The story

Persian Gulf War

Persian Gulf War

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PERSIAN GULF WAR. Clevelanders felt shock and anger on 2 Aug. 1990, upon hearing news reports that Iraqi armies had invaded Kuwait. The aggression by the large, well-equipped army of Iraq against a small and all but defenseless neighbor enraged many Clevelanders, who saw Iraq as the proverbial bully. Others drew a parallel with the aggressive moves of Nazi Germany in the 1930s they believed the lessons of history required such aggression not be allowed to stand. Others felt apprehension based on economic and security concerns. Kuwait, and its now potentially threatened neighbor to the south, Saudi Arabia, were not only friends of the West, but major sources in its vital petroleum pipeline.

On 7 Aug. 1990, the U.S. activated Desert Shield, the first phase in its military response to Iraq. Assuming the lead of a multi-nation coalition, the U.S. began sending troops and materiel to the Arabian peninsula to deter the Iraqis from any further moves southward. Eventually, the build-up of U.S. forces numbered nearly a half-million personnel, 800 planes, and 80 ships of war. Approximately 10,000 Ohioans, including 7,000 from some 150 reserve units (11 from Greater Cleveland), were sent to the Gulf. Many schools offered counseling sessions to help children cope with the anxiety which the deployment of family members caused.

For the most part, Desert Shield prompted patriotic outpourings. While many favored working toward a diplomatic solution to the problem, polls showed a strong majority of Clevelanders were prepared to back armed intervention. As diplomatic efforts to end the occupation of Kuwait were successively thwarted by Iraqi intransigence, the U.S. imposed a 15 Jan. 1991 deadline for withdrawal. As that date neared, local pacifists, though clearly a minority, became more vocal. On 15 Jan. nearly 1,000 protestors gathered on Public Square in front of the BP Bldg. Chanting "no blood for oil," many of the protestors lay down in the street, disrupting traffic through the Square for nearly 3 hours. On 16 Jan. 1991, many Clevelanders were watching the early evening news when a transmission from Baghdad showed the night skies over that city illuminated by anti-aircraft tracers. Desert Shield had become Desert Storm.

A PLAIN DEALER survey reported that 81.9% of Ohioans approved of the attack only 11.8% opposed it. Patriotism surged. All around the city citizens and businesses unfurled American flags, and yellow ribbons appeared everywhere. A restaurant offered free dinners to anyone in military uniform. The Governor's Office set up a task force to find ways of assisting families disrupted by the war. Local television stations doubled their news coverage of Persian Gulf events. Banks offered extended terms to borrowers with family members overseas, and utility companies set up extended payment plans. In schools children collected coins to aid separated families. To prevent the possibility of terrorist retaliatory attacks, security was increased at CLEVELAND-HOPKINS INTL. AIRPORT, as well as at local government facilities and the area's nuclear installations.

Desert Storm itself proved brief and with relatively few casualties. Nonetheless, 19 Ohioans lost their lives in Gulf War-related incidents two of these casualties were from Greater Cleveland. The Gulf War ended on 27 Feb. 1991. With Kuwait liberated and the surrender of Iraqi troops, coalition forces declared the ceasefire.

The first attempt to replace the aging M60 Patton was the MBT-70, developed in partnership with West Germany in the 1960s and reaching the testing stage by 1968. The MBT-70 was very ambitious, and had various innovative ideas that ultimately proved unsuccessful. As a result of the imminent failure of this project, the U.S. Army introduced the XM803. This succeeded only in producing an expensive system with capabilities similar to the M60. [1]

Congress canceled the MBT-70 in November and XM803 December 1971. [ citation needed ] The Army restarted its M60 successor program with Major General William Robertson Desobry leading the team formulating requirements in March 1972. [2] Army officials told congressmen in April that there was little that could be salvaged from the past efforts, and that a new tank would take at least eight years to develop. [3] A Pentagon task force submitted requirements for the tank in January 1973. By April the Pentagon approved the project with Brigadier General Robert. J. Baer as production manager. Desobry told The New York Times, "We ought to be shot if it doesn't work." [4]

The Pentagon's requirements specified a tank gun between 105 and 120-mm and a Bushmaster cannon with a caliber between 20 and 30-mm. Plans called for a tank weighing about 54 tons. [4] By 1973 the Army had settled on buying 3,312 of the new tanks, with production beginning in 1980. [5]

The price of the $3 billion program was assailed by Congressman Les Aspin in July. The Pentagon had projected unit costs were to be less than US$507,000 in 1972 dollars. Aspin argued that were the research and development costs factored in, tanks would actually cost over $900,000 a piece (compared to $1.3 million for the canceled MBT-70). Noting that the M60 Patton costed only $500,000 each Aspin said, "I'm sure that the Army's new tank is not twice as good as what we have today." [5]

In June the Army awarded a competitive three-year contracts - $68 million for Chrysler Corporation and $87 million to General Motors Corporation - for the production of prototypes. [5] In February 1976 the two prototypes were tested at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Chrysler chose a regenerative turbine engine made by Avco Lycoming while General Motors chose a Teledyne Continental diesel engine. [6]

