Thereare various reasons that drive countries to engage in war. The UnitedStates is a major player in the international affairs and it is,therefore, common for the country to back its allies or be supportedwhen it has an interest in various global security concerns. Thedifferent administrations that have headed the United Statesgovernment have been at logger heads with the middle east,particularly Afghanistan and Iraq. The recognition of Iraq in theglobal security concerns started in 1991 when the government invadedKuwait under the guise of protecting oil wells (Simons, 2016). Laterin 2003, the United States declared war against it due to the growingconcern of the production of weapons of mass destruction. Thegovernment of Iraq under the leadership of Saddam Hussein wassuspected of secretly producing the weapons an act that was inviolation of the United Nations ceasefire agreement signed in 1991.The two wars were different in nature since they had a variedintensity of support and intention.
First,the intention, and objective of the two ordeals were different. Wheninvading Kuwait, the Iraq government cited the danger posed by Kuwaiton its oil wells (Simons, 2016). Kuwait being weak economically andin military might could not offer an effective counter mechanism, andthis led to the toppling of its government. This made theinternational players to express their support for a force that wouldreinstate the sovereignty of Kuwait. In addition, the objective ofIraq extended beyond protecting the wells on the border tooverthrowing the government of the day.
Onthe other hand, the invasion of the United States of Iraq wasinstigated by the need to control the production of weapons of massdestruction. The United Nations security council believed that SaddamHussein was secretly producing weapons. The tension that existedbetween the United States and the Middle East led the government toconsider the preclusive measure as the best methods to protect theinterest of the country (Simons, 2016).
Therole of the United Nations and America in the two wars also differs.During the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, the United Nations was thefirst to raise concern over the violation of the protection ofautonomy and sovereignty of the weaker country (Katzman, 2014). TheUnited States did not take part as an individual country but as amember of the 34 jurisdictions that comprised the League of Nations.Interestingly, even the countries that were part of the Arab statessupported the move (Katzman, 2014).
Conversely,in 2003, the United States under the leadership of President GeorgeBush conceived the idea of attacking Iraq. Unlike in the 1990 warwhen 34 members supported the course, the Iraq invasion wasperpetrated by America with the support of its allies including theUnited Kingdom, Australia and Poland (Cramer & Thrall, 2013). TheArab States were not involved in the war. Also, the war was notapproved by the United Nations security council due to the skepticismof Bush’ administration that key members would hear none of it.According to Cramer and Thrall (2013), although Hussein’s rule wastoppled, no weapons of mass destruction were found, and this earnedthe United States ridicule among some players in the internationalarena who were against the invasion.
Despitethe diametric differences in the war, the role of the United Nationsin reconstruction after the war is fairly similar in the two ordeals.In 1991, after the Kuwait government was restored, the UN establishedthe Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission tasked with overseeing theprogress of the country and the possibility of re-invasion (Katzman,2014). Also, the body’s Compensation Commission was former dim1991, and it became a prop to Kuwait’s economic development.
InIraq, the United Nations was compelled by the United States to takeplace in the reconstruction of the country. Initially, the memberswere opposed to the idea of involving the international body sincethe two countries, America and UK had ignored the disapproval to wagewar against Iraq. In 2004, the UN sent a mission in Iraq and thesecretary-general by then, Koffi Annan, appointed a specialrepresentative to aid in structuring the new government (Cramer &Thrall, 2013). However, its role was not intense like it had beenobserved in Kuwait.
Summarily,the Kuwait invasion by Iraq and the United States declaration of waragainst Saddam Hussein differ in objective and the role of the UnitedNations. The UN Security Council conceived the idea of evicting Iraqfrom Kuwait while during the Iraq invasion, the United Statesoriginated with the idea. Also, 34 countries including members of theArab States supported the ousting of the Iraq forces from Kuwait. Onthe other hand, only America, Australia, and U.K. and Poland gave thenod for the war that President Bush waged against Iraq. Although Iraqlost on both occasions, the 2003 conflict earned the United Statescriticism from other Middle East countries, particularly becausethere were weapons of mass destruction that were recovered in Iraq.Finally, the intensity of the support and involvement of the UnitedNations in the two cases varied. In Kuwait, the giant body was fullyinvolved, and it spearheaded the reconstruction efforts. In Iraq, thespecial mission only acted under pressure from the U.S. government.
Cramer,J. K., & Thrall, A. T. (Eds.). (2013). WhyDid the United States Invade Iraq?.New York N.Y.: Routledge.
Katzman,K. (2014). Kuwait:security, reform, and US policy.Collingdale: DIANE Publishing.
Simons,G. (2016). Iraq:From Sumer to Saddam.New York N.Y.: Springer.