I searched carefully for the answer to this question, but it doesn’t seem to get to the point. I tried to say it, and you also tried to look at it. If there are any mistakes, please correct me! The US attack on Iraq in the Gulf War is to re-establish its global dominance. This is a local war led by the United States on the brink of the end of the Cold War. The reason for the war is naturally very high-sounding, maintaining world order and not allowing any country to violate existing international rules. This action, which stands at the highest moral point in the world, has not been opposed, at least not by the permanent members of the United Nations, and the United States has also pulled up a United Nations army to carry out air strikes on Iraq. The war went very smoothly, and after just over a month, the war goal was achieved. What practical benefits did this seemingly unprofitable war bring to the United States?
Benefit 1: Re-establish the status of the United States as the world’s only superpower
The reason of the Gulf War was to maintain world order, and the purpose of the war was to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. These reasons seem to have nothing to do with the United States itself, but in fact it is not the case at all.
Today, the United States is the most powerful country in the world, but in 1991, there were really many countries that used to ignore the United States. The United States needed a war to re-establish its supremacy in the world. Iraq launched a war of aggression against Kuwait at the wrong time. The reason why the timing was wrong is because the Soviet Union was already crumbling at this time, and the other side of the confrontation with the United States was wrong. One pole is rapidly declining, and Iraq is naive to think that the United States will not take action against it, at least it will estimate that the influence of the Soviet Union in the Middle East will not take action against it.
After the U.S. retreat in Vietnam in the 1970s, it entered a defensive phase in the Cold War. Because of the influence of the geopolitical structure and the influence of the Middle East, the United States was not as good as the Soviet Union. At that time, in the eyes of the Middle East countries, the Soviet Union’s status was higher than that of the United States. Even if there were signs of division in the Soviet Union, for the Middle East countries, it did not lose its influence immediately. The United States, which has been working hard for more than ten years, saw an opportunity when Iraq rushed into Kuwait, and saw an opportunity to regain its world dominance. Such an opportunity needs a war to test. After the war, the influence of the United States reached its peak, and the world saw the military strength of the United States, which is very important for the United States to show its influence in the world until now.
Benefit 2: The Gulf War increased the influence of the United States in the Middle East, especially the protection of Saudi Arabia, which has played a crucial role in maintaining the status of the United States Dollar
Iraq did not withdraw its troops immediately after occupying Kuwait. It has its surrounding border with Saudi Arabia. If Iraq’s offensive momentum continues, Saudi Arabia may become another target for Iraq. Saudi Arabia is very important for the internationalization of the dollar, because the disintegration of the Bretton Woods system actually marks the failure of the internationalization of the dollar. By anchoring oil with the US dollar, the US dollar has re-established the status of the US dollar as an international currency, and Saudi Arabia is the most critical link in this process. If Saudi Arabia is occupied by Iraq, it means that the international status of the dollar will be challenged again. Because Saddam was a pioneer of de-dollarization and a blocker of dollar internationalization.
Through massive and devastating military strikes, the United States protected Saudi Arabia’s security, defeated Saddam’s army, and brought Iraq back to its original state, reducing its national strength to the point where it was unable to dominate the Middle East. This war established the basis for U.S. influence over the Soviet Union in the Middle East. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia fell into a period of hesitation for ten years. During the Cold War, these small countries in the Middle East could rely on the influence of the United States and the Soviet Union to keep their countries relatively safe. The era has passed, and anyone who is disobedient in the future will suffer the same fate as Iraq. Everyone has seen what happened after that. After 9/11, the United States fought in the Middle East for more than 20 years, and successively cleaned up terrorists from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and other countries.
In fact, after the Gulf War, the absolute position of the United States in the Middle East has basically been established. At this time, Libyan Dictator Gaddafi still wanted to remove US Dollar, but he was defeated by the United States. He died and was humiliated by the American soldiers. It is to inform the Middle East countries: Saddam and Gaddafi are examples of opposing the United States and the US dollar. The starting point for all the acquisitions of the United States is the Gulf War in 1991.
Benefit 3: It shows the world the great achievements of the new military reform of the United States, which has a powerful effect on the world for more than 30 years!
The military superiority of the United States over Iraq, the military power of the Middle-East, can be described as destructive. This war has brought the United States a mythical status of invincibility, because other countries cannot think of any solution when they see the way the United States plays. The U.S. military and technological advantages have laid a solid foundation for U.S. military dominance for the next three decades, and it has also opened a door, a huge door, for American weapons to be sold in the world.
The US arms trade has dominated the world for a long time, even during the Cold War. But the Gulf War brought other U.S. military equipments into view of all nations. If most of the purchased weapons were concentrated in the field of pure weapons, the Gulf War demonstrated the power of information technology to the world, and also made american weapons important export arms in the world arms trade market. At this time, there is almost no country in the world except the United States that can provide such weapons, so this war has played a crucial role in expanding the borders of the US weapons market. The money the United States made from selling weapons in the following decades basically covered the cost of this war.
Let’s talk about the deterrent effect of military dominance. During the Gulf War, the United States sent 6 aircraft carriers, and many other types of warships to participate in the war. And most of them were newly built ships. The existence of these weapons and equipments has allowed the world to thoroughly see the strength of the United States during the Gulf War. It can be said that this is the key battle for the United States to return to the status of superpower after the Vietnam War. This war helped the United States to maintain its military dominance for the next few decades. Even, though the U.S. military is now being challenged by China and Russia.
Today, the United States, which relies on its navy to maintain its military dominance, is estimated to be less than half of what it was during the Gulf War. Aircraft carriers are four or five ships that can participate in battles at any time. A large number of nuclear submarines and destroyers built in the 1970s are facing the problem of overdue service. Now almost two-thirds of the ships in the United States have been out of port for a long time. The reason is naturally because they are too old and have served too long, and the warships should be retired long ago. The speed at which the United States builds new ships cannot keep up with the aging speed of warships, so the completion rate of the US Navy’s equipments, or the warships that can be pulled out and ready to fight, is seriously insufficient.
But even so, most countries still are afraid of the military strength of the United States. If the United States had not show off world-leading military technology in the Gulf War, I think this fear of the United States would be much weaker. Therefore, for the United States, the Gulf War is not only a show of military power, but also guarantees the military deterrent power from the Gulf War to the present.
After the Gulf War, the economic development of the United States also began to enter the fast lane, and quickly distanced itself from the world. Japan, which was once as high as 70% of the U.S. economy, today is less than a quarter of the U.S. economy. Is there no role for this war behind this? Although the destructive power of war is huge, fighting a battle at a critical time will bring unexpected results. The Gulf War has maintained the United States military dominance, allowing the United States to speak the truth in the world, maintaining the United States’ currency supremacy, and at the same time, and because of all these reasons the United States economy has moved forward rapidly.