They were armed with the license-built version of the 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 gun. The Pentagon in 1994 also allowed the West German Leopard 2 to be tested against the American winner at Aberdeen with the understanding that the better tank would be adopted by both countries. However the two nations were unable to reconcile their nationalistic differences, so a compromise was made that would have both tanks share common parts. [7]

In July the Army recommended selecting the General Motors offering, but the recommendation was disregarded by the Pentagon, which asked competitors to modify their proposals to share parts with the German tank. In November the Army selected Chrysler's design. Chrysler's proposal may have been attractive because the company said it could incorporate the Rheinmetall M256 120 mm cannon without increasing costs, weight or the production timeline. [7]

In 1979, General Dynamics Land Systems Division purchased Chrysler Defense.

3,273 M1 Abrams were produced 1979-85 and first entered US Army service in 1980. It was armed with the license-built version of the 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 gun. An improved model called the M1IP was produced briefly in 1984 and contained small upgrades. The M1IP models were used in the Canadian Army Trophy NATO tank gunnery competition in 1985 and 1987.

About 6,000 M1A1 Abrams were produced from 1986–92 and featured the M256 120 mm smoothbore cannon developed by Rheinmetall AG of Germany for the Leopard 2, improved armor, and a CBRN protection system.

As the Abrams entered service in the 1980s, they would operate alongside M60A3 within the United States military, and with other NATO tanks in numerous Cold War exercises. These exercises usually took place in Western Europe, especially West Germany, but also in some other countries like South Korea. During such training, Abrams crews honed their skills for use against the men and equipment of the Soviet Union. However, by 1991 the Soviet state had collapsed and the Abrams would have its trial by fire in the Middle East.

The Abrams remained untested in combat until the Persian Gulf War in 1991. The M1A1 was superior to Iraq's Soviet-era T-55 and T-62 tanks, as well as Iraqi assembled Russian T-72s, and locally produced copies (Asad Babil tank). The T-72s like most Soviet export designs lacked night vision systems and then-modern rangefinders, though they did have some night fighting tanks with older active infrared systems or floodlights—just not the latest starlight scopes and passive infrared scopes as on the Abrams. Only 23 M1A1s were taken out of service in the Persian Gulf. [8] Some others took minor combat damage, with little effect on their operational readiness. Very few M1 tanks were hit by enemy fire, and none were destroyed as a direct result of enemy fire, with no fatalities due to enemy fire. [9]

The M1A1 was capable of making kills at ranges in excess of 2,500 meters (8,200 ft). This range was crucial in combat against tanks of Soviet design in Desert Storm, as the effective range of the main gun in the Soviet/Iraqi tanks was less than 2,000 meters (6,600 ft) (Iraqi tanks could not fire anti-tank missiles like their Russian counterparts). This meant Abrams tanks could hit Iraqi tanks before the enemy got in range—a decisive advantage in this kind of combat. In friendly fire incidents, the front armor and fore side turret armor survived direct APFSDS hits from other M1A1s. This was not the case for the side armor of the hull and the rear armor of the turret, as both areas were penetrated at least in two occasions by friendly DU ammunition during the Battle of Norfolk. [10]

On the night of February 26, 1991, four Abrams were disabled, possibly as a result of friendly fire by Hellfire missiles fired from AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, with the result of some crew members wounded in action. [11] The tanks were part of TF 1-37, [12] attacking a large section of Tawakalna Republican Guard Division, their numbers being B-23, C-12, D-24 and C-66. Abrams C-12 was definitively hit and penetrated by a friendly DU shot [13] and there is some evidence that another Iraqi T-72 may have scored a single hit on B-23, besides the alleged Hellfire strike. [N 1]

Tanks D-24 and C-66 took some casualties, [14] but only B-23 became a permanent loss. The DoD's damage assessments state that B-23 was the only M1 with signs of a Hellfire missile found nearby.

Also during the Persian Gulf War, three Abrams of the U.S. 24th Infantry Division were left behind the enemy lines after a swift attack on Talil airfield, south of Nasiriyah, on February 27. One of them was hit by enemy fire, the two other embedded in mud. The tanks were destroyed by U.S. forces in order to prevent any trophy-claim by the Iraqi Army. [15]

Tank and crew casualties Edit

No. Identification Number Type of weapon Date and place Description of damage Casualties
1. Bumper B-31 [16] [17] [18]

1st Brigade, 2nd Armored Division

2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment

Struck by DPICM artillery February 26

TF 1-41, 2nd Armored Division(FWD)

Three DU kinetic energy rounds, after being hit by an Iraqi RPG-7 February 26

below the turret Ammunition blown-up

TF 1-41, 2nd Armored Division(FWD)

One DU kinetic energy round February 26

TF 1-41, 2nd Armored Division(FWD)

One DU kinetic energy round February 26

TF 1-41, 2nd Armored Division(FWD)

Splinters of one DU kinetic energy penetrator February 26

TF 1-41, 2nd Armored Division(FWD)

