<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

In Budapest in 1956 and in Prague in 1968, the Soviet Union had restored order through a large show of force. That this didn’t happen in 1989 was an indication to all that the Soviet Union was itself collapsing. Bush’s refusal to gloat or declare victory helped him maintain the relationship with Gorbachev that Reagan had established. In July 1991, Gorbachev and Bush signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START    , which committed their countries to reducing their nuclear arsenals by 25 percent. A month later, attempting to stop the changes begun by Gorbachev’s reforms, Communist Party hardliners tried to remove him from power. Protests arose throughout the Soviet Union, and by December 1991, the nation had collapsed. In January 1992, twelve former Soviet republics formed the Commonwealth of Independent States to coordinate trade and security measures. The Cold War was over.

American global power in the wake of the cold war

The dust had barely settled on the crumbling Berlin Wall when the Bush administration announced a bold military intervention in Panama in December 1989. Claiming to act on behalf of human rights, U.S. troops deposed the unpopular dictator and drug smuggler Manuel Noriega swiftly, but former CIA connections between President Bush and Noriega, as well as U.S. interests in maintaining control of the Canal Zone, prompted the United Nations and world public opinion to denounce the invasion as a power grab.

As the Soviet Union was ceasing to be a threat, the Middle East became a source of increased concern. In the wake of its eight-year war with Iran from 1980 to 1988, Iraq had accumulated a significant amount of foreign debt. At the same time, other Arab states had increased their oil production, forcing oil prices down and further hurting Iraq’s economy. Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, approached these oil-producing states for assistance, particularly Saudi Arabia and neighboring Kuwait, which Iraq felt directly benefited from its war with Iran. When talks with these countries broke down, and Iraq found itself politically and economically isolated, Hussein ordered the invasion of oil-rich Kuwait in August 1990. Bush faced his first full-scale international crisis.

In response to the invasion, Bush and his foreign policy team forged an unprecedented international coalition of thirty-four countries, including many members of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and the Middle Eastern countries of Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Egypt, to oppose Iraqi aggression. Bush hoped that this coalition would herald the beginning of a “new world order” in which the nations of the world would work together to deter belligerence. A deadline was set for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait by January 15, or face serious consequences. Wary of not having sufficient domestic support for combat, Bush first deployed troops to the area to build up forces in the region and defend Saudi Arabia via Operation Desert Shield ( [link] ). On January 14, Bush succeeded in getting resolutions from Congress authorizing the use of military force against Iraq, and the U.S. then orchestrated an effective air campaign, followed by Operation Desert Storm    , a one-hundred-hour land war involving over 500,000 U.S. troops and another 200,000 from twenty-seven other countries, which expelled Iraqi forces from Kuwait by the end of February.

Questions & Answers

why did the us have non expancion perpective after the civil war?
La Reply
why did the compromise of 1850 break down by 1860?
Mark Reply
What was the primary emphasis of the first great awakening
MG Reply
What were their goals of the colonial European powers in the exspanaion of their empires
Griffin Reply
What were the various goals of the colonial European powers I. The exspanaion of their empiresals
Griffin Reply
what was the reason why political machines expanded and held onto their power during the Gilded age
Willow Reply
I want to be help for my home work what is the describe tenement ???if you know what it is can you tell me plz plz I can't find it .
Cinderella Reply
hi can someone help me with my homework please
Janeil Reply
what was the American commander who led the U.S Navy during the war of 1812
PLAY Reply
who was the ottaman ruler in the 1500s
kwakufordjour Reply
List five(5) ways that the creation of new global trade routes affected the occupations and lifestyles of the average working American in the colonies.
andinet Reply
During the war between us and Mexico revolts against us control broke out in
Melissa Reply
During the war between the United States and Mexico revolts against US control broke out in
Melissa Reply
Why is genghis khan known the greatest conqueror in the history
Aljunpyu Reply
Why did Columbus think he could sail directly to the Far East
Sabrina Reply

Get the best U.s. history course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, U.s. history. OpenStax CNX. Jan 12, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11740/1.3
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'U.s. history' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask