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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

the american revolution
Angelica Reply
what started the American revolution
Futuremfan
hi...can you state benefit of U.S constitution
Chimi Reply
bill of rights
Tom
it provided a political framework which provifed stability while at the same time permitting freedoms which allowed the American people to flourish
Victor
Among the major cause of American civil war, can I have a brief account on social cause?
Rinchen Reply
The issue of slavery between South America and North America that lead to the American Civil War
Sanusi
not sure what you mean by "social" causes. Do you mean things like differences between Northern ers & southerners?
Victor
what was the purpose of Operation Valkyrie?
Matthew Reply
I have no idea
Sanusi
which culture developed the writting system in the western hemisphere?
cierra Reply
the phoenicians
Victor
Treaty of Greenville
The Reply
Please keep in mind that it is not allowed to promote any social groups (whatsapp, facebook, etc...) or exchange phone numbers or email addresses on our platform.
QuizOver Reply
Columbus didn't discover ish. He stole America from the Natives
LovingN Reply
Who was Nat Turner? What was the cause and impact of the Nat Turner Rebellion?
LovingN
which culture developed the only writing systems in the western hemisphere
rose Reply
economic causes of American civil war
Samten Reply
do you mean the major causes of American civil war
CHEGWE
yes
Samten
idealistic birth of industries in great britain
Rinchen Reply
how doent show that Martin king jr dies where say that on google.com
Jessica Reply
what year was America found
Adaregba Reply
i think America was discovered by Christopher Columbus in the year 1492
Samten
yes samten ,it was discovered by Christopher Columbus in August 3rd 1492
CHEGWE
but, we're was the name (America gotten from
CHEGWE
i could't understand what are you asking about
Samten
sorry i don't have this answer
Samten
ok
CHEGWE
how did texas settlers view of mexico and its people contribute to the history of texas in the 1830s
Princess Reply
They felt that they had to get their independence and be annexed to the U.S.
tapha
Which of the following does NOT represent an outcome of Reconstruction that contributed to the building of southern white resentment?
Marcela Reply
Which of the following best represents the business strategy of J. Pierpont Morgan in building his economic standing in the American capitalist system?
Marcela

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Source:  OpenStax, U.s. history. OpenStax CNX. Jan 12, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11740/1.3
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