United Kingdom–United States relations - Wikipedia
The history of America's relations with Saddam is one of the sorrier of a nation that had been concocted by British imperialists in the s. US-Iraq relations were also limited by the fact that until the s, American policymakers considered Iraq to exist within a British imperial sphere of influence. In the s, the US and Britain backed Saddam in the war against Iran, giving Iraq US intelligence officials and diplomats, the CIA's relationship with Saddam .
The UK and US: The myth of the special relationship
Would it have been better if after World War One, Iraq had been divided into three states? Would this be an option should invasion [by the US et al] take place? I am thinking especially of the Kurds in the north.
Colin - UK Splitting up the country would not really work now with oil in the north, administration in the centre and ports in the south. Some kind of federal system would be much better which is what I think the British should have introduced in the first place. The Kurds in the north certainly deserve greater autonomy and freedom from persecution.
What, in your view, are the implications of British, or European intervention in Iraq today? Jane - Barbados What are the implications for present day Britain? I think we should be very careful about getting involved in Iraq, as a long occupation would be very difficult, costly and possibly dangerous.
How the US Helped Create Saddam Hussein
It does not at all follow that the Iraqis would welcome Britain and the US as liberators from Saddam. In hindsight wouldn't it have been better for the West - in terms of future relationships with the Islamic world - if we'd helped Iran rather than Iraq?
Both sides were armed by outsiders US and others and it would have been better not to have interfered at all. Then perhaps there would have been fewer casualties.
Why does your text imply by omission that Iran was an "innocent" victim of chemical weapons? Didn't they also use chemical weapons against Iraq during the war? Isn't it true that Iraq was upset over Kuwait's refusal to forgive or even restructure Iraq's debt from the war with Iran, a war that Kuwait itself desperately wanted, fearing its own Shi'a majority?
Isn't it also true that Iraq was upset by Kuwaiti slant drilling that was allegedly 'stealing' oil from beneath Iraq? Isn't your rhetoric that Iraq occupied Kuwait 'before the outside world could stop them' a bit bold considering that the United States, and perhaps other major powers, were aware of the Iraqi troops massing along the Kuwaiti border and of the likelihood of invasion - and yet refused to warn Iraq that invading Kuwait would have consequences?
Andrew - USA Your points about Iraq's war debt and about the 'illegal' drilling are correct, concerning the reasons for Iraq invading Kuwait. Kuwait does not have a Shi'a majority. In fact there are very few Shi'is in the state. Many Arab states supported Iraq against Iran because they feared the exportation of the fundamentalist Iranian 'threat' to their own countries.
I have not heard that Iran also used chemical weapons. In reply to your final point, I think Kuwait was foolish not have made some concessions to Iraq. But even so I think many people were surprised when the invasion actually took place, although Iraq claimed it had been given the green light by the US. You give the impression [in the feature article] that Iran lost the first Gulf war, while the reality was actually a stalemate, which both sides realised, and so they opted for peace.
Moshe - USA The Iran-Iraq war did, in one sense, end in stalemate; although Iran with its Revolutionary Islamic ideology was very much against ceasing fire, as it meant admitting that 'Islam' had failed to defeat a secular Iraq. Khomeini compared this to taking poison.
Also the Iranians were suffering heavy losses in throwing young soldiers against the weapons of the Iraqis. Intra-regional tensions, most notably the conflict over Palestine that erupted as the first Arab-Israeli War ofalso destabilized the region. The emergence of anti-Western nationalism—a reaction to the legacy of British imperialism and U. In the late s and s, U. They helped to negotiate a withdrawal of Iraqi military forces from the Palestinian theater as part of a broader plan to end the first Arab-Israeli war.
They encouraged the IPC to increase oil production and to share a larger portion of revenues with the Iraqi government. They provided economic and military aid to the Iraqi government. Briefly, it appeared that the United States had found a formula for ensuring the long-term stability and anti-communism of Iraq. In reaction, President Eisenhower sent U. Marines into Lebanon to avert a copycat rebellion there, but he rejected the notion of military intervention to reverse the revolution in Baghdad as too difficult tactically and too risky politically.
The Iraqi revolution of clearly marked the failure of the U.
Iraq–United Kingdom relations - Wikipedia
Managing Chronic Instability, The second phase of U. The revolution of was followed by others in, and Other revolts reportedly were attempted along the way and political and ethnic-cultural conflicts generated persistent strife throughout the era. Nationalists aiming to remove the vestiges of foreign imperialism clashed with indigenous communists who sought political influence.
The Kurdish population of northern Iraq resisted the authority of Arabs in Baghdad. Although internally unstable, Iraq emerged as an independent power on the international stage. Its government pursued neutralism in the Cold War and flirted with the Soviet Union and other communist states. It also sought political influence among Arab states and contested Egyptian dominance of the Arab community of nations.
Iraq remained technically at war and occasionally skirmished with Israel.
United Kingdom–United States relations
Management of the delicate Kurdish problem in the s led Baghdad into alternating conflict and cooperation with Iran. In the era, the United States pursued interlocking goals in Iraq. On behalf of U. For several years after the coup, U. They maintained diplomatic relations, negotiated the peaceful termination of the Baghdad Pact, averted conflict in an Anglo-Iraqi showdown over Kuwait indispensed foreign aid to Iraq, and promoted business opportunities there.
In light of evidence that the Soviet Union backed Iraqi Kurds, officials in Washington did nothing to alleviate the Iraqi suppression of that ethnic group.
Iraq severed diplomatic relations in because it considered the United States complicit in Israeli military conquests during the so-called Six Day War of June In the early s, Iraq nationalized U.
Although Iraq neutralized the Kurdish problem through diplomacy with Iran, it criticized foreign powers that backed the Kurds and it displayed renewed anti-U. Quickly, Hussein brutally suppressed all domestic rivals and thereby built internal stability in Baghdad, ending decades of political turmoil.
A secularist, Hussein also positioned himself as a vital bulwark against Islamic fundamentalism in Iran, where the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took power in and declared an intention to export his revolutionary ideals across the region. Iraq initially occupied 10, square miles of Iranian territory before Iran stymied the Iraqi thrust. Iran then gradually recaptured its territory, leading to a stalemate in the battle front by A series of massive land offensives proved to be ineffective at breaking the deadlock.
Yet the war ground on, widened by missile attacks on cities and by mutual assaults on oil tankers on the Gulf. Bythe two states together counted more than one million casualties. Initially, Reagan continued the policy he inherited from Jimmy Carter of practicing strict neutrality in the conflict.
Byhowever, the government in Washington began to shift toward a position of supporting Iraq. Iran's military advances worried U. Despite Hussein's political despotism, U. Thus the Reagan Administration provided Iraq with economic aid, restored diplomatic relations, shared intelligence information about Iranian military forces, and otherwise engaged in what it called a "tilt" toward Iraq designed to ensure its survival.