U.S. History/politics


happy new year michael   what are the cultural,social and economical affects as the result of the gulf warin 1991  and did it play a part in the bush administrations decision to justify the iraq war?     what were the social cultural and economical; affects of donald trumps statement that he will not allow muslims to enter on american soil if he were to be elected?    and thirdly is there a genuine relationships between the us and british government in the last 25 years    please advise


Like most major world events, the Gulf War tied into a whole range of other events and fed into many future ones.  It was the first really significant conflict following the fall of the Soviet Union.  Until that time, most regional disputes like this tended to have the Western world take one side and the Communist world on the other.  The response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait took place outside this old dynamic.  western nations were able to unite behind the attempt by Iraq to expand its wealth and power by taking control of Kuwait and its oil fields.  The US did not feel compelled to support Iraq despite the fact that Saddam Hussein had been an agent of the US in its ongoing disputes with Iran, which had been in the Soviet sphere of influence.

The first Bush Administration saw the US as a unilateral world power with a duty to prevent such naked acts of aggression as Iraq sought to absorb Kuwait and take a much larger share of the world oil market as a result.  The US was able to build a worldwide coalition against this act.  The coalition included local powers such as Saudi Arabia, traditional allies in Western Europe, as well as countries recently free of Soviet domination in Eastern Europe.  It sought the limited gooal of forcing Iraq to give up its conquered territories and pay a penalty for its actions.

The coalition and war was a rousing success.  However, many conservatives, known ans "neo-cons" were upset at President Bush for not going further and taking Saddam Hussein out of power and establishing a US presence in Iraq.  At the same time, many Islamic radicals were outraged by the much closer relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia, which permitted US military bases to remain on Saudi soil.    This was Osama Bin Laden's stated reason for declaring war on the US, and eventually his 9/11 attack on New York and DC.  It also laid the foundation for President Bush's son, George W. Bush to begin a new war in Iraq to destroy the government of Saddam Hussein.

Those events, in turn, have led to the increased divisions between Islamic radicals and the western nations.  People like Donald Trump have fed into those divisions by trying to characterize the division as one between the Christian and secular traditions of the west, and the Muslim traditions of the middle east.  It is a characterization most western leaders have tried to avoid as they have tried to isolate the extreme views of Islamic radicals from the much larger population of people who practice Islam without engaging in such violence and intolerance.

As for your final question about the US and Britain, a special relationship has existed between the two countries, particularly since WWII when the US really began to get involved in world affairs in a major way.  While the two countries have had differences in minor issues, both have attempted to remain close militarily and to support one another's international goals.  For the most part, this relationship has remained strong.  The the majority of UK citizens opposed the US invasion of Iraq, the UK government supported and aided that invasion, primarily in order to maintain the close important relationship between the UK and US.

- Mike

U.S. History

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question on early American History. My specialties are the American Revolution through the Civil War/Reconstruction. I also have greater expertise in matters relating to military, political or legal history.


I have lectured at George Washington University regarding the Civil War, as well as several elementary school Civil War demonstrations. I was also a member of a Civil War reenactment group for about 10 years.


J.D. University of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.