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Mission Not Accomplished, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 861

Essay

When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait on August 2nd, 1990, it began a war between Iraq and a coalition of international nations lead by the United States. A large-scale air attack ensued by the end of the year and into January of 1991, and by February Iraqi troops had surrendered, and retreated out of Kuwait. This conflict is absolutely legendary for the efficiency in which it was carried out, including the time frame to the loss of life. It literally took a four-day ground offensive before a cease-fire was ordered (PBS, 2013). Moving in reverse to June of 1950, soldiers from North Korea, a Communist nation backed by Russia and China, invaded South Korea. This effectively opened up the unofficial war between the United States and Russia that would last for decades (Korean War, 2013). More commonly known as The Cold War, this conflict was fought through a number of satellite nations they invested in respectively–essentially the globe became a chessboard, and less developed nations were certainly the pawns. There are many similarities between the Gulf War under George H.W. Bush and the Korean War of the early 1950’s. Both wars were fights for strategic global position, both left a country with an unstable infrastructure, and both conflicts led to further international issues as a product. The Korean War, as mentioned before, was clearly a product of the power struggle between “Communism” and “Capitalism” during the Cold War. When the Soviet-backed North Korean army invaded the South, which was a democratic state, the United States was quick to intervene. South Korea was seen as a strategic position for the Western powers in the South Pacific, and the invasion was not tolerated. Eventually, the overbearing North Korean was pushed back to their borders (Korean War, 2013).

The Gulf War was seen in much the same way. Kuwait was an oil-filled nation that was not necessary Westernized, but certainly was considered on of the United States’ largest allies in the always-volatile Middle East. Saddam Hussein was a known religious despot with nuclear aspirations, and allowing him to take control of Kuwait’s oil fields would have given Iraq unprecedented leverage over the West. This could have proven extremely dangerous, therefore it was not allowed. The Unites States secured a cease-fire in 44 days (PBS, 2013). From the perspective of North Korea, although they were pushed back to their borders, their extremely unpredictable and overbearing ruler, a line still in place today, was left in control of the country. It is true the operation was a success at the time, but it left North Korea with an unstable government that right up to the time of this composition is a nuclear threat. The point is on the long-term, this was not a success by any means.  Analyzing Iraq in the post-Gulf War years, much the same thing happened. Overbearing despot Saddam Hussein was successfully pushed back to his borders, temporarily bailing out the country of Kuwait. This of course benefitted American businesses–the ability to continue to reap the benefits of Kuwait’s oil. However, the most important aspect is the state Iraq was left in, and the products of that.  Saddam Hussein was left in power, and continued to threaten the United States and its allies. After the attacks on America on September 11th, 2001 and the subsequent “War on Terror”, Iraq again threatened nuclear war, provoking another conflict with the United States. This time, Hussein was caught and executed. The “War on Terror” is the new Cold War, There is no end game in sight–conflicts are being fought in smaller places around the globe, rather than the destruction of major cities, trench warfare, and battlefields of World Wars I and II. The reason The Gulf War and The Korean War have so many similarities is because they are the same thing in different time periods: the Korean War marked the true beginning of the Cold War, fought guerilla-style, on their own turf. Discerning enemies from civilians was extremely difficult. This is the same in the Gulf War, which was the true beginning of the War on Terror. It marked the beginning of modern military intervention in the Middle East in a direct fashion. Many of these countries, including Afghanistan and Iraq, were products of the former Soviet Union. Both North Korea and Iraq were left in shambles as a direct result of Soviet and American pullout after the Cold War, causing almost identical future foreign policy problems. Though Hussein was removed, the Iraqi infrastructure still remains shaky at best. There is a constant state of Civil War between different sects of Islam, as well as tribal leaders. On the Korean front, North Korea is currently threatening an invasion of South Korea, and possibly nuclear war. To conclude, it is impossible to say either of these conflicts are, or were, successes at all. Both North Korea and Iraq are still causing problems for the international community to this day–a direct result of how the nations were treated by both the former Soviet Union and the United States.

Works Cited

“Korean War.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2013. <http://www.history.com/topics/korean-war>.

PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2013.   <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/gulf/cron/>.

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