Two DU rounds, after being hit by TOW missile February 26

Small caliber shaped charge February 26

Assault on Tawakalna Division

Assault on Tawakalna Division

TF 1-37, 1st Armored Division

One DU kinetic energy penetrator, then hit by anti-tank missile February 26

Assault on Tawakalna Division

TF 1-37, 1st Armored Division

Two small shaped charges February 26

Assault on Tawakalna Division

TF 4-8th CAV, 3rd Armored Division

73 mm shell
from a BMP-1 February 26

Assault on Tawakalna Division

TF 4-8th CAV, 3rd Armored Division

Enemy indirect fire February 26

Assault on Tawakalna Division

TF 4-8th CAV, 3rd Armored Division

Assault on Tawakalna Division

197th Brigade, 24 Infantry Division

Crippled by enemy fire, then destroyed by DU rounds February 27

Assault on Tallil airfield

197th Brigade, 24 Infantry Division

Stuck in mud, then destroyed by DU rounds February 27

Assault on Tallil airfield

197th Brigade, 24 Infantry Division

Stuck in mud, then destroyed by DU rounds February 27

Assault on Tallil airfield

Commander tank, TF 4-64 Armor, 24 Infantry Division

Two conventional KE or HEAT rounds from a 100 mm gun February 27

2nd Platoon, A Company, TF 4-64, 24 Infantry Division

Secondary explosions from an Iraqi T-72 [31] March 2

Following lessons learned in the Persian Gulf War, the Abrams and many other U.S. combat vehicles used in the conflict were fitted with Combat Identification Panels to reduce friendly fire incidents. These were fitted on the sides and rear of the turret, with flat panels equipped with a four-cornered 'box' image on either side of the turret front (these can be seen in the below image, similar flat panels also being employed on British Challenger 2 tanks serving in the conflict).

In addition to the Abrams' already heavy armament, some crews were also issued M136 AT4 shoulder-fired anti-tank weapons under the assumption that they might have to engage heavy armor in tight urban areas where the main gun couldn't be brought to bear. Some Abrams were also fitted with a secondary storage bin on the back of the existing bustle rack on the rear of the turret referred to as a bustle rack extension to enable the crew to carry more supplies and personal belongings.

The M1A2 is a further improvement of the M1A1 with a commander's independent thermal viewer and weapon station, position navigation equipment, digital data bus and a radio interface unit. The M1A2 SEP (System Enhancement Package) added digital maps, FBCB2 (Force XXI Battlefield Command Brigade and Below) capabilities, and an improved cooling system to maintain crew compartment temperature with the addition of multiple computer systems to the M1A2 tank.

Further upgrades include depleted uranium armor for all variants, a system overhaul that returns all A1s to like-new condition (M1A1 AIM), a digital enhancement package for the A1 (M1A1D), a commonality program to standardize parts between the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps (M1A1HC) and an electronic upgrade for the A2 (M1A2 SEP).

During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and for Bosnia, some M1A1s were modified with armor upgrades. The M1 can be equipped with mine plow and mine roller attachments if needed. The M1 chassis also serves as a basis for the Grizzly combat engineering vehicle and the M104 Wolverine heavy assault bridge.

Over 8,800 M1 and M1A1 tanks have been produced at a cost of US$2.35–$4.30 million per unit, depending on the variant.

Further combat was seen during 2003 when US forces invaded Iraq and deposed the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, in an invasion that lasted just 43 days (20 March to 1 May). M1 tanks proved instrumental in leading rapid attacks against the Iraqi military, as exemplified by the so-called 'Thunder Runs.' As of March 2005, approximately 80 Abrams tanks shipped back to the United States for repair due to fire from enemy attacks. [32] Abandoned Abrams were purposely destroyed by friendly fire to prevent recovery of vehicle or technology. Damages by 25 mm AP-DU, anti-armor RPG fire, and 12.7 mm rounds was encountered. There were no confirmed instances of anti-tank guided weapons or anti-tank mines striking the US MBTs. [33] However, there is some speculation that Kornet ATGMs were used during the Battle of Najaf to knock out two Abrams, but Russian officials denied selling the weapon to Iraq. [34] What is known is that the two Abrams were struck by unknown weapons, and their ammunition stores ignited. Nevertheless, both crews escaped without serious injury. [35] [36] Some Abrams were disabled by Iraqi infantrymen in ambushes employing short-range antitank rockets, such as the RPG-7. Although the RPG-7 is unable to penetrate the front and sides, the rear and top are vulnerable to this weapon. Frequently the rockets were fired at the tank tracks. [ citation needed ]

An Abrams was disabled near Karbala after an RPG warhead penetrated the rear engine compartment. [37] [38] There were two reported losses during the Battle of Baghdad, with one Abrams being put out of action after being struck by numerous medium caliber weapons, including 12.7mm rounds which ruptured a fuel bladder stored on an external rack. This started a fire that spread to the engine. [33] [39] On April 4, two Abrams were destroyed by anti-aircraft guns, [40] [41] while on April 5, another was hit by a recoilless rifle and set aflame. After repeated attempts to extinguish the fire, the decision was made to destroy or remove any sensitive equipment. Oil and .50 caliber rounds were scattered in the interior, the ammunition doors were opened and several thermite grenades ignited inside. Another M1 then fired a HEAT round in order to ensure the destruction of the disabled tank. The Abrams was completely disabled but still intact. [42] Later, the Air Force bombed the tank to destroy it in place, and the Iraqi Information Ministry claimed credit for destroying it.

