How much did the Gulf War cost the US
How much did the US pay for the Gulf War above and beyond the yearly
cost for supporting its military? The US Department of Defense estimated
the incremental cost at $61 billion. This additional cost included
deployment, construction and operations in the Gulf. However, $54
billion was offset by contributions of other members in the Coalition.
Two-thirds of the $54 billion was provided by the Gulf States ($36
billion) with the remaining one-third mostly provided by Japan and
Germany ($16 billion).
Notes on the graph:
'Payments were made in one of two ways: with financial assets ("Cash") and with services such as sealift and airlift ("In-Kind") 'As of March 1992, there was a shortfall in receipts compared with commitments. The total amount committed was $54 billion but only $52.9 billion had been received. The shortfall was $1.1 billion. 'Saudi Arabia provided the US Military with fuel, food, water, local transportation and facilities, accounting for the "In-Kind" assistance. This accounted for 25% of the Saudi commitment to the US Military presence and was 71% of all "In-Kind" contributions. 'The US paid roughly $7 billion, less than 12% of the total US cost and less than half what Saudi Arabia and Kuwait paid.
Why is the cost of the Gulf War to the US and how the US paid for the
war, interesting? 'Along with the large scale engagement of international forces (the US had over 500,000 troops while non-US
Coalition forces were roughly 160,000 or roughly 24% of all forces), the large international contributions to defer the cost of the war for the US deployment provides an indication of how deep international support for that war was, at least amoung those countries wealthy enough to provide the contributions.
'In the end, the war cost the US only $7 billion, less than 12% of what the war might have cost the US. Could the US have prosecuted the war so quickly and forcefully without strong international support? This is an economic as well as a political question. Did the US have the political will to fight such a war without the substantial international support? Given the current disinclination in the US to support international activities, this is an especially important question.
'How might those that paid for the US operation have affected that
operation? The advantage of working in a large coalition is that there are more resources and more political capital to accomplish a given end. The problems associated with a large coalition are the compromises and constraints that must be adhered to so as to maintain that coalition. While there was general agreement that Iraq should be removed from Kuwait, there was less consensus that Iraq should be invaded and the Iraqi government replaced.
Why discuss Iraq's pre Gulf War problems?
Consider a rigid dictatorship with a collapsing economy and overextended debt. The government has the largest military in the region (A) and is close to most of the world's proven reserves of petroleum (B). In addition, the government has already attempted unsuccessfully to invade one neighbor (Iran) and has forcefully suppressed a revolt by its own population; in both cases using chemical weapons (C). There is evidence the government is attempting to produce nuclear weapons (D). Shouldn't such a government be watched very closely?
Strangely, Iraq was not watched more closely, either by the US or by the other major powers at the time.
There was little opposition to the Iraqi invasion of Iran by the Gulf
States and by the Developed World. Was this a mistake? Even though the Iranian Government was despised in the US and elsewhere, should the principle of national sovereignty been upheld? Ironically, by not
upholding the principle of sovereignty, the world ends up with two
unprincipled regimes. Iraq invades another country, Kuwait. Iran,
feeling conspired against, supports terrorist groups.
The Iraqi Government is culpable for its action but there are larger
lessons that the US and the rest of the world can learn from the Gulf
War. One lesson is to watch carefully those countries with overwhelming debt and large standing military, but this is an old lesson. The interesting question is, given these conditions with Iraq so strategically located, why wasn't it watched more closely?
0."Iraqi ground forces were the largest in the Persian Gulf at the time of the invasion of Kuwait... Iraq ground forces had more than 5,000 main battle tanks, 5,000 armored infantry vehicles, and 3,000 artillery pieces larger than 100mm." (1) A."The Persian Gulf countries (Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) produce 26 percent of the world's oil, while holding 64 percent of the world's oil reserves." (2) B.Iraq first used chemical warfare (CW) against the Iran during the Iran-Iraq war in 1984 but did not develop an effective offensive doctrine involving chemical warfare until 1988 (1). Iraq also used CW to put down Kurdish uprisings including the gassing of the Kurdish village of Halabja in March 1988 in which between 2,000 and 4,000 people died (3). C.Iraqi nuclear capability was very difficult to assess due to the extraordinary secrecy imposed by the Iraqi government. After Israeli jets destroyed the Iraqi Osirak nuclear reactor in June 7, 1981, the CIA estimated that Iraq was expected to build a nuclear weapon in three to five years. That estimate was not updated (3). In March 1990, a joint US-British sting operation prevented the illegal export of US-built nuclear device-triggering components by Iraqi front companies (1).
If the Weapons of the Gulf War were so good..as General Norman and the Rest of the DoD experts have testified to in Congressional Hearings and at the PAC? Why did we have to spend Million's of Dollars to make them work for today? if they destroyed the Chemical and Biological materials in 1991..why is the Secretary of Defense worried about disbursal of those products today? remeber...DoD said that there was no danger from these materials when they destruyed them in 1991..and that our troops were in no danger from such exposur's..were the representatives of the Department of Defense Lying then..or are they Lying now? Chemical: enough to kill millions
IRAQ'S WEAPONS PROGRAMMES AND U.N. ATTEMPTS TO MONITOR THEM Iraq has already used chemical weapons in anger. From 1983 on, there were credible reports that Iraqi forces were using them in the war with
Iran. Then in 1988 came clear confirmation that Iraqi government troops had unleashed chemical weapons on the town of Halabja in Iraqi
Kurdistan. At least 3,000 people were killed in a mustard gas and sarin attack in this one incident. There may have been many others.
Some Gulf War veterans associations claim Iraq used chemical weapons in the 1991 Gulf War but this has not been conclusively proved (more
support groups for sufferers of Gulf War syndrome say the mysterious
illnesses which have hit soldiers are caused by faulty antidotes to
chemical weapons administered by their own armies). In the inspections programme, Iraq has acknowledged production of more
than 200,000 chemical weapons. UNSCOM itself has destroyed over 40,000 chemical weapons and nearly 500 tonnes of chemical warfare agents. This is an astonishing amount given that a couple of drops - or a few grams - of some of these agents is enough to kill.
The main facility for CW research and production was the Al-Muthanna
State Establishment, but there were other plants in the Fallujah area, south-west of Baghdad.
There are still some gaps in the knowledge of Iraq's chemical warfare
programme from the end of its war with Iran in August 1988 until the end of the Gulf War in 1991. It was during this period that Iraq tried to convert many of the short-range weapons it possessed into long-range strategic weapons.
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