The Persian Gulf War
and The Changing
The Persian Gulf War and The Changing
In fact, the
The Persian Gulf
Crisis, occurred in the Middle Fast on
The international system of post-World War II is a balance of power system in which power is polarized in two rival power centers. In the arguments of Kenneth N. Waltz, the bipolar system is accepted as something more stable than multi-polar systems for the prevention of the occurrence of war. The World War II showed that more durable world order was necessary to prevent another such conflict. The United Nations and international law were the results of twentieth century efforts to improve world order.
It is obvious that
international relations prevailing the world since 1945 have undergone a
genuine revolutionary transformation in recent years, Gorbachev's opening and
restricting of the
The Persian Gulf War
occurred after the end of the Cold War because it was a transition period for a
new world order and Saddam had not realized the characteristic of the new world
order. He saw the changing world order would allow him to act more freely and
At a time when it
seemed that both the
However, it is not a
simple matter to evaluate the Persian Gulf War which was so complex in its
commencement. An analysis of the historical background of the war is essential
for such an evaluation. After the World War I, the region was in absolute
As a means of seeking
legal justification for his actions Saddam Hussein put forward a list of his
The Persian Gulf War was a test case for a ’’new world order’’ from the point of George Bush. He described the idea of a ’’new era’’ which is full of promise, on age of freedom, a time of peace for all peoples and which would be risk if there was a failure to resist aggression.
A study of order in world politics must begin with the question of what it is. Hedley Bull explains in The Anarchical Society what he means by order in social life generally, and continues with what it means in the system of states and in world politics in general.
By international order Bull means a pattern of activity that maintains the elementary or primary goals of the international societies. These goals are secured by the rules which are expressed in International law. In order to maintain international order the great powers see themselves as its guardians or custodians.
By world order Bull means those patterns of human activity that elementary or primary goals of social life among mankind as a whole. Order among mankind as a whole is something wider than order among states. World order is wider than international order because to give an account of it, one has to deal not only with order among states but also with order within the wider world political system of which the states’ subsystem is only a part.
At the end of
World War II, the
In short, three
centuries of European world primacy had come to an end. In the post-1945 world,
the power and primacy belonged to the superpowers –the
Power is the ability to influence or change the behavior of others in a desired direction. States use power in order to serve their interests or achieve their objectives. What a state can do in international politics depends on the power it possesses.
According to the realists approach, the struggle for power among states is at the core of international relations. In the words of Morgenthau, ’’international politics, like all politics, is a struggle for power. Whatever ultimate aims of international politics, power is always the immediate aim’’ Although ’’power’’ is the core concept for realists they do not have general agreement on how to define it. Some realists understand power to be he sum of military, economic, technological, diplomatic and other capabilities at the control of the state. Others see power not as some absolute value determined for each state as if it were in a vacuum but, preferably, having capabilities relative to the capabilities of other states.
The contribution of the superpowers to international order derives from the inequality of power between the states that made up the international system. The political relations of them with one another in the interest of the international order traditionally have been explained by the theory of balance of power.
The concept of ’’Balance of Power’’ is subject to various discussions different interpretations within its different connotations, different pretatlons, as well as with its mechanism and operation. In fact, the analysis of the term ’’balance of power’’ extends as far back as the periods of Thucydides in Ancient Greece and of Kantilyo in Ancient India. In other words, the study of the balance of power is as ancient as international relations. The trouble with the balance of power says L. Claude Jr. Inis, ’’is not that it has no meaning, but that it has to many me manning’’.
Morgenthau reasserted the importance of the balance of power which he elevated to a ’’universal concept’’ determining the behavior of any society sovereign entities. He also identified the balance of power as a self regulating mechanism.
The main points of the theory of the balance of power can be set forth as follows: Given a large number of nations with varying amounts of power, each one striving to maximize its own power, there is a tendency for the entire system to be in balance. That is to say, the various nations group themselves together in such a way that no single nation or group of nations is strong enough to overwhelm the others, for its power is balanced by that of some opposing group.
The main objective of the balance of power is not to preserve international ’’peace’’ but instead to preserve the security or ’’independence’’ of states particularly the big ones. In sum, the main purpose is to preserve the international ’’stability’’.
Morton Kaplan, who produced one of the first major works using the systems approach, established six different models of international system. Two of them, the balance of power and the loose bipolar, can be discovered, in history but four of them purely hypothetical. Kaplan's balance of power system resembles the international system that Morgenthau describes.
