The 1990 Gulf Crisis: Political Realism Applied
Shak Bernard Hanish
Journal of International Relations and Foreign Policy, 1(1), pp. 01-16.

This article investigates the decisions behind the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. There are many theories and approaches that can be used to interpret wars within the international system. Realism is chosen here to provide the analytical framework with which to explain the Iraqi invasion. Although there are many general propositions of realism regarding the international system, three main propositions are focused upon to help explain the Iraqi invasion. The first assumption of realism applied in this article is the notion that states pursue their national interest defined in terms of power; second, external forces, rather than internal factors, determine states’ foreign policy; and third, rationality explains states’ behavior.

Full Text: PDF

Hanish, Bernard Shak. (2013). The 1990 Gulf Crisis: Political Realism Applied. Journal of International Relations and Foreign Policy, 1(1), pp. 01-16.

Al-Bazzaz, S. (1996). Al-Jiniralat Akhir Man Yalam [The Generals Are the Last to Know] (London: Dar al-Hikmah). Summary of the book was published in Sawt al-Itihad, organ of the Iraqi Democratic Union, in the U.S. and Canada, Detroit, no. 136, January 1997, 3.

Alexander, C. (1990). “West Vacationed While Saddam Burned,” Wall Street Journal, September 6, 15 &114.

Alnasrawi, A. (1994). The Economy of Iraq: Oil, Wars, Destruction of Development and Prospects, 1950-2010. Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Press, 94.

Arkin, W. M. (1996). “Calculated Ambiguity: Nuclear Weapons and the Gulf War,” The Washington Quarterly, 19, no. 4, 4.

Asharq al-Awsat (1991). “Primakov Writes about His Journey with the Gulf Crisis,” Asharq al-Awsat (in Arabic, London) March 3, 6.

Bengio, O. (1992). Saddam Speaks on the Gulf Crisis: a Collection of Documents (ed.). Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University, 101.

Brown, S. (1984) On the Front Burner: Issues in U.S. Foreign Policy. Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 16.

Bullock, J & Morris, H. (1991). Saddam’s War: The Origin of the Kuwait Conflict and the International Response. London: Faber and Faber, 11.

Carr, E. (1964). Twenty Years’ Crisis, 1919-1939: An Introduction to the Study of International Relations, 116 & 141.

Conter, R.D. (1976). Introduction to International Politics. Itasca, Ill.: F.E. Peacock Publishers, Inc., 12.

Cox, C. (1990). “175 Votes for Butcher of Baghdad,” Los Angeles Times, August 13, B-9.

Darwish, A & Alexander, G. (1991). Unholy Babylon: the Secret History of Saddam’s War. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 277.

FBIS (1990). Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS),” Near East and South Asia (NESA), Daily Report, July 17, 1990, 20-23; July 18, 1990, 21-24; July 19,1990,21; September 11, 1990, 34.

FBIS (1992). NESA, Daily Report. February 13, 22-23.

Fozouni, B. (1995). “Confutation of Political Realism,” International Studies Quarterly, vol. 39, no. 4, December 1995, 481, &.496.

Goldstein, G. S. (1997). International Relations, (2nd ed). (New York: Harper Collins, 143-145.

Haley, P.E. (1995). “Saddam Surprises the United States: Learning from the Revolution of August 2,” Armed Forces and Society: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 22, no. 2, winter, 159.

Henderson, S. (1991). Instant Empire: Saddam Hussein’s Ambition for Iraq. San Francisco: Mercury House, 219.

Herz, H. (1951). Political Realism and Political Idealism: A Study in Theories and Realities. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 8, 10.

Herz, J. (1957). “Rise and Demise of the Territorial State,” World Politics, 9, no., 24.

Joffe, G. (1991). George Joffe, “Prelude to the 1991 Gulf War,” in The Middle East and North Africa 1992. London: Europa Publications Limited, 5-6.

Kuwait University. (1979). The Documents of the Gulf and Arab Peninsula, 1975 . Kuwait: Kuwait University, 173. [In Arabic].

Marr, P. (1991). “Iraq in the 90s: Oil Revenues, Debt Management, Spending Priorities,” Middle East Executive Report, June 1990, 13.

Marr, R. (1991, January) “Iraq’s Uncertain Future,” Current History, 90, no. 522, 1, 2, & 41.

