. This government, fully controlled by Baghdad, was headed by Lieutenant Alaa Hussein Ali al-Khafaji ad-Jaber. A native of Kuwait, Alaa Hussein Ali was educated in Iraq, where he joined the Ba'ath Party. Returning to Kuwait, he served in the Kuwaiti army and by the time of the invasion of the Iraqi army he had the rank of lieutenant. After moving to Iraq, he led the collaborationist government of Kuwait, 8 August 1990. announced the reunification of Kuwait with Iraq. Alaa Hussein Ali was promoted to colonel of the Iraqi army and appointed deputy prime minister of Iraq. 28 August Kuwait was declared the Saddamia 19 province of Iraq. General Ali Hasan al-Majid (19-1941), a cousin of Saddam Hussein, known by the nickname "Chemical Ali" and renowned for suppressing Kurdish rebels in Northern Iraq, was appointed governor of 2010 province. Ali Hassan al-Majid was considered one of the closest allies of Saddam Hussein and a tough military leader. In October 1990
UN Resolutions and Operation Desert Shield
The reaction of the world community to the annexation of Kuwait followed in the early days of the Iraqi invasion. The American leadership was most worried because there were concerns about the likelihood of Iraqi troops invading Saudi Arabia. 2 August 1990. US President George W. Bush made the decision to send American troops to the Persian Gulf. Delivery embargo imposed on Iraq weaponswhich the next day, August 3 1990, was joined by the Soviet Union. 4 August 1990. China embargo on arms supplies to Iraq. 8 August 1990. US President George W. Bush demanded that Saddam Hussein immediately withdraw his troops from Kuwait - without negotiation and any conditions. On the same day, the transfer of units of the 82-th Airborne Division of the American Army to Saudi Arabia began. On the other hand, Iraq also began preparing for the defense of its territory, building a so-called "Saddam's line" - powerful military fortifications, minefields and tank traps along the border of Kuwait with Saudi Arabia. Note that the Soviet Union, despite being one of the main military partners of Iraq and before the invasion of Kuwait, carried out large-scale arms supplies to the Iraqi army, was forced to join the rest of the countries. The USSR and Iraq were bound to 1972 by the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, while on the territory of Iraq there were about 5 thousands of Soviet citizens - military and civilian specialists and members of their families. It would seem that Moscow should have made all possible efforts to resolve the conflict peacefully and force the United States to abandon plans for military action against Iraq. But the Soviet Union did not succeed in accomplishing this task. On the one hand, the United States and its allies were extremely determined, on the other hand, Saddam Hussein did not want to make concessions and withdraw troops from Kuwaiti territory.
Throughout the fall of 1990, the UN Security Council adopted resolutions on the “Kuwaiti issue,” but Saddam Hussein stubbornly refused to abandon the newly acquired “nineteenth province.” On November 29, 1990, the 12th UN resolution was adopted, which emphasized that if Iraq does not fulfill the requirements of all previous resolutions on the problem, the UN will reserve the right to use all necessary means to resolve the situation. On January 9, 1991, Geneva hosted a meeting between US Secretary of State J. Baker and Iraqi Foreign Minister Tarik Aziz. Baker handed Aziz a letter from Bush Sr. requesting him to leave Kuwait before January 15, 1991. Tariq Aziz refused to accept Bush’s letter, deeming it offensive to Iraq. It became clear that an armed conflict between Iraq and the United States, as well as the states that supported the United States of Europe, Asia and the Middle East, was inevitable. By early January 1991, in the Gulf region were concentrated units, units and units of the armed forces of a number of states that agreed to take part in a likely operation to liberate Kuwait. The total number of Allied forces was about 680 troops. Most of them were members of the US Army - about 000 thousand people. In addition to the United States, impressive military contingents sent: Great Britain - a motorized infantry division, special forces, aviation and naval units, France - units and subunits with a total strength of 18 military personnel, Egypt - about 000 thousand military personnel, including 40 armored divisions, Syria - about 2 thousand military personnel, including an armored division. Also, the military units of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Bangladesh, Australia, Canada, Argentina, Spain, Honduras, Senegal and a number of other states took part in the operation. While American troops were stationed in Saudi Arabia, their operations were officially called Operation Desert Shield.