The second of
Kaplan's models, the loose bipolar, resembles in many ways the international system
of the post World War II period. The
balance of power of
includes major bloc actors such as NATO and the Warsaw Pact, a leading national
actor within each bloc such as the
The monopoly of nuclear weapons held by each superpower within each bloc forced all others into a position of dependence for security and polarized the determination of questions of peace and war. Neutral states were under constant pressure from both sides to submit to superpower hegemony through alliances for protection against the al1egedly aggressive designs of the rival bloc.
The relationship between the distribution of power and the incidence of war in the international system has been the object in both traditional and contemporary writings. Kenneth N. Waltz argues that bipolarity which characterizes the contemporary period is favorable for the working of the balance of power. Both superpowers, following their instinct for self preservation, try to maintain a balance of power based upon capabilities, including military and technological strength. Military power is most ective when it deters an attack.
The United Nations was born out of the ashes of World War II. After the World War II the UN reflected the desire of the victorious states to maintain world peace and to attack the conditions that appeared to encourage war. The creation of the UN was supported for the benefits of collective security in a global system. The imperatives of international law for maintaining order in world politics is nowhere clearer the Article 2 (4) of the UN Carter. This prohibits the use of force by states.
All members should refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. The United Nations could be effective in resolving superpower only to the degree that both superpowers wanted it to be so. They could veto any action they disapprove of.
International law has been created to help states interact smoothly with each other. It has been used to regulate conflict - including the use force - to help promote conflict resolution and to restrain behavior considered undesirable.
Order in the great society of all mankind has been attained through general acceptance of the principle that men and territory are divided into states, each with its own authority, but linked together by a common set of rules.
The role of law in relation to order in world politics is to identify the principles of universal political organization and proclaim its supremacy over all competitors. Another role of international law in relation to international order has been to state the basic rules of coexistence among states and other actors in international society.
international law nor the United Nations exist by themselves in order to
maintain the international order. Indeed in many ways the bipolar Cold War
provided stability in the world order. Although, the Soviet-American conflict
created both a unique and dangerous potential, it paradoxically provided a
structure and order to the conduct of international relations. With the fear of
nuclear warfare, the competition would ensure a stable order. The international order which was assumed
after 1945 entered a transition period in the 1980s. International relations
since 1985, however, have undergone a genuine revolutionary transformation when
Gorbachev’s recent reforms in the
The fall of
Shah of Iran in 1979 with the revolution and the declaration of Islamic
Republic perceived as a chance for Saddam’s aim. He sought to ways to fill the
power vacuum left by the Shah and to assume the leadership of the region. The fall of the Shah provided Saddam the
chance of a fruitful partnership with the West. It seemed to Western powers
that his ambitions were in line with their own interests. These were: avoiding
the Islamic Revolution to be advanced; securing the flow of oil and preventing
In 1980, he decided to re-establish
It is obvious that
parallel with increasing levels of production.
government wished to modify its economic and political relationship in the
latter half of the 1970’s. For that
reason it obtained Western technology in order to increase the productivity of
its labour force. At the same time there was a shift
Saddam had probably
the most powerful Iraqi ruler during the past half century concentrating in his
hands exceptional political power. He wanted to make a bid for leadership in
the Arab World. Saddam was seen as a bulwark
against the regime of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
The Western support ultimately enabled the Iraqi dictator to build his giant
war machine and to invade
The twentieth century
has witnessed several crises such as the two World Wars,
It should be
very useful to go over the historical development of the status and
flow of the events in the
During the First World War the British Government tried to use Arabic Nationalism according to their own benefits. The short-term target of the British Government was to break off the Arabic elements in the Ottoman army and to gain their support. The long-term target was, by establishing independent Arab states or an Arab confederation in the region.
The long term
foreign policy of
The Period of Coup d’Etat In Iraq: After the Second World War, the
acceleration of the Jewish migration to Palestine and the establishment of the
State of Israel have a great impact on Arab world. British position in the
region started to shake. During this time
directed by General Kasım on
economic policy followed during the period of General Kasım
resulted in failure. General Kasım and his
collaborators were executed in the coup d’Etat
leading by General Abdusselam Arif.
