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Kuwait Essay Research Paper LIBERATE KUWAIT CASEOn

Kuwait Essay, Research Paper


On August 2, 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait, the United States had to decide

how to handle the situation. Should they use offensive force or will sanctions be

effective in driving Iraq out of Kuwait? This was the main question that President Bush

and his advisors had to answer. Unfortunately, not everyone had the same opinion on

how to solve the situation. Shortly after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait President Bush

made a statement in which he stated that ? Iraq must completely withdraw from Kuwait?

(236). President Bush felt that the only successful method in liberating Kuwait was to

use force. Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense, also agreed with the President. He felt

that sanctions on Iraq were not effective and it would not guarantee success. However,

Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, felt that alternatives were not being

considered equally. Powell thought that containment and economic sanctions on Iraq

could prove to be effective. General Powell talked to Brent Scowcroft, National Security

Council Director, to see if the alternatives were being discussed with the President. As

National Security Director it was his job to see that all alternatives would be equally

weighed. Scowcroft, however, agreed with the President that sanctions were not


In October Powell told General Schwarzkoph that Bush wanted a preliminary

plan of an offensive attack. There were three phases of the plan. The first three were an

air attack, and the fourth plan was a ground attack. The plan was considered to be

inadequate, the U.S. did not have enough forces to attack. ?On October 30, 1990,

President bush met with Powell, Cheney, Scowcroft, and Baker to discuss what policy

was to be used, Deter-and defend, or an offensive plan?(245).

There are some important lessons form this case study that should be reviewed.

One aspect is the miscommunication or lack of it. From the beginning their was no real

organization to the methods that were being discussed. Instead of a group effort to find

an effective solution on liberating Kuwait, several top advisors had their own opinion and

acted solely on them, sometimes without consulting other officials. One example of this

is when Cheney went on major networks and announced, in different ways, that the

United States might send more troops to Kuwait. Neither Powell or Schwarzkoph were

told of this decision beforehand.

Throughout this case there was always the issue of the alternatives not adequately being

considered. Powell told Scowcroft several times that alternatives should be discussed

before coming to a conclusion to liberate Kuwait. However, Scowcroft was unwilling to

cooperate with Powell on this issue. When President Bush did meet with his advisors the

meetings were not very productive. Another important point is the fact that plans were

not carried through. One example is when Baker told Powell that there will be a meeting

with Bush to discuss the advantages of containment. There was never a meeting in

regards to this. President Bush?s foremost commitment was to devise a plan that would

guarantee success. In his opinion, that meant using force to liberate Kuwait. President

Bush was biased to the plan of action and did not consider any other plan equally.

This case study relates the to other cases we have discussed in this class. One

case it relates to is the Challenger Case . In both cases, the alternatives were not clearly

discussed. In the Challenger Case NASA could have considered ther alternative of lift

off at a later time that day, but it was never disscused. Another case it relates to is the

Move Disaster case. In both cases there was a lack of organization in finding the right

method to solve the situation. In the Move Disaster case there should have been more

qualified personnel involved to help the city officials come to an appropriate solution.

This was never accomplished. All the case studies we have studied so far are related in

many different ways.