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Monday, August 02, 2004

Fourteen years ago today:

1990: Iraq invades Kuwait
More than 100,000 Iraqi soldiers backed up by 700 tanks invaded the Gulf state of Kuwait in the early hours of this morning.
Iraqi forces have established a provisional government and their leader Saddam Hussein has threatened to turn Kuwait city into a "graveyard" if any other country dares to challenge the "take-over by force".

In effect this is the moment the war we are still embroiled in has its beginning. This beginning is in both strategic terms and in terms of justification.
Strategically the problem was Saddam's dangerous regional ambitions that could only be stopped by removing him from power. For the regional balance of power a united and strong-looking Iraq was however necessary to keep Iran in check. So the Iranian regime has to go too. Until this implodes the West needed to take over Iraq's balancing role. This is currently happening and the Iraqi part of this endeavour is slowly coming to an end.
In terms of justification this date matters because this is the moment the Gulf/Iraq war was started by an act of aggression by Saddamite Iraq. Hence the coalition was and is justified both morally and legally to bring this conflict to an end we think appropriate.
So when will it be over? It will be over on the last day coalition forces in Iraq carry out the last combat operations to maintain internal order. Of course we will only be able to determine that date in hindsight.


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