He promoted himself to Marshal in rank and became the head of the National
Revolution Council. Upon the death of Marshal Arif in
an accident on
The government of Abdurrahman Arif was overthrown with a further coup on
Saddam Hussein and the Baath Party: Saddam Hussein established an absolute dictatorship disguised as a republic in Iraq by holding the titles of the President, the Head of the Revolutionary Command Council and the Commander in-Chief. In order to evaluate Saddam Hussein’s rise to power, it would be helpful to examine Saddam's character and his involvement with the Baath Party. It is also necessary to briefly look at the history of Baath.
was born in 1937 as the son of a poor family. After graduating from the
secondary school, Saddam applied to the military school in
The first deed of
Saddam after being the President of Iraq was killing more than 20 opposing
party members and ensuring his position with governmental terror. Saddam
appointed his relatives and friends to the key positions in the government,
killed his friends in case of a suspicion and became the absolute dictator of
It will clarify our subject
to examine Saddam Husseins "mood during the
period between the ceasefire with
These were the
elements of Saddam’s post-ceasefire mood which was summarized from his public
utterances and in a speech to his Arab peers delivered in May 1990. His
foreign minister in the following weeks elaborated a lengthening list of
grievances against Kuwait
By declaring such a list the Iraqi government tried to create a legal
justification for its action because
Iraq’s Grievances with Kuwait: What this list of grievances consisted of can be divided into three
groups. These are the grievances that surfaced before the Iran-Iraq War; the grievances that grew during the Iran-Iraq War; the grievances
that were started in the period between the
cease fire with
delineation of the international frontiers between
of access to the Gulf. Geographically
However on the Iraqi
border, is another Gulf estuary at the entrance to which are the two
uninhabited islands of Warba and Bubiyan under Kuwaiti
sovereignty. As early as 1973 (before the Algiers Agreement), the Baathist regime in
Why were they so important to Iraq? The acceptance of the thalweg in 1975 meant that
The grievances of
The issue of access to the Gulf
became more acute as firstly, the outcome of Iran-Iraq hostilities was then
still uncertain, and secondly, the blocking of Shatt al-Arab
with war debts and silt increased Iraq’s interest in a post-war alternative
and, therefore, in Warba and Bubiyan.
At the same time,
of grievances of
Over production of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC) quotas. Saddam’s policy involved manipulations of the world oil market
This demand was
completely ignored. Even worse, instead of reducing their oil quota to make
room for increased Iraqi production, some OPEC members, most notably
The Iraqi debt to
The oil allegedly taken from the Rumaila field
Aziz claimed that during 1980-1990 Kuwait pumped oil
A few days
before the invasion the 13 oil producing countries of OPEC met in
On 1 August
Prince Saad, the Kuwaiti minister and Izzat Ibrahim, a close aid to
Saddam H. Met in Jeddah but found no solution to the Rumaila
oil field issue.
cooperation between the superpowers was exemplified by the fact that at the
time of the invasion the
On the day
of the invasion, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the UN called for the necessity of
urgent American intervention in the crisis for
the troops of the international coalition started the attack against
The UN role in the field of international
security has been dramatically expanded. The
Generally speaking, the Gulf War represented a failure on the part of the United Nations to organize the preventive diplomacy. The Security Council did not engage in conflict resolution. This is its habit, which established itself during the decades of the Cold War. As in the Gulf conflict, the Council has tended not to act until a problem has reached crisis point.
The first stages of
the Gulf crisis demonstrated that the UN did not play an effective role in
preventing the out break of hostilities between
The second stage of the
Gulf War demonstrated the weakness of UN enforcement capabilities. After
announcing the use of force, the Security Council then stepped aside and the
The third suggestion corresponding to the
present stage of the Gulf Crisis is the wars aftermath in which the United
Nations played little or no role in resolving the deeper problems of the
region. The United Nations must also become more involved in the control,
rather than leaving it to the
In the past, countries have engaged in conflicts over water or used the control of water resources to dominate an adversary. Today, access to freshwater is gaining higher importance globally day by day, as renewable water sources are being polluted and as the water demand is being pushed by population growth.
The case of international shared waters in the Middle East can be understood within a realist framework. In each river basin there is a hegemon, such as Turkey in the Euphrates-Tigris river system, Egypt in the Nile river system, or Israel in the Jordan Basin. Within a realist framewor, riparian relations can be explained in terms of each country's capacity to project power. Israel has involved in a succession of water disputes with Syria, Lebanon and Jordan as well as the Palestinian Authority within its own borders.
