government would have instigated even greater disruption of Gulf oil exports.”
As a conclusion it should be mention that: A) Although the Soviet Union withdrew its forces from Afghanistan in February 1989, but it was not completely because of Reagan doctrine rather it was because of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Glasnost and Perestroika doctrine. However, the Marxist government remained in power after Soviet withdrew from Afghanistan. B) Supporting Iraqi regime during the Iran Iraq war backfired after ceasefire between Iran and Iraq in 1988 and Iraqi regime occupied the state of Kuwait in 1990 that was one of main supporter of Saddam’s regime during the eight years imposed war against Iran. Also in 2003 US and coalition forces envisioned to Iraq and overthrew the Saddam from power. C) Although the Reagan’s policy of “harassment of the Persian Gulf shipping” had its role to help Arab sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf and Iraqi regime to export its oil from the Persian Gulf and strait of Hormoz and had its effects to force Iran to accept the Iran – Iraq ceasefire, but it was not the main reason for Iranian leaders to end the imposed war against them.
4.5 Evaluation of the “George Herbert Walker Bush” Policy
George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12, 1924) served as the 41st President of the United States(1989–93), also as a Republican, he had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States (1981–89) in Reagan administration. The Iraqi invasion to Kuwait has its historical background: For a long time, Saddam Hussein had expressed displeasure against Kuwait and the status quo in the Persian Gulf. Saddam’s claim was that Kuwait had been stolen from Iraq to suit the needs of Britain and the other big powers. Also Iraqi leader was on this firm belief that Kuwait limited Iraq’s access to the Persian Gulf, and it controlled a great deal of Iraq’s oil reserves and also stealing oil’s from the “Rumaila field”, which was located on the border of Iraq and Kuwait (Brands, 2004).
Another reason of tension between Iraq and Kuwait was the Iran-Iraq war. Because that war imposed Iraqi economy with a huge debt, which it hoped to lighten by raising oil prices, but when the oil prices did not rise sufficiently, Saddam Hussein accused Kuwait of conspiring with other producers to keep them down. According to abovementioned Saddam’s displeasure, he had mobilized his army and sent 100,000 troops to the Kuwait border. In the weeks and days before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, American officials continued to hope for progress but these efforts were not successful and finally On August 1, 1990, Iraq, led by Saddam Hussein, invaded its oil-rich neighbor to the south, Kuwait. As President Bush was not ready for military action suggested asking Congress to impose economic sanctions against Iraq and to support a United Nations resolution condemning the invasion.
George H. W. Bush, declared US objectives regarding to Iraqi invasion to Kuwait and Persian Gulf region in a Speech, on the new world order that was given to a joint session of the United States Congress, Washington D.C. on 11 September 1990:
“…Our objectives in the Persian Gulf are clear, our goals defined and familiar: Iraq must withdraw from Kuwait completely, immediately and without condition. Kuwait’s legitimate government must be restored. The security and stability of the Persian Gulf must be assured. And American citizens abroad must be protected…” (Bush, 1990).
If we analysis the Bush’s speech at the joint session of the United States Congress we can understand the vital role of Persian Gulf region for US and its allies:
“… Vital economic interests are at risk as well. Iraq itself controls some 10 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves. Iraq plus Kuwait controls twice that. An Iraq permitted to swallow Kuwait would have the economic and military power, as well as the arrogance, to intimidate and coerce its neighbors—neighbors who control the lion’s share of the world’s remaining oil reserves. We cannot permit a resource so vital to be dominated by one so ruthless. And we won’t” (Bush, 1990).