Desert Storm: Kuwait Freed Four Days
17 January 1991, Operation Desert Storm began. At around 3.00 the night of January 17, coalition forces launched a series of powerful air and missile strikes against key Iraqi military and economic infrastructure facilities. In response, Iraq launched missile strikes on the territories of Saudi Arabia and Israel. At the same time, the American command began to transfer ground units to the western borders of Iraq, and the Iraqi side did not know about the redeployment of enemy troops due to the lack of adequate aviation and radio intelligence. Rocket and air strikes of coalition forces on Iraqi territory continued throughout the second half of January and the first half of February 1991. At the same time, the Soviet Union made a last attempt to organize a meeting of the foreign ministers of the USSR and Iraq A. Immortals and Tariq Aziz in Moscow. 22 February 1991 The Soviet side voiced six truce points - the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait began the day after the cease-fire, the withdrawal of troops was carried out during the 21 day from the whole of Kuwait and 4 days - from the territory of the Kuwaiti capital, released and transferred to the Kuwaiti side all Kuwaiti prisoners of war, control over the ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops is carried out by peacekeeping forces or UN observers. But these points, voiced by Soviet diplomats, were not accepted by the American side. George Bush said that the introduction of preliminary conditions for the withdrawal of troops by Saddam Hussein and so violates the UN Security Council resolution. The United States demanded an immediate withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwaiti territory from 23 February 1991, a week was given to complete the withdrawal of troops. However, Saddam Hussein did not deny the American side his answer. On the morning of February 24, the coalition formations were ready for an offensive along the entire contact line with the Iraqi army, that is, on 1991 kilometers. With the help of helicopters, thousands of 500 soldiers and officers of the US air assault division with equipment and weapons were deployed to Southeastern Iraq with 4. The backbone of the offensive coalition forces were: formations and units of the 101 US Army Corps as part of the 7 and 1 armored, 3 infantry, 1 cavalry (armored) divisions, 1 armored cavalry reconnaissance regiments; 2-I armored division of the army of Great Britain; 1-I armored division of the Syrian army; 9 armored divisions of the army of Egypt.
The coalition forces struck along the “Saddam line” - defensive structures that were built on the border of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. At the same time, air strikes were inflicted on Iraqi positions, as a result of which the Iraqi armed forces, concentrated on the first line of defense, lost up to 75% of their forces. The mass surrender of Iraqi soldiers and officers began almost immediately. Despite the bellicose statements by Saddam Hussein, the defeat of the Iraqi army was an obvious fact. On the night of 25 on 26 February, Saddam Hussein ordered the Iraqi armed forces to retreat to the positions they were stationed before 1 August 1990, that is, before the invasion of Kuwait. 26 February 1991 Field Marshal Saddam Hussein appealed to compatriots. He stated: “Today, our heroic troops will leave Kuwait ... Compatriots, I applaud your victory. You opposed 30 to the countries and the evil they brought here. You, the valiant sons of Iraq, have confronted the whole world. And you won ... Today, special conditions forced the Iraqi army to retreat. We were forced into this by circumstances, including the aggression of the 30 states and their terrible blockade. But hope and determination remained in our hearts and hearts ... How sweet is victory! ” In fact, “victory” was understood to mean defeat — Iraqi troops left Kuwaiti territory.
The day after the speech of Saddam Hussein, on February 27 1991, in Kuwait's capital, Kuwait, the state flag of Kuwait was again hoisted. One more day later, on February 28 of 1991, Saddam Hussein announced a ceasefire. Iraq accepted all UN requirements. On 3 on March 1991, a ceasefire agreement was signed at the Iraqi Safwan air base captured by the coalition forces. From the side of the allies it was signed by the commander of the coalition forces, General Norman Schwarzkopf and the commander of the troops of the Arab states, Prince Khaled bin Sultan, from the Iraqi side - by General Sultan Hashem Ahmed. Thus, the ground part of the military operation to liberate Kuwait was completed in just four days. In addition to the liberation of Kuwait, the forces of the international coalition also occupied 15% of the territory of Iraq. Losses of the coalition amounted to several hundred troops. The most complete statistics exist for the US Army - it lost 298 casualties, of which 147 people accounted for combat losses. Saudi Arabia lost 44 military personnel, Great Britain - 24 military personnel (moreover, 11 of them died during their own mistake), Egypt - 14 military personnel, the UAE - 6 military personnel, Syria - 2 military personnel, France - 2 military personnel. The losses of Iraq, on the contrary, were colossal. Western media called the numbers before 100 000 Iraqi troops killed in aerial missiles and ground operations. Some researchers call smaller numbers - approximately in 20-25 thousand military personnel. In any case, the combat losses of the Iraqi army were many times greater than the losses of coalition forces. The American army captured more than 71 thousand Iraqi troops. In fact, the 42 divisions of the Iraqi army ceased to exist. Iraq suffered tremendous damage in the field of armaments and military equipment. It is known that 319 aircraft were destroyed; another 137 aircraft flew to Iran. 19 ships of the Iraqi Navy were destroyed by air and missile strikes. As for land military equipment, it was destroyed, disabled, and captured by allies from 1800 to 3700 Iraqi tanks. Leaving Kuwait, Iraqi forces set fire to oil wells, firing artillery fire at oil facilities in the Al Jafra area. By the end of February 1991, Iraqi soldiers blew up 100 oil wells per day. Similar actions have not yet been committed in history - all in all, 727 oil wells were set on fire. The fires in oil wells were extinguished after the liberation of the country, more than 10 thousand people from 28 countries of the world took part in their elimination. Ultimately, it took 258 days to eliminate all the fires.
