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The Oil Wars MythPetroleum and the Causes of International Conflict$
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Emily Meierding

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501748288

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501748288.001.0001

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Oil Gambit

Oil Gambit

Iraq’s Invasion of Kuwait

(p.144) 8 Oil Gambit
The Oil Wars Myth

Emily Meierding

Cornell University Press

This chapter evaluates the unique historical oil gambit, focusing on Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. It recounts how Saddam Hussein initiated a severe conflict that aimed to seize Kuwait's petroleum resources. It justifies why labeling Iraq's invasion a classic oil war as an oversimplification. Although Saddam aspired to control Kuwait's oil, his broader goal was to resist a perceived existential threat emanating from the United States. The chapter emphasizes how Saddam believed that the US government was inciting Persian Gulf oil producers to drive down international oil prices in order to achieve its long-standing ambitions of preventing Iraq's regional rise and removing him from power.

Keywords:   oil gambit, Iraq, Kuwait, Saddam Hussein, petroleum resources, United States, US government, international oil prices

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