On March 31, 2003, an Abrams belonging to the US Marine Corps drove off the side of a bridge at night, dropping the tank into the Euphrates River and drowning the four crew members. [43] On April 3, 2003, Abrams tanks destroyed seven Iraqi Lion of Babylon tanks in a point-blank skirmish (less than 50 yards (46 m)) near Mahmoudiyah, with no losses for the U.S. side. [44]

On June 6, 2006, two of the four soldiers in an Abrams crew were killed during combat operations in Baghdad, when an IED detonated near their M1A2. [45] On August 2, 2006, an M1A1 commanded by US Marine Sgt. George M. Ulloa was hit by two IED's in Al Anbar Province, fatally injuring Sgt. Ulloa. [46] By December 2006, more than 530 Abrams tanks had been shipped back to the U.S. for repair. [47]

Iraqi usage Edit

It was reported that 28 Iraqi Army Abrams had been damaged in fighting with militants, five of them suffering full armor penetration when hit by ATGMs, in the period between 1 January and the end of May 2014 some were destroyed or damaged by militants placing explosive charges on or in the vehicles, highlighting the lack of adequate infantry support provided by Iraqi soldiers. [48] In mid-2014, Iraqi Army Abrams tanks saw action when the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant launched the June 2014 Northern Iraq offensive. Some Iraqi Army M1A1M tanks were destroyed in fighting against ISIL forces while an unknown number were captured intact. At least one ISIL-controlled M1A1M Abrams was reportedly used in the capture of the Mosul Dam in early August 2014. [ citation needed ] The Abrams suffered its first heavy losses at the hands of ISIL fighters against Iraqi-operated tanks through planted explosives, anti-tank missiles like the Kornet, and captured tanks later being destroyed by American airstrikes. The chief cause of these losses was the poor training of Iraqi tank operators and lack of infantry coordination. [49] About one-third of the 140 Abrams tanks delivered to the Iraqi Army had been captured or destroyed by ISIL. By December 2014, the Iraqi Army only had about 40 operational Abrams left. That month, the U.S. State Department approved the sale of another 175 Abrams to Iraq. [50] The tanks may be fitted with additional protection features to defend against ISIL mine, roadside bomb, and other attacks including belly armor, reactive armor, 360-degree night vision sensors, mine-clearing blades and rollers, and a wide-area spotlight-equipped remotely operated gun mount. If approved by Congress and funded by the Iraqi government, the improvements could be made within 18 months. [51] By late 2015, some Iraqi Abrams tanks that had been dropped off at repair facilities were re-equipped with Russian heavy machine guns firing Iranian-manufactured ammunition, which may violate sales agreements prohibiting material usage by Shiite militias and the unsanctioned addition of foreign weapons. [52]

From February to April 2016, Iraqi Army forces took back the town of Hit from ISIL. Three Iraqi-operated M1A1 Abrams tanks took part in the operation, but two broke down early on. The lone working Abrams performed exceptionally in combat, destroying enemy IEDs, punching holes in defenses, and maneuvering between multiple engagements. U.S. forces monitoring Iraqi movements thought multiple tanks were in operation and were surprised to learn it had been working alone, crediting its success to the U.S.-trained crew. The Abrams was nicknamed "The Beast" and has achieved somewhat of a folklore status among the Iraqi people. [53] [54]

In October 2017, Iraqi M1A1 Abrams tanks were cited by Kurdish sources as key to the Iraqi victory at the Battle of Kirkuk, as the Kurdish Peshmerga possessed no weaponry which could counter the tanks. [55] However, later in the war at Alton-Kopri and Zumar, the Kurdish Peshmerga destroyed two Iraqi Abrams tanks in two days with the Milan missile system. [56] [57]

Starting from 2015, the Saudi Arabian Army deployed their M1 tanks during the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen. While the exact number of losses is not clear due to poor reporting from the conflict, it became clear that a certain number of Saudi tanks were lost to enemy forces using ATGMs, RPGs and mines. During summer 2016, a deal to sell 153 more M1 tanks to Saudi Arabia was revealed, with 20 of them being tagged as "battle damage replacements", implying that a similar number of Saudi M1 tanks were lost to the enemy. [58]

Operating tanks in Afghanistan can be difficult due to the terrain, although Canada and Denmark have deployed tanks to Afghanistan that have been specifically upgraded to fight in the tough Afghan environment. The U.S. sent 16 M1A1 Abrams tanks and 115 Marines to southern Afghanistan to support operations in the Helmand and Kandahar provinces in late 2010. [59] [60]

The tracked M8 Armored Gun System was conceived as a possible supplement for the Abrams in U.S. service for low-intensity conflict in the early 1990s. Prototypes were made but the program was canceled. The 8-wheeled M1128 Mobile Gun System was designed to supplement the Abrams in U.S. service for low-intensity conflict. It has been introduced into service and, though mobile, it has proven to be quite vulnerable.

