The GulfWar of 1991
The GulfWar of 1991
With the Cold War effectively pronounced over by 1990, there was
much talk of an ‘end of history’ prompted by the writings of
Francis Fukuyama. But history does not end; one historical period
merely gives way to another in which the past continues to loom
large. The continued survival of communist regimes in places like
Cuba and North Korea and, in a slightly different way, the
increasingly consumerist People’s Republic of China – especially
after the suppression of the Tiananmen Square uprising in 1989
-market economy, permitting some assistance to poorer brethren highly desirable. Benefits: regional superpower within a few years; eventual major influence on wider world affairs possible.
To which the article’s author observed, “There is no need to look for such a country: Turkey fits every specification. Moreover, it wants the job.” 1
This chapter will look at Turkey before and after the GulfWar, starting in the mid-1980s and concluding at the end of the 1990s. It will examine, among other things, the Time writer’s glib assertion
From the GulfWar to Somalia: cracks in the old
Prelude: GulfWar, 1991
The end of the Cold War delivered Germany from more than four decades at the
world’s geostrategic centre. But German policy makers were not allowed a
lengthy respite from world aﬀairs. The crisis sparked by Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 placed the question of the new Germany’s role in
international security on the agenda even before the two-plus-four negotiations
for German unity had been wrapped up. It caused the two rival schools of security thinking
Reframing Experience in Harun Farocki’s Eye/Machine Series
Harun Farocki’s Eye/Machine (2003) is a video installation which analyses how what Farocki calls ‘the operational image’ reconfigures our visual regimes. The ‘operational image’ allows machines to operate ever more autonomously and to perform their tasks with no need for human supervision. Farocki links the birth of such operational images to the missiles with integrated cameras used during the Gulf War (1991) and therefore to military purposes. Eye/Machine poses a paradox: operational images generate a process of abstraction in which the image depicted (in the case of the war, the battlefield) gets detached from its indexical dimension, appearing as abstract and unreal. However, such detachment can be reversed when these images are recontextualised and reframed within an exhibition space, since that places them within a human experiential framework. Images, and our perception of them, are part of what Judith Butler calls the ‘extended materiality of war’. Thus, war is not only fought in the battlefield, but also at the level of the senses.
, the collapse of the Soviet Union
represented a final victory for Western liberal democracy – an unexpected Hegelian
denouement in the knotweed of History. Their euphoria – albeit short-lived –
provided the entrance music for a new ethical order, constructed by the US, with a basis in
liberal humanitarian norms. Without any direct and immediate threat to its hegemony, the US
merged its geostrategy with a humanitarian ethics. In 1991, after the GulfWar, the US invaded
Iraq in the name of humanitarian concern. The following year, to the
An Interview with Celso Amorim, Former Brazilian Foreign Minister
also be expected to respect human
rights?’ But regardless of hypocrisy and selectivity, there was a general acceptance that
there existed this kind of order, in which the US broadly set the terms. At the ILO
[International Labour Organisation], the US refused to sign many of the conventions, but it
demanded that other countries sign. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, this order
This was the world I encountered when I was appointed foreign minister for the first time, by
[Brazilian President] Itamar Franco, just after the Gulf
Turkey's involvement in the Gulf War in 1991 paved the way for the country's acceptance into the European Union. This book traces that process, and in the first part looks at Turkey's foreign policy in the 1990s, considering the ability of the country to withstand the repercussions of the fall of communism. It focuses on Turkey's achievement in halting and minimising the effects of the temporary devaluation in its strategic importance that resulted from the waning of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union; the skilful way in which Turkey avoided becoming embroiled in the ethnic upheavals in Central Asia, the Balkans and the Middle East; and the development of a continued policy of closer integration into the European and western worlds. Internal politics are the focus of the second part of the book, addressing the curbing of the Kurdish revolt, the economic gains made and the strengthening of civil society. The book goes on to analyse the prospects for Turkey in the twenty-first century, in the light of the possible integration into Europe, which may leave the country's leadership free to deal effectively with domestic issues.
Mobilising the concept of strategic culture, this study develops a framework for understanding developments in German security policy between 1990 and 2003. Germany's contemporary security policies are characterised by a peculiar mix of continuity and change. From abstention in the first Gulf war, to early peacekeeping missions in Bosnia in the early 1990s and a full combat role in Kosovo in 1999, the pace of change in German security policy since the end of the Cold War has been breathtaking. The extent of this change has recently, however, been questioned, as seen most vividly in Berlin's response to ‘9/11’ and its subsequent stalwart opposition to the US-led war on terrorism in Iraq in 2003. Beginning with a consideration of the notion of strategic culture, the study refines and adapts the concept to the case of Germany through a consideration of aspects of the rearmament of West Germany. It then critically evaluates the transformation of the role of the Bundeswehr up to and including the war on terrorism, together with Germany's troubled efforts to enact defence reforms, as well as the complex politics surrounding the policy of conscription. By focusing on both the ‘domestics’ of security policy decision making as well as the changing and often contradictory expectations of Germany's allies, this book provides a comprehensive analysis of the role played by Germany's particular strategic culture in shaping policy choices. It concludes by pointing to the vibrancy of Germany's strategic culture.
This text aims to fill a gap in the field of Middle Eastern political studies by combining international relations theory with concrete case studies. It begins with an overview of the rules and features of the Middle East regional system—the arena in which the local states, including Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Israel and the Arab states of Syria, Jordan and Iraq, operate. The book goes on to analyse foreign-policy-making in key states, illustrating how systemic determinants constrain this policy-making, and how these constraints are dealt with in distinctive ways depending on the particular domestic features of the individual states. Finally, it goes on to look at the outcomes of state policies by examining several major conflicts including the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Gulf War, and the system of regional alignment. The study assesses the impact of international penetration in the region, including the historic reasons behind the formation of the regional state system. It also analyses the continued role of external great powers, such as the United States and the former Soviet Union, and explains the process by which the region has become incorporated into the global capitalist market.
The first major post-Cold War conflict, the 1991 Gulf war, indicated how much had already changed. Saddam Hussein had enjoyed Western support in Iraq's war against Iran in the 1980s, but was abruptly cast as the 'new Hitler' after his invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. This book is about how the media have interpreted conflict and international intervention in the years after the Cold War. By comparing press coverage of a number of different wars and crises, it seeks to establish which have been the dominant themes in explaining the post-Cold War international order and to discover how far the patterns established prior to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks have subsequently changed. The key concern is with the legitimacy of Western intervention: the aim is to investigate the extent to which Western military action is represented in news reporting as justifiable and necessary. The book presents a study that looks at UK press coverage of six conflicts and the international response to them: two instances of 'humanitarian military intervention' (Somalia and Kosovo); two cases in which the international community was criticised for not intervening (Bosnia and Rwanda); and two post-9/11 interventions (Afghanistan and Iraq). There were a number of overlapping UN and US interventions in Somalia in the early 1990s. Operation Restore Hope was the first major instance of post-Cold War humanitarian military intervention, following the precedent set by the establishment of 'safe havens' for Iraqi Kurds and other minorities at the end of the 1991 Gulf war.