"Desert Storm" - the battle for oil
In the late eighties and early nineties, the Iraqi economy experienced serious difficulties. The inflow of petrodollars decreased, therefore, the standard of living of the population deteriorated, and the external and internal debt grew. The country has not recovered after a heavy war with Iran. Under these conditions, oil prices for Iraq acquired a vital meaning.
The Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein by the early nineties finally came to the conclusion about the universality of the power approach to solving any economic problems. Trying to convince other oil-producing Arab states of the need to jointly and consistently raise the price of the main export item, he unexpectedly faced their reluctance to enter into a deal. A small and seemingly defenseless Kuwait was chosen as an object of exponential punishment. Under the pretext of violating international oil production standards in August 1990, the Iraqi army occupied this state. The reaction of the largest oil importers was almost instantaneous.Already in the first decade of August, the transfer of large US military units began in the region.
It cannot be said that Operation Desert Storm was a surprise attack on the occupying Iraqi corps. On the contrary, Saddam Hussein was repeatedly warned that the blow would be dealt with, and preparations for it were actively covered by the media. TV reports regularly showed shots in which American soldiers descended the ladders of airliners, military cargoes, foodstuffs, and even pallets with bottled mineral water were unloaded from transport planes. The information war began earlier than the Desert Storm. The international character of the upcoming military action was also not a secret, except for the United States, countries such as France, Great Britain, Egypt, Syria, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and many others expressed a willingness to participate (28 in total). However, such a powerful psychological pressure was not crowned with success. It remained to rely on military force. The term of the ultimatum was set before January 15, 1991. In the meantime, the Coalition Headquarters under the leadership of General Norman Schwarzkopf was working on developing a plan for Operation Desert Storm.
Ratio of forces
Today it is difficult to judge what the Iraqi leader was counting on, watching the large-scale preparations for Operation Desert Storm, but the fact remains: he did not respond to the warnings. The technical superiority of the coalition forces did not cause any doubts, especially in the field of high-precision remote weapons. In addition to the divisions of the US Marine Corps, which formed the backbone of the international contingent, air formations and ships, including aircraft carriers, pulled into the Gulf waters, were ready for combat. In addition to modern models of military equipment, it was intended to use time-tested battleships with powerful artillery weapons. On the airfields were based stealth aircraft and the deeply modernized Phantoms F-4. The aircraft wing consisted of two thousand units of equipment against 700 in Iraq.
Two days after the deadline for the ultimatum, it became clear that there was no longer any possibility of preventing an armed conflict. The Desert Storm began with a crushing air and missile strike, the purpose of which was communications centers, air defense systems and the structure of the army command of the Iraqi army.The response was expressed in ineffective attempts to hit targets on the territory of Saudi Arabia and Israel, blocked by the US missile defense system. Ground combat operations of the Iraqi army were also unsuccessful. On February 16, Hussein announced his readiness to leave Kuwait, but was not allowed to "save face". After 12 days, the Iraqi group was completely crushed, and Operation Desert Storm was completed.