The U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems' XM1202 Mounted Combat System was to replace the Abrams in U.S. service and was in late stages of development when funding for the program was cut from the DoD's budget.

In September 2009, the Army Times [61] and Marine Corps Times [62] published reports that US Army researchers have begun the process of designing a version of the Abrams that will carry the M1A3 label. According to the reports, the Army is seeking to reduce the weight of the vehicle to approximately 60 tons from its current operational weight of roughly 75 tons. Additionally, the M1A3 may incorporate a new generation of advanced networking capabilities and enhanced armor protection. Other improvements are to include a lighter 120 mm gun, added road wheels with improved suspension, a more durable track, lighter armor, long-range precision armaments, and infrared camera and laser detectors. A new internal computer system is also planned, with current cabling replaced by fiber-optic cables that can reduce weight by two tons. [63] The Army currently aimed to build prototypes by 2014 and to begin to field the first combat-ready M1A3s by 2017, however due to financial shortcomings and delays, there has yet to be a single tank produced (To the public's knowledge.)

The developing Ground Combat Vehicle sought to generate a family of combat vehicles that could permanently replace the M1 as well as many other U.S. army vehicles. The Army anticipates that the Abrams may remain in service until 2050. [ citation needed ]

Production Edit

The military planned to close the M1 Abrams factory in Ohio from 2013 to 2016 to save over US$1 billion. In 2017 the plant would reopen to upgrade existing tanks. The downside to the three-year plant closing is the loss of the skilled human capital required to build the M1. These types of job skills must be learned on the job as the building is too unique to offer any type of educational program in a trade school environment. [64]

By August 2013, Congress had allocated $181 million for buying parts and upgrading Abrams systems to mitigate industrial base risks and sustain development and production capability. Congress and General Dynamics were criticized for redirecting money to keep production lines open and accused of "forcing the Army to buy tanks it didn't need." General Dynamics asserted that a four-year shutdown would cost $1.1–1.6 billion to reopen the line, depending on the length of the shutdown, whether machinery would be kept operating, and whether the plant's components would be completely removed. They contended that the move was to upgrade Army National Guard units to expand a "pure fleet" and maintain production of identified "irreplaceable" subcomponents a prolonged shutdown could cause their makers to lose their ability to produce them and foreign tank sales were not guaranteed to keep production lines open. Even though money is being spent to protect the industrial base, some feel those strategic choices should not be made by members of Congress, especially those with the facilities in their district. There is still risk of production gaps even with production extended through 2015 with funds awarded before recapitalization is needed, budgetary pressures may push planned new upgrades for the Abrams from 2017 to 2019. [65] In December 2014, Congress again allocated $120 million, against the wishes of the Army, for Abrams upgrades including improving gas mileage by integrating an auxiliary power unit to decrease idle time fuel consumption and upgrading the tank's sights and sensors. [66] [67]

At the end of 2016, tank production/refurbishment had fallen to a rate of one per month, with less than 100 workers on site. However, the Trump administration entered office in 2017 and made rebuilding the military a priority, thus the Lima Army Tank Plant was given a new lease on life. It was reported in 2018 that the Army had ordered 135 tanks re-built to new standards, employment was over 500 workers and expected to rise to 1,000. [68]

Gulf War

The Persian Gulf War, sometimes just called the Gulf War, was a conflict between Iraq and 34 other countries, led by the United States. It started with the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq on August 2, 1990. Iraq had long claimed Kuwait as part of its territory. The war ended the following spring when Iraq's armies were defeated. There were two military operations.

  • Iraq expelled from Kuwait
  • Kuwaiti monarchy restored
  • Destruction of Iraqi and Kuwaiti infrastructure obtains autonomy, establishment of the northern Iraq no fly zone by the US retains power maintained until 2003 establishes cease-fire terms, beginning of the Iraq disarmament controversies

292 killed (147 killed by enemy action, 145 non-hostile deaths)
467 wounded in action
776 wounded [3]
31 Tanks destroyed/disabled [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]
32 Bradley IFVs destroyed/damaged
[12] [13]
1 M113 APC destroyed
2 British Warrior APCs destroyed
1 Artillery Piece destroyed
75 Aircraft destroyed [14]
4,200 killed
12,000 captured
≈200 tanks destroyed/captured
850+ other armored vehicles destroyed/captured 57 aircraft lost
At least 8 aircraft captured (Mirage F1s)

Operation Desert Shield brought troops to protect Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states that Iraq had not attacked.

Operation Desert Storm attacked Iraq's forces both in Kuwait and in Iraq. It started on 17 January, 1991 with an air strike. Ground operations started 24 February. Iraqi forces set fire to oil wells to slow the attack.The war ended on 28 February, 1991 with a ceasefire.

