Blogs: The Buzz

10 Big Historical Anniversaries Coming in 2015

The Buzz

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait, August 2, 1990:

On a map, Kuwait looks like a small and inconsequential patch of land. But to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 1990, it held great appeal. The Kuwaitis had two things he wanted: oil and access to the Persian Gulf. Iraq was struggling economically in 1990 as it dealt with the consequences of its eight-year-long war with Iran. Hussein had accused Kuwait of stealing from the massive oil field that straddled the Iraq-Kuwait border, driving oil prices down by pumping too much oil, and reneging on promises to forgive the massive debts Iraq had run up fighting Iran. Most experts dismissed Hussein’s threats as posturing. They were wrong. On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded its smaller neighbor. Kuwait quickly surrendered to the Iraqi army, which at the time was the fourth-largest in the world. The UN Security Council ordered Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, and backed up its demands by imposing sanctions. Hussein rebuffed the demands, believing that the sanctions would fail and that no one could evict Iraqi troops from Kuwait by force. He was as wrong as the experts who doubted his threats to invade Kuwait. On January 17, 1991, the United States and its coalition partners, acting pursuant to a UN Security Council resolution passed six weeks earlier, launched Operation Desert Storm. Iraq’s defeat was rapid and decisive. By the end of February, Iraqi troops had fled Kuwait and President George H.W. Bush had declared a ceasefire. Although Bush administration figured that Hussein would soon be pushed from power, he held on for another dozen years, paving the way for a second U.S. war against Iraq in 2003.

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of German Reunification, October 3, 1990:

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin wall fell. But an equally important moment for Germany came eleven months later when the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) were reunited for the first time since 1945. It was not obvious that Germany’s neighbors would allow the country to reunite. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher bitterly opposed German reunification. So too did French President Francois Mitterrand. Nonetheless, U.S. President George H.W. Bush helped champion negotiations among East and West Germany, Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States. The result was the “Two-Plus-Four Treaty,” which was signed on September 12, 1990. It allowed for Germany’s reunification on October 3. Elections were held two months later. Germans now call October 3 the Day of German Unity. It will no doubt be a cause for extra celebration in 2015.

This piece comes courtesy of the CFR blog The Water’s Edge.

Image: Wikicommons. 

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The Great Oil Price Crash: RIP OPEC?

The Buzz

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait, August 2, 1990:

On a map, Kuwait looks like a small and inconsequential patch of land. But to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 1990, it held great appeal. The Kuwaitis had two things he wanted: oil and access to the Persian Gulf. Iraq was struggling economically in 1990 as it dealt with the consequences of its eight-year-long war with Iran. Hussein had accused Kuwait of stealing from the massive oil field that straddled the Iraq-Kuwait border, driving oil prices down by pumping too much oil, and reneging on promises to forgive the massive debts Iraq had run up fighting Iran. Most experts dismissed Hussein’s threats as posturing. They were wrong. On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded its smaller neighbor. Kuwait quickly surrendered to the Iraqi army, which at the time was the fourth-largest in the world. The UN Security Council ordered Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, and backed up its demands by imposing sanctions. Hussein rebuffed the demands, believing that the sanctions would fail and that no one could evict Iraqi troops from Kuwait by force. He was as wrong as the experts who doubted his threats to invade Kuwait. On January 17, 1991, the United States and its coalition partners, acting pursuant to a UN Security Council resolution passed six weeks earlier, launched Operation Desert Storm. Iraq’s defeat was rapid and decisive. By the end of February, Iraqi troops had fled Kuwait and President George H.W. Bush had declared a ceasefire. Although Bush administration figured that Hussein would soon be pushed from power, he held on for another dozen years, paving the way for a second U.S. war against Iraq in 2003.

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of German Reunification, October 3, 1990:

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin wall fell. But an equally important moment for Germany came eleven months later when the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) were reunited for the first time since 1945. It was not obvious that Germany’s neighbors would allow the country to reunite. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher bitterly opposed German reunification. So too did French President Francois Mitterrand. Nonetheless, U.S. President George H.W. Bush helped champion negotiations among East and West Germany, Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States. The result was the “Two-Plus-Four Treaty,” which was signed on September 12, 1990. It allowed for Germany’s reunification on October 3. Elections were held two months later. Germans now call October 3 the Day of German Unity. It will no doubt be a cause for extra celebration in 2015.

This piece comes courtesy of the CFR blog The Water’s Edge.

Image: Wikicommons. 

