History 299 Paper Proposal

 

Sam Taylor

History 299

Research Paper Proposal

                   On January 16, 1991 the United States military and other U.N. coalition forces launched Operation Desert Storm against Saddam Hussein and Iraq. After an approximate, five weeks of intense bombings and air strikes the ground war began. 100 hours after the start of the ground operation the fight was over. The United States had won one of the most lopsided military endeavors ever. Over 35,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed and more than an estimated 100,000 Iraqi civilians were dead, compared to just 114 U.S. soldiers that were killed by enemy combatants. It is interesting to note that the United States just three years previously was supporting the Iraqi army in their fight against Iran. During the Iran-Iraq war that lasted from 1980-1988 the U.S. provided supplies to Iraq and even fought against Iran to protect Iraq’s interests. Saddam Hussein was even presented with the key to Detroit in 1980 as a symbol of peace between Iraq and the United States.  By looking at this time much can be learned about the trajectory that U.S. foreign policy has taken, especially in regards to the Middle East.

Economics, especially in the form of oil played a fundamental role in shaping U.S. interest in the Persian Gulf during this time period. The main purpose of this paper will be to try and understand not only what changed between Iraq and the U.S. that caused the invasion of Iraq just three years after supporting the Iraqis but also to what extent was oil involved in that about-face, which resulted in such destruction and violence during the first Gulf war.

There are many excellent sources both primary and secondary that will be very useful in researching the topics of U.S. foreign policy towards the Persian Gulf as well as U.S. economic interests in the region during the 80’s and 90’s. One primary source that will be immensely helpful is  “U.S. Interests In, and Policies Toward, the Persian Gulf, 1980: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. House of Representatives, 96th Congress, Second Session, March 24; April 2; May 5; July 1, 28; and September 3, 1980.” This primary source will show the extent of U.S. interest in the Persian Gulf in 1980 only months before the Iran-Iraq war started. By knowing the U.S. intent in the region before the conflict started one will be able to contrast that with U.S. actions in the years that followed. One secondary source that will be useful is The Oil Factor in U.S. Foreign Policy, 1980-1990 by Melvin Conant. Even though this book was written in 1982 it gives the reader an understanding of U.S. interests in oil up until that point and gives a projection of the critical importance the U.S. will put on oil in regards to foreign policy as well as give background information on the oil industry during this time. Another crucial secondary source will be Crucible of Power: A History of American Foreign Relations from 1897 by Howard Jones. This source, which is a detailed outlining of the entire history of U.S. foreign policy, will give a great amount of information on U.S. decisions in regards to Iraq during the 80’s and 90’s. This source will also put the Gulf war in the greater framework that is U.S. foreign relations and will help show the role that oil played in contrast to years prior. A third important source will be Spider’s Web: The Secret History of How the White House Illegally Armed Iraq by Alan Friedman. This piece of investigative journalism will be crucial to understand to what extent did the U.S. support Iraq openly and covertly leading up to the Gulf war. This book will also shed light on value that oil played in this support by the United States.

With the U.S. having militarily been in Iraq from 2003 until 2011 and currently importing over 2.5 million barrels of oil a day from Saudi Arabia and other gulf nations, it is obviously very important to try and understand the history of U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf. It is important knowing the reasoning behind such a drastic change in foreign policy that led to such massive destruction and death especially when looking forward when oil and the Persian Gulf will only become more important in the modern world.

Working Bibliography

Atkinson, Rick. Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War. Boston: Houghton  Mifflin, 1993.

Aikman, David, Dean Fishcer, and Michael Serrill. “The Gulf Back to the Bullets: Pressure for Peace Builds while Iraq Launches a New Tanker War.” Time, 9 14, 1987, 38-40. http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.umw.edu/ehost/detail?sid=f9a3f602d6514371be05b81ce61d110a%40sessionmgr14&vid=16&hid=119&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=a9h&AN=57892740

Ballard, John R, From Storm to Freedom: America’s Long War With Iraq. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2010.

Borer, Douglas A. “: Inverse engagement: Lessons from US-Iraq relations, 1982-1990.” Parameters. 33. no. 2 (2003): 51-65.             www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/parameters/Articles/03summer/borer.pdf(accessed September 18, 2012).

Brzoska, Michael. “Profiteering on the Iran-Iraq War..” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, June 1987, 42-45. http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.umw.edu/ehost/detail?vid=4&hid=119&sid=d0fa329d6b5e452cbbbf8c1dd95c8314%40sessionmgr110&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=a9h&AN=11197365

Conant, Melvin. The Oil Factor in U.S. Foreign Policy, 1980-1990. Lexington: Lexington Books. 1982.

El-Shazly, Nadia El-Sayed. The Gulf Tanker War. New York: St. Martins Press, 1998.

Fredman, Zach. “Shoring Up Iraq, 1983 to 1990: Washington and the Chemical Weapons Controversy.” Diplomacy & Statecraft. 23. no. 3 (2012): 533-554. http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.umw.edu/ehost/detail?vid=3&hid=119&sid=d0fa329d6b5e452cbbbf8c1dd95c8314%40sessionmgr110&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=a9h&AN=79379346

Freedman, Robert O. The Middle East After Iraq’s Invasion of Kuwait. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. 1993

Friedman, Alan. Spider’s Web: The Secret History of How the White House Illegally Armed Iraq. New York:Bantam Books, 1993.

“Frontline Chronology”. Public Broadcasting Service. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/gulf/cron/ (accessed, September 18, 2012)

Hiro, Dilip. The Longest War: The Iran-Iraq Military Conflict. New York: Routledge, 1991.

Jones, Howard. Crucible of Power: A History of American Foreign Relations from 1897. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, 2008.

Kinzer, Stephen. Overthrown: America’s Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2006.

Lewis, Paul. “War On Oil Tankers Heats Up in the Persian Gulf.” New York Times, 5 18, 1986, 17. http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.umw.edu/ehost/detail?vid=15&hid=119&sid=f9a3f602d6514371be05b81ce61d110a%40sessionmgr14&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=a9h&AN=30711978 (accessed, September 16 2012)

Miles, Donna. American Forces Press Service; U.S. Department of Defense, “15 Years After Desert Storm, U.S. Commitment to Region Continues.” Last modified Feb. 22, 2006. Accessed September 18, 2012.

Stewart, Richard W. War in the Persian Gulf: Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm: August 1990-March 1991. Washington: Center of Military History, 2010.

Takeyh, Ray. “The Iran-Iraq War: A Reassessment.” Middle East Journal. 64. no.3 (2010): 365-383. http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.umw.edu/ehost/detail?vid=3&hid=119&sid=d0fa329d6b5e452cbbbf8c1dd95c8314%40sessionmgr110&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=a9h&AN=52994400

“U.S. Interests In, and Policies Toward, the Persian Gulf, 1980: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. House of Representatives, 96th Congress, Second Session, March 24;  April 2; May 5; July 1, 28; and September 3, 1980.”

Zatarain, Lee Allen. America’s First Clash with Iran: The Tanker War, 1987-88. Philadelphia : Casemate, 2008.

 

 

 

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