The Middle East is the most water challenged region in the world with little freshwater and negligible soil water*. Jordan River Basin is in the center of water dispute in the Middle East, with the scarcest freshwater availability. Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria are the riparians of the Jordan Basin.
There are environmental as well as political reasons of growing water scarcity in the Jordan Basin : the increasing population in the region, arid or semi-arid climate conditions, rapid urbanization, polution of water resources ( renewable waters, rivers, etc.) are some of the environmental reasons. Approximately 80 % of the overall water usage belongs to agriculture and low water price implementation by the goverments is another factor causing non-effective usage of water resources.
According to one approach, water has had everything to do with the conflicts of the recent past: The Six Day War was triggered by Egypt blockading the Gulf of Eliat at Tiran and similarly the Yom Kippur was a result of Israeli forces straddling Suez. It is also argued that Syria was drawn into the conflict for possessing Golan and the Mount Hermon watershed.
Gaza is the most severely affected area in the entire region. According to a report published by World Bank (1996), the situation in Gaza is more acute than anywhere else in the world. The Palestinians will be extremely short of water by the year 2025, with fewer than the 125 Cubic Meters / Person / Year considered by many as the Minimum Water Requirement for human survival.
One of the most significant effort for a solution between Jordan River riparians was the " Johnston Plan" in 1955. It was a plan of United States' President Eisenhower's special representative, Eric Johnston and the aim of this task was to seek a comprehensive program for the development of the Jordan River water sources "on a regional basis". Israel agreed to the basic terms of the plan that Johnston had drawn up but the ministers of the arab countries rejected it with a fear that their agreement would imply indirect recognition of the Zionist state.
Following the Johnston plan, each riparian state adopted unilateral water policies, which exacarbated already tense interstate relations.The Six Day War completely changed hydro-politics of the Jordan Basin, The tributaries and springs of the Jordan all fell under Israeli control. Israel and Jordan had continuos informal meetings and arrangements during the twenty-five years following the 1967 War.
In 1994, Jordan and Israel reached an aggrement over water, and Palestine and Israel launched the Oslo Peace Process. Since then, no significant project has been attempted in the region.
Cooperation between the riparian countries is necessary for a durable peace in the region. Importing virtual water and sea water desalianation are other ways to meet the regions water necessity, which are already being used.
In sum, the
Iraqi invasion of
The Persian Gulf War was the first post - Cold War because it was a transition period for a new world order whose framework is not yet clearly defined and Saddam wanted to use the advantages of the uncertainty in order to pursue his own interest. He saw the changing world order would allow him a freer land to do what he wanted.
However, Saddam, whose reasons for the invasion puzzled observers, had
made gross miscalculations. Saddam saw himself as the champion of Arab
nationalism and successor of
He exaggerated the
Islamic factor and declared a Jihad against the West. He tried to turn the war
into an Arab-Israeli conflict by attacking
He underestimated the American resolve to defend UN interests which is oil in the area. The necessity of securing its supply meant that Western policy-makers would not be prepared to treat Saddam Hussein's invasion as a matter to be solved within the Arab family. Saddam also underestimated the cohesion of the UN coalition. However, he over estimated the Soviet support and the strength of his armed forces. Finally he became a victim of his own rhetoric.
The strength of the international response to Saddam's challenge was not about Kuwait it was about the status of existing powers - particularly of the Untied States - in the new world order. The threat of nuclear war between the superpowers might have receded but, as Saddam himself believed, military power still seemed the decisive factor in world affairs. Behind the rhetoric of President Bush’s call for ’’a new world order’’ lies the reality of the old system and old ways are no longer adequate to the security needs of member states.
 Theory of Internatıonal Polıtıcs (California:Addison,Wesley Publ. Comp., 1979), p123.
 Yalr Evron,The Middle East:Nations Superpowers and Wars, New York, Praeger, 1973, p.192.
 The Anarchical Society: A Study of Order In World Politics Middle East Quertrly, (London, Macmillan Press Ltd., 1977, pp.3-40.
 İbid., p.8 and see also Hedley Bull, ’’World Order and the Superpowers,’’ in Superpowers and World Order, ed. Carsten Holbraad (Canberra: Australian National Univ. Press.1971) PP.140-154.
 Robert J. Lieber, No Common Power ( Boston: Scott, Foresman and Comp., 1988), p.24.