Consequences of the war
In 1994, the government of Saddam Hussein nevertheless agreed to recognize the political sovereignty of Kuwait, although certain territorial claims remained with Iraq to Kuwait even after the recognition of the latter’s state independence. For Iraq itself, the war over Kuwait brought enormous economic losses. Over the next decades, a special UN Compensation Commission monitored Iraq’s compensation payments to injured individuals and legal entities - for a total of $ 52 million. Compensations were deducted from exports of Iraqi oil and oil products. The invasion of Saddam Hussein’s troops into Kuwait led to the growth of Western attention to Iraq. It can be said that it was precisely this step that led to a sharp deterioration in relations between Iraq and Western countries and laid a mine under the regime of Saddam Hussein. If in 1980-s. The West supported the regime of Saddam Hussein in his confrontation with Iran, because he considered him a more acceptable force in the Middle East, then after “Storm in the Desert” the attitude to Saddam changed, and he was forever included by Western propaganda in the list of “war criminals” and “ bloody dictators ". Despite the fact that in 2002 Saddam Hussein officially apologized to Kuwait for the invasion of the Iraqi army in 1990, the Kuwaiti leadership rejected the apology of the Iraqi leader. It was after the events of 1990-1991. Saddam Hussein’s actions were carefully studied and sharply criticized by the West. In particular, Saddam Hussein was accused of organizing the development of weapons of mass destruction, the genocide of the Kurdish and Shiite populations of Iraq, as well as the so-called "swamp Arabs". In 1998, American aviation launched air raids on Iraq as part of Operation Fox in the Desert, and in 2001, US President George W. Bush accused Iraq of supporting international terrorism. The impetus for this event was the September 11 terrorist attack on 2001. In 2003, the United States, with the support of its allies, again launched an armed invasion of Iraq - this time illegal, contrary to international norms and rules.
As a result of the invasion, the Iraq war began, ending in the defeat of the regime of Saddam Hussein and the American occupation of Iraq. Kuwait became a springboard for US troops and the forces of US allies. In 2006, Saddam Hussein was executed by the occupying authorities. After the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the situation in Iraq was greatly destabilized. It can be argued that it was the last American invasion of Iraq that played the main role in the chaos of this country - the actual destruction of its territorial integrity, the split into practically independent and hostile regions. The emergence of the IG (an organization banned in Russia) was also one of the consequences of the overthrow of the regime of Saddam Hussein and the American occupation of Iraq. 18 December 2011 of the last parts of the American troops were withdrawn from Iraq, but the American troops leaving the country left behind a country ravaged by almost nine years of occupation, thrown into the depths of civil war between the opposing factions. Operation Desert Storm was the first example of the massive involvement of US forces and allies in defending their political interests in the Middle East. The United States, their Western and Middle Eastern allies came out in a united front against a common enemy and in the shortest possible time achieved their goal. Perhaps the success of “Storm in the Desert” was associated primarily with the fact that this operation was fair and focused on the liberation of occupied Kuwait. But then, after 12 years after the liberation of Kuwait, American troops acted as an aggressor and invaded Iraq.
Kuwait as an American military base
As for Kuwait, there is still strong anti-Iraqi sentiment in this country. Kuwaiti experts, after counting the damage suffered by Kuwait as a result of the Iraqi attack and adding the national debt of Iraq to Kuwait, announced the figure of 200 billion dollars, which Iraq owes Kuwait. Despite the fact that Saddam Hussein’s regime was overthrown as early as 2003, the Kuwaitis in general are quite cool towards Iraq. Now the fear of destabilizing the situation in the region is being added to this attitude. Iraq is regarded as a source of potential danger, including because the government of Iraq does not control the situation on a large part of its own territory. The Iraqi invasion was an unnecessary argument for Kuwait in favor of the need to modernize and strengthen its own armed forces. The Kuwaiti army was almost destroyed in the very first days after the Iraqi invasion, so after the liberation of Kuwait, the armed forces of the country had to be re-created. As early as the year following the expulsion of the Iraqi 1992 army, the military budget was planned, which was six times the defense expenditure of Kuwait for the pre-war period. Currently, the Kuwaiti armed forces comprise about 15,5 thousand military personnel and include ground forces, air forces, naval forces and the National Guard. Of course, despite the high levels of funding and good technical equipment, in the event of a collision with a serious opponent of the Kuwaiti army, they will have to rely only on the help of larger allies, first of all the United States of America and Great Britain. By the way, a significant part of the servicemen of the Kuwaiti army are foreign specialists invited from Western countries.
But the main defense of Kuwait is still not its own army and foreign mercenaries, but an armed US contingent. Kuwait since Operation Storm in the Desert remains the most important US military base in the Persian Gulf. In total in the Persian Gulf zone - 21 is an American base, of which 6 is in Kuwait. About 130 of thousands of American troops, armored vehicles, airplanes and helicopters are stationed in Kuwait. In addition, the 20-thousandth British military contingent is based in Kuwait. In fact, it was the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait that caused the permanent deployment of American and British troops in that country. For Kuwait, military cooperation with the United States is beneficial, first of all, by the fact that the United States guarantees the security of the country, arming and training the Kuwaiti army. For the United States, Kuwait represents an important springboard of military presence in the region, aimed at ensuring American political and economic influence in the Middle East.