The Gulf War in retrospect – Foreign Policy
Dec 13, AP/ Marko DrobnjakovicAs the last troops withdraw from Iraq, the U.S. relationship with Iraq will normalize but remain complex and important to. In the years since, there have been over 4, U.S. and allied troop deaths, and more than one hundred thousand Iraqi civilians have been killed. Meanwhile. Jan 20, In retrospect, the U.S. conduct of the Gulf War was a success, that Iraq would inflict massive casualties on the United States, and even.
Stronginformed al-Bakr of a Barzani peace proposal delivered to the U. While a Barzani-initiated ceasefire would have allowed the government to claim victory, al-Bakr "expressed astonishment" over American contacts with the Kurds, asking why the message had not been delivered through the Soviets.
President Arif, with the overwhelming support of the Iraqi military, purged Ba'athists from the government and ordered the National Guard to stand down; although al-Bakr had conspired with Arif to remove al-Sa'di, on January 5,Arif removed al-Bakr from his new position as Vice Presidentfearful of allowing the Ba'ath Party to retain a foothold inside his government. Johnson administration favorably perceived Arif's proposal to partially reverse Qasim's nationalization of the IPC's concessionary holding in July although the resignation of six cabinet members and widespread disapproval among the Iraqi public forced him to abandon this planas well as pro-Western lawyer Abdul Rahman al-Bazzaz 's tenure as Prime Minister; Bazzaz attempted to implement a peace agreement with the Kurds following a decisive Kurdish victory at the Battle of Mount Handren in May Strong and making a number of friendly gestures to the U.
Duncan handed over the keys to the U.
Belgium became the protecting power for the U. Interests Section of the Belgian Embassy. India agreed to serve as the protecting power for Iraq in Washington. State Department to Iraqi officials, offering to resume normal relations if Iraq agreed to provide compensation for damage to the U.
Remembering the collapse of the short-lived coalition government inal-Bakr quickly ordered Naif who was not a Ba'athist arrested and exiled on July 30, cementing the Ba'ath Party's control over Iraq until the U. Foster of the NSC predicting immediately after the coup that "the new group Nixon Doctrine The Richard Nixon administration was confronted with an early foreign policy crisis when Iraq publicly executed 9 Iraqi Jews at the end of January Nixon's Secretary of State, William P.
Rogerscondemned the executions as "repugnant to the conscience of the world," while U. The Nixon administration would ultimately revise this policy by focusing on building up Iran, then ruled by Nixon's old friend Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi hereinafter referred to as "the Shah"as the dominant regional power. At the beginning of March, he arranged for Iran's Kurdish allies to attack IPC installations around Kirkuk and Mosul, causing Iraq millions of dollars in damage; in April, he unilaterally abrogated the treaty; and in Januaryhe sponsored a failed coup attempt against the Iraqi government.
In late Decemberal-Bakr sent his deputy, Saddam Husseinto negotiate directly with Barzani and his close aide Dr. The Shah was outraged when he learned of these negotiations, and sponsored a coup against the Iraqi government, which was scheduled for the night of January 20—21, However, Iraq's security forces had "complete recordings of most of the meetings and interviews that took place," foiling the plot, expelling the Iranian ambassador to Iraq, and executing "at least 33 conspirators" by January Edmund Ghareeb claimed that the CIA reached an agreement to help the Kurds overthrow the Iraqi government in Augustalthough there is little evidence to support this claim, and the CIA officer in charge of operations in Iraq and Syria in "denied any U.
In a May 31 meeting with the Shah, Nixon vowed that the U. Barzani had resumed his alliance with Iran and Israel after a December assassination attempt on his son Idriswhich he held the Ba'ath Party responsible for.
There is, however, no official record that this occurred, with the only record that Nixon approved the operation being an August 1 memo from Kissinger to 40 Committee principals. Interests Section in Baghdad shortly prior to Nixon's decision to support the Kurds; the Interests Section officially opened on October 1, This is not a happy situation nor a happy government for the US to try to do business with. Moreover, Soviet advisers contributed to a change in Iraq's tactics that decisively altered the trajectory of the war, allowing the Iraqi army to finally achieve steady gains against the Kurds where it had failed in the past.
Saddam had agreed to a concession on the border of the Shatt al-Arab waterway in return for an end to "all subversive infiltration from either side. We have great admiration for the courage and dignity with which those people have confronted many trials, and our prayers are with them. Gibson, "The Pike Report ignored inconvenient truths; misattributed quotes; falsely accused the United States of not providing the Kurds with any humanitarian assistance; and, finally, claimed that Kissinger had not responded to Barzani's tragic plea, when in fact he had This was not the 'textbook case of betrayal and skulduggery' that the Pike Report had led many people to believe.
Kissinger cared for the Kurds only to the extent that they could be used in the pursuit of US interests, and he would surely have abandoned them sooner or later. The Ba'ath Party viewed the efforts by the United States to achieve "step-by-step" interim agreements between Israel and the Arab countries and the diplomatic process that led to the Camp David Accords as calculated attempts to perpetuate Arab disunity. Consequently, Iraq took a leading role in organizing Arab opposition to the diplomatic initiatives of the United States.
After Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel inIraq succeeded in getting members of the League of Arab States Arab League to vote unanimously for Egypt's expulsion from the organization. A review of thousands of declassified government documents and interviews with former U. Under the Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush administrations, the U. A report of the U. The chairman of the Senate committee, Don Riegle, said: I think it's a devastating record.