The long Iran–Iraq War had ended in August 1988. Iraq owed a great amount of money to Saudi Arabia and had difficulty paying it back. Saddam Hussein declared the neighboring country of Kuwait to be siphoning Iraqi crude oil from across the border, and on August 2nd, 1990 the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait started. On January 17, 1991 the US began the Persian Gulf War with a massive US led air offensive known as Operation Desert Storm.

The attacks were assisted by newly developed weapons, including stealth aircraft, cruise missiles and smart bombs.

After 42 days of fighting U.S. President Bush declared a ceasefire on February 28. By that time most Iraqi forces in Kuwait had either surrendered or fled.

Operation Desert storm included a bombing campaign that targeted Iraqi aircraft, anti-aircraft systems, oil refineries, weapon factories, bridges, and roads. The war was a lopsided victory for coalition forces. President George Bush decided not to depose Saddam Houssein.

Political issues after Operation Desert Storm lead to the second Persian Gulf War in 2003.

How Did The Persian Gulf War Affect America

The Persian war has left a long standing effect on many nations especially the US. The losses for the US have been the maximum ever with an estimated financial expenditure of $150 million per day to support the soldiers, loss of lives at an estimated 2,300 and injuries to approximately 17,000 soldiers. Americans did not have to bear the load of the expenses of the war by major compromises and there were no evident protests against the government&rsquos decision.

The war has affected the psyche of Americans. People have cried and prayed on seeing the happenings on the war-front. The wounded soldiers returning home to parents and family, funerals of the dead and destruction of mosques have shaken the Americans as much as those suffering in the theater of war.

Many believe that now, crying comes to them easily. Many veterans of the Vietnam War formed groups which advised school kids of the pro and cons of getting enlisted in the defense forces and counseled the veterans returning home from Iraq. The process was not as a large scale demonstration against war and US participation in it. Instead, the process was a low key affair propagating ill-effects of wars and is still continuing.

Almost 45 percent of the US population felt that 3 years after the end of the war, there had not been any effect on them on a personal front. Many related to the happenings in the Persian War only to the ribbon magnets stuck on cars, bracelets which mentioned &lsquoKilled in action&rsquo, or obituary in the papers or on the television screens.

Years after the war, merely 14 percent feel that the lessons from the war have affected them for the better. This figure was approximately 37 percent in 2003. Approximately 39 percent feel that they have been affected for the worse. This figure was almost 16 percent in 2003.

Approximately 956,000 soldiers represented the Coalition Forces. With US being the major contingent, almost 50 percent of the US population had either a friend or a relative in the scene of war. Of these, almost 12 percent say that their near and dear one was wounded or killed. Such was the damage to the young lives of the US population.

The fear in many minds is that the repercussions of spearheading the effort against Iraq in the Gulf War would be witnessed at home in the US itself.

Many felt that the loss to US with respect to money and lives would be similar to that after Vietnam War.

USA Today: Effects of Iraq War Vary Dramatically in USA

The Gulf War was a clear showcase of the fact that natural resources could be used as a weapon or reason for war. The reason does not need to be confined to military ends alone or territorial disputes. The damage was mostly evident on the natural resources. The burning oil wells and the slick in the waters contaminated the environment which is still affecting various life forms. Evaporation of the spilt oil affected the water cycle and increased the levels of bacteria along the shores. This affected the availability of edible water. Some of the species were almost pushed to becoming extinct. Such was the damage caused. More..

The invasion

On August 2, 1990, Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait. On the same day, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 660, condemning the invasion and demanding Iraq’s unconditional withdrawal. It also called on Iraq and Kuwait to begin immediate negotiations. On August 6 the Security Council passed Resolution 661, imposing economic sanctions against Iraq that consisted of a wide-ranging trade embargo.

Saddam showed no sign that he was prepared to withdraw from Kuwait, and on August 8 Iraq declared Kuwait to be its 19th province. U.S. President George Bush and various allies, considering Iraq’s action an act of blatant aggression as well as a threat to Western interests, decided that the status quo ante had to be reestablished, and U.S. troops began arriving in Saudi Arabia the next day. A 28-member coalition, including several Middle Eastern countries and led by the United States, mobilized sufficient military and political support to enforce the Security Council’s sanctions, including the use of force. The coalition demanded that Iraq withdraw from Kuwait by no later than January 15, 1991, but the Iraqis seemed unconvinced that coalition forces would actually attack and felt assured that, in the event of an attack, the large and well-equipped Iraqi military would hold up against U.S. and coalition forces long enough to inflict heavy combat casualties and sap American political resolve.

The coalition began air operations on January 17 and on February 24 commenced a full-scale ground offensive on all fronts. The Iraqi military crumbled rapidly and capitulated after less than one week of fighting on the ground. The defeat compelled Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait and accept the Security Council resolutions.

