UN Security Council Resolutions Authorize the Use of Force to Expel Iraq from Kuwait

A long series of UN Security Council resolutions and Arab League resolutions were passed regarding the invasion.

One of the most important was Resolution 678, passed on 29 November 1990 giving Iraq a withdrawal deadline of 15 January 1991, and authorizing “all necessary means to uphold and implement Resolution 660,” a diplomatic formulation authorizing the use of force.

The United States, especially Secretary of State James Baker, assembled a coalition of forces to join it in opposing Iraq, consisting of forces from 34 countries: Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Kuwait, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Spain, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States itself. Although they did not contribute any forces, Japan and Germany made financial contributions totaling $10 billion and $6.6 billion respectively. US troops represented 73% of the coalition’s 956,600 troops in Iraq. Many of the coalition forces were reluctant to join. Some felt that the war was an internal Arab affair, or did not want to increase US influence in the Middle East. In the end, many nations were persuaded by Iraq’s belligerence towards other Arab states, fear of the US, offers of economic aid or debt forgiveness, and threats to withhold aid.