Reflections on the gulf war

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Philosophy

Document 1

All wars should focus on peace as the outcome, which then leads to the argument of the ethics of war. Combat should have principles and ethics that all parties observe. For instance, the gulf war began with Iraq’s Saddam Hussein ordering invasion and occupation of Kuwait. Attempts to stop the attack by use of diplomacy failed, this forced Saudi Arabia and Egypt to call for the intervention of the western nations. The U. S presented its military to the Gulf as a warning to Iraq against attacking or invading Kuwait after the public affairs failed. To ensure peaceful negotiations, the U. S maintained economic and political relations with Iraq. The Iraqis held outrageous demands of cancellation of their public debt they owed Kuwait, and their desire to control Kuwait’s oil wells.

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Additionally, the Iraqis failed to negotiate with Kuwait, and initiated hostilities without according Kuwait the opportunity to make peace before their invasion; this prompted the U. The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq meant that no declaration was issued as the just code of war dictates. Cicero further writes that a state must go to war if it has a justifiable cause that can be the defense of their honor or safety only. According to Cicero, war needs to be, the last resort and it ought to have; a justifiable cause is in harmony with the ethics of a just war (Reichberg, p. However, in history, the reasons for warring have always varied as much as the combatants differ. The gulf war saw Iraq invade Kuwait seeking a reprieve from their public debt owed to Kuwait, expanding their political power in the region, in addition to taking over their large oil reservoirs.

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The rules may be clear, but in most cases, they are better said than followed. During the combats on the ground and airborne strikes caused deaths of over 3664 civilians (Reichberg, p. The troops of both parties at war must cease from targeting the innocent people who have no role to play in their dispute. The Iraq troops caused huge destruction to resources and property as they were withdrawing from Kuwait; they set ablaze more than 600 oil wells after sensing an impending defeat (Debatewise. org 2). A wanted the Iraq troops to be out of Kuwait, and that is what was done, and peace resulted. Plato insists on avoidance of enslaving or execution of the vanquished (Reichberg, p. The Iraq military blatantly disobeyed this orders and captured several Kuwait unarmed civilians including children and vulnerable groups whom they executed or charged with death penalties.

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It is clear that the unarmed civilians never resisted the Iraq army and they were already vulnerable. These actions violated the human rights regulations and called for the Iraq army to be stopped. After the war, a resolution was reached to give a near total economic and trade restriction that was imposed by the U. N Security Council of the on Iraq.   According to Cicero, treaties formed, signed, or agreed upon must be kept for peace to continue existing (Reichberg, p. At the end of the Gulf War, the U. N, the U. A just war must be declared, and the antagonist notified, but in the Gulf war case, Iraq invaded Kuwait making the war unjust and hence warranting the intervention of the U.

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