The military operations not only destroyed much of the Iraqi armed forces but also severely damaged the infrastructure of the major Iraqi cities and towns. The defeat encouraged the Shiʿi and Kurdish populations to rebel against the regime. In its action against the Shiʿis, the government forces killed many people and caused extensive damage. The attempt by Iraqi forces to reconquer Kurdistan forced more than a million Kurds to flee to Turkey and Iran. Many died from hunger and disease. Only with Western intervention did the Kurdish refugees feel they could return to their homes in northern Iraq. In April 1991 the United States, the United Kingdom, and France established a “safe haven” in Iraqi Kurdistan, in which Iraqi forces were barred from operating. Within a short time the Kurds had established autonomous rule, and two main Kurdish factions—the KDP in the north and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in the south—contended with one another for control. This competition encouraged the Baʿathist regime to attempt to direct affairs in the Kurdish autonomous region by various means, including military force. The Iraqi military launched a successful attack against the Kurdish city of Erbil in 1996 and engaged in a consistent policy of ethnic cleansing in areas directly under its control—particularly in and around the oil-rich city of Kirkūk—that were inhabited predominantly by Kurds and other minorities.

Iraq’s Shiʿi population fared even worse than the Kurds. Pressure on Shiʿi leaders to support the Baʿathist regime had begun even before the Iran-Iraq War, and, although their failure at that time to endorse Saddam’s regime led to frequent attacks on Shiʿis and their institutions—Shiʿi leaders were killed and imprisoned, madrasahs were closed, and public religious ceremonies were banned—most Shiʿis had served faithfully in the armed forces against Iran and shouldered an inordinate amount of the fighting. Only after the Persian Gulf War did the Shiʿis rise up against the regime, and their rebellion was put down with great brutality. The U.S.-led coalition did not establish a safe haven for the Shiʿis in southern Iraq, and the regime subsequently put immense resources into excavating several large canals to drain the country’s southern marshes, which had been the traditional stronghold of the Shiʿah. The regime allegedly killed scores of prominent Shiʿi religious and political leaders and arrested and imprisoned thousands of others whom they accused of sedition.

Within those regions of Iraq still controlled by the regime, Saddam’s control of society was strengthened by his continued domination of the country’s internal security services, which had grown steadily since the 1970s and, under his close direction, had become a ubiquitous part of life in Iraq. Although the Shiʿis and Kurds suffered the regime’s greatest wrath, enemies, or perceived enemies, of the Iraqi leader were consistently rooted out even among the Sunni Arab elite—including members of Saddam’s own family. All were dealt with brutally. The Iraqi leader survived several coup attempts in the 1990s, some of which were launched by disaffected members of the Sunni community, but the effectiveness of the security apparatus was proved time and again by its ability to preempt most attacks before they occurred and unfailingly to keep Saddam in power.

Joe Biden's History of Making the Wrong Call

Joe Biden prides himself on his foreign policy experience, but one can't help but look at the scoreboard of foreign policy decisions Biden has gotten utterly wrong over the last 20 years.

Joe Biden prides himself on his foreign policy experience, but one can't help but look at the scoreboard of foreign policy decisions Biden has gotten utterly wrong over the last 20 years.

Over the weekend, the lovably salty vice president confessed to advising President Obama not to order the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound because there wasn't absolute proof that the Al Qaeda leader was in the Abbottabad residence. "Mr. President, my suggestion is, don’t go." Biden reenacted for an audience at a congressional retreat.

Surely, no one should fault a leader for hesitating over a commando raid that posed such significant risks to everyone involved. And it certainly took guts to admit the flawed decision in public (even if he was just trying to make his boss look good). But it was also a reminder that he may want to downplay the foreign policy aspect of his political biography.

The Persian Gulf War In 1991, Biden voted against the successful Gulf War though most historians now believe it was a well-executed, agile use of American power. According to a report in The New York Times back then, Biden "scorned the other members of the anti-Iraq coalition" because they saddled the U.S. with most of the hard sacrifices.

Weapons of mass destruction Biden's biography on the White House website touts his credentials as a former chairman or ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who's been "at the forefront of issues and legislation related to . weapons of mass destruction." Scott Ritter, the chief United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq prior to the invasion, probably wouldn't agree. In 2002, Ritter said "Sen. Joe Biden is running a sham hearing. It is clear that Biden and most of the Congressional leadership have pre-ordained a conclusion that seeks to remove Saddam Hussein from power regardless of the facts, and are using these hearings to provide political cover for a massive military attack on Iraq."

The Iraq War Biden voted for the Iraq invasion of 2003. He has since said it was a mistake to invade the country.

Carving up Iraq In 2006. he made a full-on push to carve Iraq into three semi-autonomous regions, saying the idea that the Iraqi people would unite behind a strong central government was "fundamentally and fatally flawed." The jury is still out on whether Iraqis can rally behind a central government but it's safe to say that he's no longer pressing for a soft partition while inside the Obama White House. The last time Biden spoke with a reporter about the 2006 plan was last year when he said he approved of how the Iraqis were distributing power. "They're in negotiations right now to figure out how to allocate the power within that government. In other words, share power," he told Jake Tapper.

The bin Laden raid You can see his remarks in the clip below, courtesy CNN:

In 2010, these foreign policy "shortcomings," shall we say, did not go unnoticed by The New York Times, which quoted Foreign Policy writer Thomas Ricks posing a rather blunt question. “When was the last time Biden was right about anything?” We wouldn't go quite that far (he was right about the Balkans!) but it's certainly not a record to hang your hat on.

