Aggression and Response

Iraq's invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990 evoked a strong response from the industrial powers; in fact, two rather different responses. The first was an array of economic sanctions of unprecedented severity. The second was the threat of war. Both responses were initiated at once, even before Iraq's annexation of the invaded country. The first response had broad support. The second is pretty much limited to the U.S. and Britain, apart from the family dictatorships that had been placed in charge of the Gulf oil producing states. As leader of the two-member coalition, the U.S. moved quickly to ensure that sanctions could not be effective and to bar any diplomatic initiative.
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