Rumsfeld later became the U.
Secretary of Defense who led the coalition forces in against him. Powell were publicly condemning Iraq for its use of poison gas, especially after Iraq attacked Kurdish villagers in Halabja in March It has long been known that the U. His deputy, Richard L. Armitage, a senior defense official at the time, used an expletive relayed through a spokesman to indicate his denial that the United States acquiesced in the use of chemical weapons.
This process led to a gradual warming of relations between the two countries. In Iraq and the United States engaged in low level, official talks on matters of mutual interest such as trade and regional security. Inthe United States extended credits to Iraq for the purchase of American agricultural commodities, the first time this had been done since More significant, in the Baathist government hosted a United States special Middle East envoy, the highest-ranking American official to visit Baghdad in more than sixteen years.
Ostensibly, this was because of improvement in the regime's record, although former United States Assistant Secretary of Defense Noel Koch later stated, "No one had any doubts about [the Iraqis'] continued involvement in terrorism The real reason was to help them succeed in the war against Iran. All of these initiatives prepared the ground for Iraq and the United States to reestablish diplomatic relations in November Iraq was the last of the Arab countries to resume diplomatic relations with the U.
Iraq–United States relations - Wikipedia
The relationship had been strained at the end of when it was revealed that the United States had secretly sold arms to Iran during andand a crisis occurred in May when an Iraqi pilot bombed an American naval ship in the Persian Gulfa ship he mistakenly thought to be involved in Iran-related commerce.
Nevertheless, the two countries had weathered these problems by mid Although lingering suspicions about the United States remained, Iraq welcomed greater, even if indirect, American diplomatic and military pressure in trying to end the war with Iran. For the most part, the Iraqi government believed the United States supported its position that the war was being prolonged only because of Iranian intransigence.
With American backing, the British restored the monarchy, which cooperated with Allied war aims and strategy. The onset of the Cold War raised fears in Washington about Soviet expansionism into the Middle East and generated a determination among American leaders to prevent the spread of communism in Iraq.
Financially drained by the world war, Britain proved unable to maintain its position of imperial dominance in the country. Intra-regional tensions, most notably the conflict over Palestine that erupted as the first Arab-Israeli War ofalso destabilized the region. The emergence of anti-Western nationalism—a reaction to the legacy of British imperialism and U.
Iraq–United States relations
In the late s and s, U. They helped to negotiate a withdrawal of Iraqi military forces from the Palestinian theater as part of a broader plan to end the first Arab-Israeli war. They encouraged the IPC to increase oil production and to share a larger portion of revenues with the Iraqi government. They provided economic and military aid to the Iraqi government. Briefly, it appeared that the United States had found a formula for ensuring the long-term stability and anti-communism of Iraq.
In reaction, President Eisenhower sent U. Marines into Lebanon to avert a copycat rebellion there, but he rejected the notion of military intervention to reverse the revolution in Baghdad as too difficult tactically and too risky politically.
The Iraqi revolution of clearly marked the failure of the U. Managing Chronic Instability, The second phase of U. The revolution of was followed by others in, and Other revolts reportedly were attempted along the way and political and ethnic-cultural conflicts generated persistent strife throughout the era.
Nationalists aiming to remove the vestiges of foreign imperialism clashed with indigenous communists who sought political influence. The Kurdish population of northern Iraq resisted the authority of Arabs in Baghdad. Although internally unstable, Iraq emerged as an independent power on the international stage. Its government pursued neutralism in the Cold War and flirted with the Soviet Union and other communist states.
It also sought political influence among Arab states and contested Egyptian dominance of the Arab community of nations.
Iraq remained technically at war and occasionally skirmished with Israel. Management of the delicate Kurdish problem in the s led Baghdad into alternating conflict and cooperation with Iran. In the era, the United States pursued interlocking goals in Iraq. On behalf of U.
For several years after the coup, U. They maintained diplomatic relations, negotiated the peaceful termination of the Baghdad Pact, averted conflict in an Anglo-Iraqi showdown over Kuwait indispensed foreign aid to Iraq, and promoted business opportunities there. In light of evidence that the Soviet Union backed Iraqi Kurds, officials in Washington did nothing to alleviate the Iraqi suppression of that ethnic group.
Iraq severed diplomatic relations in because it considered the United States complicit in Israeli military conquests during the so-called Six Day War of June In the early s, Iraq nationalized U. Although Iraq neutralized the Kurdish problem through diplomacy with Iran, it criticized foreign powers that backed the Kurds and it displayed renewed anti-U.
Quickly, Hussein brutally suppressed all domestic rivals and thereby built internal stability in Baghdad, ending decades of political turmoil. A secularist, Hussein also positioned himself as a vital bulwark against Islamic fundamentalism in Iran, where the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took power in and declared an intention to export his revolutionary ideals across the region.
Iraq initially occupied 10, square miles of Iranian territory before Iran stymied the Iraqi thrust. Iran then gradually recaptured its territory, leading to a stalemate in the battle front by A series of massive land offensives proved to be ineffective at breaking the deadlock.
Yet the war ground on, widened by missile attacks on cities and by mutual assaults on oil tankers on the Gulf. Bythe two states together counted more than one million casualties. Initially, Reagan continued the policy he inherited from Jimmy Carter of practicing strict neutrality in the conflict. Byhowever, the government in Washington began to shift toward a position of supporting Iraq.