Pages

China's Challenge to the Global Order: Taking the "Careful" Approach?

The Buzz

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait, August 2, 1990:

On a map, Kuwait looks like a small and inconsequential patch of land. But to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 1990, it held great appeal. The Kuwaitis had two things he wanted: oil and access to the Persian Gulf. Iraq was struggling economically in 1990 as it dealt with the consequences of its eight-year-long war with Iran. Hussein had accused Kuwait of stealing from the massive oil field that straddled the Iraq-Kuwait border, driving oil prices down by pumping too much oil, and reneging on promises to forgive the massive debts Iraq had run up fighting Iran. Most experts dismissed Hussein’s threats as posturing. They were wrong. On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded its smaller neighbor. Kuwait quickly surrendered to the Iraqi army, which at the time was the fourth-largest in the world. The UN Security Council ordered Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, and backed up its demands by imposing sanctions. Hussein rebuffed the demands, believing that the sanctions would fail and that no one could evict Iraqi troops from Kuwait by force. He was as wrong as the experts who doubted his threats to invade Kuwait. On January 17, 1991, the United States and its coalition partners, acting pursuant to a UN Security Council resolution passed six weeks earlier, launched Operation Desert Storm. Iraq’s defeat was rapid and decisive. By the end of February, Iraqi troops had fled Kuwait and President George H.W. Bush had declared a ceasefire. Although Bush administration figured that Hussein would soon be pushed from power, he held on for another dozen years, paving the way for a second U.S. war against Iraq in 2003.

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of German Reunification, October 3, 1990:

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin wall fell. But an equally important moment for Germany came eleven months later when the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) were reunited for the first time since 1945. It was not obvious that Germany’s neighbors would allow the country to reunite. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher bitterly opposed German reunification. So too did French President Francois Mitterrand. Nonetheless, U.S. President George H.W. Bush helped champion negotiations among East and West Germany, Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States. The result was the “Two-Plus-Four Treaty,” which was signed on September 12, 1990. It allowed for Germany’s reunification on October 3. Elections were held two months later. Germans now call October 3 the Day of German Unity. It will no doubt be a cause for extra celebration in 2015.

This piece comes courtesy of the CFR blog The Water’s Edge.

Image: Wikicommons. 

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Hagel's Fate Was Sealed Long Ago

The Buzz

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait, August 2, 1990:

On a map, Kuwait looks like a small and inconsequential patch of land. But to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 1990, it held great appeal. The Kuwaitis had two things he wanted: oil and access to the Persian Gulf. Iraq was struggling economically in 1990 as it dealt with the consequences of its eight-year-long war with Iran. Hussein had accused Kuwait of stealing from the massive oil field that straddled the Iraq-Kuwait border, driving oil prices down by pumping too much oil, and reneging on promises to forgive the massive debts Iraq had run up fighting Iran. Most experts dismissed Hussein’s threats as posturing. They were wrong. On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded its smaller neighbor. Kuwait quickly surrendered to the Iraqi army, which at the time was the fourth-largest in the world. The UN Security Council ordered Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, and backed up its demands by imposing sanctions. Hussein rebuffed the demands, believing that the sanctions would fail and that no one could evict Iraqi troops from Kuwait by force. He was as wrong as the experts who doubted his threats to invade Kuwait. On January 17, 1991, the United States and its coalition partners, acting pursuant to a UN Security Council resolution passed six weeks earlier, launched Operation Desert Storm. Iraq’s defeat was rapid and decisive. By the end of February, Iraqi troops had fled Kuwait and President George H.W. Bush had declared a ceasefire. Although Bush administration figured that Hussein would soon be pushed from power, he held on for another dozen years, paving the way for a second U.S. war against Iraq in 2003.

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of German Reunification, October 3, 1990:

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin wall fell. But an equally important moment for Germany came eleven months later when the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) were reunited for the first time since 1945. It was not obvious that Germany’s neighbors would allow the country to reunite. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher bitterly opposed German reunification. So too did French President Francois Mitterrand. Nonetheless, U.S. President George H.W. Bush helped champion negotiations among East and West Germany, Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States. The result was the “Two-Plus-Four Treaty,” which was signed on September 12, 1990. It allowed for Germany’s reunification on October 3. Elections were held two months later. Germans now call October 3 the Day of German Unity. It will no doubt be a cause for extra celebration in 2015.

This piece comes courtesy of the CFR blog The Water’s Edge.

Image: Wikicommons. 

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