 Paul R. Violtti and Mark V. Kauppi, İnternational Relations Theory: Realism, Pluralism, Globalism ( New York: Mcmillan Publishing Comp., 1987), p. 34.
 Morgenthau, p.5.
 Viotti and Kauppi, p. 34,
 This concept Is used differently by various theoreticians. And yet one can not find a statement of the theory that is generaly accepted. Ernst Haas (’’The Balance of Power: Prescription, Concept or Propanganda?’’ World Politics, V (July 1991), pp.442-477) discovered eight distinct meanings of the term, and Martin Wight (Power Politics (London: Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1946)) found nine. Hans Morgenthau, in his profound historical and analytic treatment of the subject, makes use of four different definitions. Balance of power is seen by some as being like a law of nature, by others as simply an anger. Some view it as a guide to statements, others as a cloak that disguises their imperialist policies. Some believe that a balance of power is the best guarantee of the security of states and the peace of the world; others, that it has ruined states by causing most of the wars they heve fought.
 Power and İnternational Relations ( New York: Random House, 1992), p. 13.
 Morgenthau, p. 167.
 A. F. Organski, World Politics 2nd ed. (New York: Alfred A. Kropf, 1958), p. 274.
 G. R. Berridge, İnternational Politics: StatesPower and Conflict since1945 (New-York: St. Martin’s 1987), p. 148.
 These are ihe balance of power, loose bipolar, tight bipolar, universal, hierarchical, and unit veto. A. Reynolds, An İntroduction to İnternational Relations. 2nd ed. (New York, Longman inc., 1980), p.193.
 Morgenthau, pp.161-211.
 Robert L. Pfalzgraft Jr and James E. Dougherty, Contending Theories of İnternational Relations (New York: Lippincott Comp., 1971), pp.125-130.
The İnternational Relations Dictionary, p. 4.
 Pfalzgraft Jr. And Daugherty, p. 125.
 Pfzgraft Jr. and Daugherty, p.133.
 WaItz, ch.8, pp. 244-245.
 The United Nation in The European World Year Book V . !, 1991, p. 9.
 Bruce Russett and Harvey Starr, p.521.
 Bull, The Anarchical Society, p. 140.
 Robert H. Scrire, ’’Beyond the Cold War; Emergining İnternational Ralations in the 1990’s ’’İnternational Affairs Bulletin, 14, No 2 (1990), p 25.
 Frederick W.Axelgard. A New Iraq:The Gulf War and İmplications forUS Policy (New York: Praeger, 1988), p. 57.
 Don Peretz, The Middle East Today, 5th ed., ( New York: Praeger, 1988), p. 455.
 For further information see, Arı, Tayyar 2000’li Yıllarda Basra Körfezinde Güç Dengesi, İstanbul, Alfa Yayınları 1999.
 Parwish and Alexander, p.59.
 Hal Prafer, Dictatorship and Invasion, (New York: Monthly Prevtew Press, 1994), p.54.
 Ibid., p. 196.
 Herman Frederick Elite, ’’The Persian Gulf Crisis’’, The Middle East,Jornal,45, No.1 (Winter 1991), p. 7 and Fred Halliday, ’’The Gulf War and Its Aftermath: First Reflections, İnternational Affairs, 67, No.2, (April 1991), p. 223.
 Arı, op.cit.
 These vere evaluated from the daily newspapers.
 Walid Khalidi, ’’The Gulf Crisis: Origins and Consequence,’’ The journal of Palestine Studies,XX, No.2 (winter 92). p. 9.
 Christoper Greenwood, "Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait," The World Today, 47, No.3 (March 91), p.39.
 Greenwood, op.cit., p. 39.
 İbid., p. 40.
 Khalidi, op.cit., p.9.
 Efraim Karsh and İnari Raitsu, Saddam Hussein: A Political Biography, (New York, The Free Press,1991), p.205.
 Ibid., KhaIIdi, op.cit., p.10.
 KhaIIdi, p.5.
 Efraim Karsh and İnari Rautsi, ’’Why Saddam Hussein Invaded Kuvait’’ , Survival, XXXII, No.1 (January/February 1991), p.29.
 KhaIIdi, op.cit., p.11.
 Fisher, p 512
 Arı, Tayyar,’’Körfez Savaşı’’ Alfa yay.İstanbul 1994,p 239
 ’’The United Nations after the Gulf War’’, World Policy Jurnal VIII, No.3, p. 537.