Matthews, K. (1993). The Gulf Conflict and International Relations. London: Routledge, 96.

Morgenthau, H. (1990). “Another Great Debate: The National Interest of the United States” in Classics of International Relations, ed. John Vasquez. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice- Hall, 5, 8, &.132-134.

Morgenthau, H. (1948). Politics Among Nations. New York: Knopf, 190-191.

Musallam, A.M. (1996). The Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait: Saddam Hussein, His State and International Power Politics. London: British Academic Press, 36, 59, & 93.

Rezun, M. (1992). Saddam Hussein’s Gulf Wars: Ambivalent Stakes in the Middle East. Westport, Ct.: Praeger, 60.

Salinger,P. (1995). “The United States, the United Nations, and the Gulf War,” The Middle East Journal, 49, no. 4, Autumn, 597.

Sutherland, J. (1992). “Iraq,” in The Middle East Review, 1992. London: Hunter Publications, 61 & 65.

Tareeq al-Sha’ab (1991). “Shai an al-Khalfiya al- Iqtisadiya Ligtiyah al-Kuwait” [Something about the Economic Background of the Invasion of Kuwait], Tareeq al-Sha’ab [People’s Road], organ of the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP), August 1991, 11.

White, B. (1989). Analyzing Foreign Policy: Problems and Approaches. Brookfield, Vt.: Gower Publishing, 11.

Europa (1991) Middle East and North Africa, 1991, London: Europa Publications, Limited, 581.

Swinger, D. (1996). “A Brief History of the Iraqi Conflict,” The Plough Publishing House of the Bruderhof Foundation, via Internet (6 pages), 1996.

Karabell, Z. (1990). “Backfire: U.S. Policy toward Iraq, 1988- 2 August 1990,” The Middle East Journal, 49, no. 1, Winter, 30-31.

Karsh, E, & Rautsi, I. (1991). Saddam Hussein: A Political Biography. New York: Free Press, 201-202.

Kegley, H. & Wittkopf, E. (1997). World Politics: Trend and Transformation, 6th ed. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997), 41.

Kennan, G. (1986). “Morality and Foreign Policy,” Foreign Affairs (Winter 1985/1986): 206;

Ross, M. (1990). “U.S. Land markers Vote to Punish Iraq,” Los Angeles Times, July 28, 8.

Rourke, J. T. (1995). International Politics on the World Stage(5th ed). Guilford, Ct.: Dushkin Publishing Group, 94.

Sciolino, E. (1991). The Outlaw State: Saddam Hussein’s Quest for Power and the Gulf Crisis (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 179-180

Time (1995) “Inside Saddam’s Brutal Regime,” Time, September 18, 82.

Vasquez, J. (1983). The Power of Power Politics: A Critique. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 18, & 205.

Waltz, K. (1979). Theory of International Politics. New York: Random House, 43, 87, & 95.

Wight, M. (1978). Power Politics. New York: Holmes and Meier Publishers, 23.

World Almanac. (1991). The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 1991. New York: World Almanac, 181.

Shak Hanish received his PhD in Political Science in 1998 from Northern Arizona (state) University in International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Politics of the Middle East; his MA and BA in Political Science from San Diego State University. He joined the Social Sciences Department at National University in 2005 and currently he is an associate professor serving as the Lead Faculty for Political Science program. He lectured for several years at various European and Middle Eastern universities as International Visiting Professor.

His research and teaching interests are in World Politics and Middle East Politics. His scholarly work focuses on the issue of minorities, human rights, and democracy in the Middle East, specifically in Iraq. His publications in peer-review journals include The Autonomy issue for the Chaldo-Assyrians in Iraq: A realist assessment; Iraqi dialect through dialogue: Culture, history, & politics; The Current status of religious minorities in the new Iraq; A Province for Christians in Iraq: An Evaluation; The Post 2003 Iraqi electoral laws: A comparison and an assessment; Autonomy for ethnic minority in Iraq: the Chaldo-Assyrian case; The Kirkuk problem in Iraq: Is there a solution? The Chaldean Assyrian Syriac people of Iraq: An ethnic identity problem; Women and the new Iraqi Constitution; and the Role of Islam in the making of the new Iraqi Constitution. He is the co-author of two books; published 5 chapters in different books, 13 journal articles, various newspapers pieces, nine book reviews, 15 encyclopedia entries, and many media interviews.