The Persian Gulf War (August 2, 1990 – February 28, 1991), commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War 1990-1991, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from thirty-four nations led by the United States against Iraq.

This war has also been referred to (by the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein) as the mother of all Battles, and is commonly known as Operation Desert Storm for the operational name of the military response, the First Gulf War, or the Iraq War.

The invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi troops that began 2 August 1990 was met with international condemnation, and brought immediate economic sanctions against Iraq by members of the UN Security Council . U.S. President George H. W. Bush deployed American forces to Saudi Arabia almost 6 months afterwards, and urged other countries to send their own forces to the scene. An array of nations joined the Coalition of the Gulf War. The great majority of the military forces in the coalition were from the United States, with Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and Egypt as leading contributors, in that order. Around US$40 billion of the US$60 billion cost was paid by Saudi Arabia.

The initial conflict to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait began with an aerial bombardment on 16 January 1991. This was followed by a ground assault on 23 February. This was a decisive victory for the coalition forces, who liberated Kuwait and advanced into Iraqi territory. The coalition ceased their advance, and declared a cease-fire 100 hours after the ground campaign started. Aerial and ground combat was confined to Iraq, Kuwait, and areas on the border of Saudi Arabia. However, Iraq launched Scud missiles against coalition military targets in Saudi Arabia and against Israel.

  • Imposition of sanctions against Iraq
  • Removal of Iraqi invasion force from Kuwait
  • Heavy Iraqi casualties and destruction of Iraqi and Kuwaiti infrastructure

United States
Saudi Arabia
United Kingdom
United Arab Emirates
and others

Supported by:
Jordan (Initially, though later withdrew support)

Ali Hassan al-Majid
Salah Aboud Mahmoud

Iraqi civilian deaths:
About 3,664 Iraqi civilians killed.

Other civilian deaths:
2 Israeli civilians killed, 230 injured
1 Saudi civilian killed, 65 injured

What is the treatment for Gulf War syndrome?

While there is no specific treatment for Gulf War syndrome, research suggests that an approach called cognitive-behavioral therapy may help patients with nonspecific symptoms lead more productive lives by actively managing their symptoms.

On behalf of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the IOM conducted a study and released a report recommending that for veterans who are experiencing symptoms related to CMI, an integrated, system-wide, long-term management approach should be implemented.

Research into Gulf War syndrome, which remains controversial, is taking place in research centers around the country. Please talk with your healthcare provider about any questions or concerns you may have regarding this condition.

Causes Of The Persian Gulf War

The first Persian Gulf War, also called Operation Desert Storm, was a war fought between the Coalition Forces and Iraq. The time span of the war was from 2 August 1990 to 28 February 1991. The location of this theater was mainly in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. The coalition forces were moved in on the behest of the United Nation and the US spearheaded the force. The coalition was composed of 32 nations. But the major players were the US, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and Egypt.

This war was a result of occupation of Kuwait by Iraq. Iraq had always staked claim on Kuwait since it was regarded as a Province of the Ottoman Empire of Basra. Later, Kuwait was under the governance of the British rule till 1899. On being declared independent, Briton marked its borders and did not make it an integral part of Iraq.

The dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, stated that Kuwait was trying to suppress Iraq’s economy by over-producing oil thereby under-pricing it in the global market. He also claimed that Kuwait was illegally pumping out oil from its oil fields located in Rumaila. The Iraqi forces first occupied the Kuwait city by moving along the highway. They caught the Kuwaitis unaware. They moved southwards while another contingent of ground forces which was moving westward turned to launch attacks from the east in order to cut off the city of Kuwait from the southern portion of the country.

This move to invade and occupy Kuwait was condemned by the UN and trade embargoes were sanctioned against Iraq.

The assistance of the US was sought when the Iraqi forces moved southwards and deployed its armies bordering Saudi Arabia’s oil fields. The UN gave 15 January 1991 as the deadline for Saddam Hussein to withdraw his forces from occupied Kuwait. On 18 January 1991, Operation Desert Storm was initiated when Saddam refused to exit. The coalition forces were led by Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf.

The campaign saw both aerial and ground attacks by the coalition forces. The aerial attacks were launched first to mow down the civil and military installations and infrastructure. Saddam tried in vain to expand the theater of war and involve Israel and Saudi Arabia as well by launching scud missiles. The coalition forces entered Iraq on 24 February and within the next 4 days defeated the Iraqi forces. Cease fire was declared by President Bush on 28 February and Kuwait was liberated. Most Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait ended up surrendering or fled from the region. Persian Gulf Wars

The Persian war has left a long standing effect on many nations especially the US. The losses for the US have been the maximum ever with an estimated financial expenditure of $150 million per day to support the soldiers, loss of lives at an estimated 2,300 and injuries to approximately 17,000 soldiers. Americans did not have to bear the load of the expenses of the war by major compromises and there were no evident protests against the government&rsquos decision. More..

Watch the video: What Happened in the Persian Gulf War? History (July 2022).


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