Order Code RL31641
Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
Iraqi Challenges and U.S. Responses:
March 1991 through October 2002
November 20, 2002
Alfred B. Prados
Specialist in Middle East Affairs
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
Iraqi Challenges and U.S. Responses:
March 1991 through October 2002
Iraq has not fully complied with terms of the cease-fire agreements that followed
the expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait in early 1991. Several Iraqi violations of
cease-fire provisions have resulted in brief military confrontations between Iraq and
the United States, supported in some cases by other allied forces. Iraqi violations
prompting a U.S. military response have fallen into four general categories:
obstruction of U.N. weapons inspection teams, involvement in international terrorist
acts, failure to abide by air exclusion zones imposed by the allies over parts of Iraq,
and troop movements that could threaten Kuwait or internal targets of repression by
the Iraqi Government.
Limited confrontations took place between 1991 and 1994, as Iraq periodically
violated cease-fire agreements. In October 1994, Iraq briefly moved elite troops
south toward Kuwait, but withdrew them after the United States began deploying
more forces to the Gulf region. In August 1996, Iraq moved three divisions into the
allied-protected Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq, allegedly at the invitation of one
of the two rival Iraqi Kurdish factions. The United States responded with air and seabased missile strikes directed against military targets in southern Iraq. Although Iraqi
forces quickly withdrew from the Kurdish enclave, several news reports indicate that
the Iraqi incursion disrupted a U.S. covert action aimed at toppling the Iraqi regime.
Increasing Iraqi obstruction of U.N. weapons inspections, despite several
pledges by Iraqi officials to cooperate, led to the withdrawal of U.N. inspectors in
December 1998. There followed four days of air and missile strikes against Iraq by
U.S. and British air force and naval units. A series of follow-on military clashes have
occurred since 1998, as Iraqi air defense units have tried to target allied aircraft
enforcing the no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq. After a brief lull
following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, military clashes between allied
and Iraqi units intensified in 2002, amid widespread discussion that the United States
might undertake a major military campaign to unseat Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
and eliminate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction or programs to develop them. On
October 11, 2002, President Bush signed H.J.Res. 114 (P.L. 107-243), which
authorizes the President to use the U.S. armed forces to defend the national security
of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq, and enforce all
relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
This report, which will not be updated, is designed as a source of ready
reference for congressional offices interested in instances of use of force by the
United States against Iraq from the end of the 1990-1991 Gulf war until October 11,
2002. Subsequent confrontations will be monitored in other CRS products, including
CRS Issue Brief IB92117, Iraq: Weapons Threats, Compliance, Sanctions, and U.S.
Policy, CRS Report RL31629, Iraq-U.S. Confrontation: International Attitudes, and
CRS Report RS21325, Iraq: Divergent View on Military Action.
Cease-fire Terms and Violations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
The Agreements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Resolution 686 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
The Safwan Accords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Resolution 687 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Other Terms and Conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Iraqi Violations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Weapons Inspections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Terrorism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
No-Fly Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Troop Movements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
The Course of the Confrontations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Early Incidents, 1991-1992 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
January 1993 Confrontation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Bush Assassination Attempt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
The Alleged Plot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
U.S. Missile Strikes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
U.N. Camera Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
October 1994 Troop Movements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Iraqi Defections to Jordan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
The Incursion of August 1996 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Events and Responses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Further Confrontations: 1997-1998 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
The Mounting Crisis over Inspections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
The February 23, 1998 Agreement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Operation Desert Fox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Further Actions Since 1998 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
The February 2001 Air Strikes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Additional Military Strikes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Targeting U.S. Reconnaissance Aircraft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Aftermath of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Statistics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Force Deployments and Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Force Levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Legislative and International Implications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Use of Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Congress and the Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
United Nations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Foreign Reactions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
List of Figures
Map 1. Iraq: No-Fly Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Map 2. Kurdish-Inhabited Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
List of Tables
Table 1. Comparative Military Strengths and Inventories: Gulf States . . . . . . . . 26
Table 2. Incremental Costs of U.S. Operations in Southwest Asia
Related to Iraq, FY1991-FY2002 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Iraqi Challenges and U.S. Responses:
March 1991 through October 2002
In February 1991, a U.S.-led coalition of allied military forces expelled Iraqi
forces that had occupied Kuwait since August 1990. Several cease-fire agreements
followed the termination of hostilities on February 28, 1991. Periodic Iraqi
violations of cease-fire terms and other provocative acts by Iraq precipitated a series
of brief confrontations with the United States over the next six years. A more
extended series of confrontations began in late 1997. In this connection, Iraq’s armed
forces, though significantly weakened by the defeat they suffered in 1991, are still
among the largest in the Persian Gulf region (see Table 1, below).
This report reviews cease-fire terms that followed the Gulf war in early 1991;
highlights provisions that Iraq has been prone to violate; describes resulting
confrontations between the United States and Iraq after 1991, together with
international reactions; and summarizes related points of congressional interest. The
purpose of this report is to provide background information on confrontations
between the United States from the end of the Gulf war until passage of the
congressional resolution on Iraq (H.J.Res. 114, P.L. 107-243). This resolution
authorized the President to use the U.S. armed forces to defend the national security
of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq, and enforce all
relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
Cease-fire Terms and Violations
Cease-fire arrangements following the 1990-1991 war consisted of three
agreements that are summarized below. The first two were temporary and the third
established a permanent cease-fire. Some additional requirements were levied on
Iraq as well.