However, the following parameters sought president Bush to take final decision to attack against Iraqi forces in Kuwait: A) it appeared for Bush administration that there is not much hope for an Arabic solution, B) the Saudis were reluctant to take a stand against Saddam, C) George HW Bush met British prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Aspen, Colorado who advocated a hard line against Iraqi aggression. “If Iraq wins,” the prime minister said, “no small state is safe. They won’t stop here. They see a chance to take a major share of oil. It’s got to be stopped. We must do everything possible”(Brands, p. 116). D) America’s Secretary of State James Baker visited Moscow and discussed with President Gorbachev and the Soviet foreign minister Shevardnadze. E) Bush hoped to heighten its significance and thereby mobilize political support behind his anti Saddam policy by linking the crisis in the Persian Gulf to his vision of a new world order. F) Victory of Republican on Democratic leaders in Congress that was against war by joint resolution, Congress on January 12, 1991 authorized the president Bush “to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678.” (Brands, p. 130)
As a conclusion it should be said that President George H. W. Bush policy regarding Persian Gulf in the case of desert storm war against Iraqi regime can be evaluate in two perspectives: one perspective is those who saw Bush’s policy as a failure or relative failure in mid-1991 or 1992 did so because of the failure to remove Saddam Hussein from power or to eliminate Iraq’s nuclear weapons programme. At least one poll taken after the war appears to confirm the relationship between evaluating the war as a partial failure and wanting to see the elimination of the Iraqi leader.
The second perspective is that victory of the coalition forces with leadership of US during the desert storm war against Saddam’s regime was a significant victory for George HW Bush administration, because Bush administration was enabled to make a coalition of forces under support of the UN Security Council and also change in public opinion of increasing support for the Bush administration’s policies. It is clear that he did not create the desire to eliminate Saddam Hussein and Iraq’s nuclear weapons programme, but some polls in US did show that public opinion inside US was satisfied with those two goals rising in importance as the ‘oil’ and ‘liberating Kuwait’.
4.6 Evaluation of the “Dual Containment Policy”
The main question is “Was U.S. foreign policy – Clinton’s administration policy – of containing Iran effective and well-matched with US long-term interests in the Persian Gulf region the same as ending terrorism, establishing a stable democracy in Iraq, and securing oil interests for the long time? To evaluate the effectiveness of US containment of Iran with US long-term interests in mind, it is better to look at some scholars’ view points about containment policy against Iran and Iraq. Litwak (2002) argues that “rogue state” policy had pushed US policymakers toward a generic strategy of containment and isolation that allowed for little flexibility in dealing with Iran and Iraq. Litwak further argues that rogue state policy had such significantly deep effects on US foreign policy that even after Khatami (Iran’s reformist president and proponent of East-West dialogue) was elected president, the U.S. was unable to adapt to this development in Iranian politics. “There was formidable opposition in the Republican-led Congress and beyond to any change from a comprehensive containment policy toward Iran. By demonizing and lumping these states as an instrument of political mobilization, the rogue state policy obscured understanding of these countries and distorted policy-making” (Litwak, 2002).
Zibigniew Brzezinski (former National Security Advisor under President Carter), and Brent Sowcroft (1997) (former National Security Advisor under George H.W. Bush), believed Clinton teams’ initial Middle East policy had two aspects: continued support for the peace process and dual containment of Iraq and Iran. The Clinton administration had little opportunity to oust Saddam except at great cost in blood and treasure. In other side, U.S. sanctions against Iran, although doing some damage to the Iranian economy, have produced no major achievements and increasingly isolate America rather than their target. They criticized the Clinton policy that it could not overthrow Saddam Hussein from power and also couldn’t isolate Iran:
“… Dual containment” had become “more slogan than a strategy. however, and the policy may not be sustainable for much longer. In trying to isolate both of the Gulf s regional powers, the policy lacks strategic viability and carries a high financial and diplomatic cost. Saddam Hussein is still in power six years after his defeat at the hands of a multinational coalition and the international consensus on continuing the containment of Iraq is fraying. The strident U.S. campaign to isolate Iran, in turn, drives Iran and Russia together and the United States and its Group of Seven allies apart”(Brzezinski, Scowcroft, & Murphy, 1997).
Brzezinski and Scowcroft (1997) concluded that however one judges its achievements to date, dual containment cannot provide a sustainable basis for U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf.
As an analysis to above mentioned critical sentences it should be said that the dual containment policy regarding Iran and Iraq both could not reach to its goal. Because after Iran Iraq war immediately Iraq attacked Kuwait in 1990 and captured Kuwait city and on the other side it couldn’t stop Iran from its ambitions in the region and world and following the policy of achieving nuclear energy.
McCallen and Mraz, two scholars of the American Naval Postgraduate School
government would have instigated even greater disruption of Gulf oil exports.”