Resolution 686. On March 2, 1991, the United Nations Security Council
passed Resolution 686, which imposed several conditions on Iraq. Resolution 686
demanded that Iraq cease all hostile actions against allied forces, accept earlier U.N.
resolutions calling for Iraq’s withdrawal from Kuwait, release Kuwaiti citizens and
others detained in Iraq, begin returning property seized in Kuwait, and accept liability
for damages resulting from its invasion of Kuwait. Also, the resolution demanded
that Iraq appoint military commanders to meet with allied military commanders to
arrange the military details of a cease-fire.
The Safwan Accords. The Safwan Accords refer to the cease-fire
agreements made between allied military commanders and Iraqi officers, under the
provisions of Resolution 686, above. On March 3, 1991, the U.S. commander, U.S.
Army General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, and other allied commanders met with Iraqi
officers at the town of Safwan in southern Iraq and agreed on several matters: return
of prisoners of war, removal of mine fields, and procedures to prevent any further
outbreaks of fighting between Iraqi and allied forces. The Safwan Accords also
provided for a temporary cease-fire line, with the understanding that allied forces
would remain in southern Iraq until a permanent cease-fire agreement came into
effect. Furthermore, the Accords banned flights by Iraqi fixed wing aircraft
throughout Iraq to avoid threats to allied forces temporarily remaining in southern
Iraq, but permitted flights by Iraqi helicopters (with some restrictions on armed
helicopters). The ban on Iraqi aircraft flights was relaxed when allied forces left Iraq
in May 1991; however, the United States and western allies believe it continues to
apply over areas in which allied combat aircraft still operate in support of U.N.
resolutions (i.e., the no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq, as discussed
Resolution 687. On April 3, 1991, the U.N. Security Council passed
Resolution 687, which established a formal cease-fire and imposed a number of longterm requirements on Iraq. Resolution 687, sometimes known as the omnibus ceasefire resolution, provided for demarcation of the border between Iraq and Kuwait, a
U.N. guarantee of the border, and a U.N. observer force to monitor the border area.
The resolution called on Iraq to return Kuwaiti property it had seized and to release
Kuwaiti and foreign citizens it had detained, required Iraq to compensate victims of
its aggression, and demanded that Iraq agree to refrain from terrorist acts. In
addition, the resolution required Iraq to agree to the removal or dismantling of its
weapons of mass destruction and to end its programs to develop such weapons (i.e.,
chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons and longer range missiles).2 The resolution
retained restrictions on imports by Iraq, except for food, medicine, and essential
civilian supplies; banned shipments of military equipment to Iraq; and continued to
ban Iraqi exports until the U.N. Security Council is satisfied that Iraq is free of mass
destruction weapons. Of note, Resolution 687 was enacted under Chapter VII of the
U.N. charter (peace and security); hence, the provisions of this resolution could be
enforced through military action.
Other Terms and Conditions. Since passing Resolution 687, the Security
Council has adopted over 25 resolutions and statements to implement or amplify the
terms of the basic cease-fire agreement. Of particular significance was Resolution
688 adopted on April 3, 1991. This resolution, which demanded that Iraq cease
The terms of the Safwan Accords have not been formally published. For discussion of the
meeting at Safwan and the main points agreed upon, see H.R.H. Prince Khaled bin Sultan,
Desert Warrior, New York, Harper and Collins, 1995, pp. 421-438. General bin Sultan was
the Saudi Arabian commander of joint Arab and Islamic forces in the allied coalition.
Resolution 687 also established a U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM) to conduct
inspections designed to identify and dismantle Iraqi chemical agents, biological agents, and
long range missiles, and tasked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with
similar responsibilities regarding Iraqi programs to develop nuclear weapons.
repression of its population, was aimed especially at terminating Iraqi reprisals
against Kurds in the north and Shi’ite Muslims in the south, after both had revolted
in the aftermath of the Gulf war. Resolution 688, however, was not enacted under
Chapter VII of the U.N. charter, and opinions differ within the international
community over the criteria for enforcing its terms. (Texts of these and other
resolutions are contained in CRS Report 91-395, Iraq-Kuwait: U.N. Security Council
Resolutions, Texts and Votes–1991, and CRS Report RL31611, Iraq-Kuwait: United
Nations Security Council Resolutions, Texts–1992-2002, both by Marjorie Ann
Iraq reluctantly accepted the omnibus cease-fire Resolution 687 on April 6,
1991; the U.N. Security Council has found Iraq not to be in full compliance with the
terms of this resolution. [For more information on Iraqi violations, see CRS Issue
Brief IB92117, Iraq: Weapons Threat, Compliance, Sanctions, and U.S. Policy, by
Kenneth Katzman, updated regularly.] On seven occasions between 1991 and 1993,
the Security Council found Iraq in “material breach” of the provisions of Resolution
687. The Council has not agreed on this wording since June 1993, reflecting to some
extent an erosion of the former international consensus behind forcing Iraq to comply
with cease-fire terms.3 Subsequent resolutions and statements by the Council,
however, have continued to warn Iraq of “serious consequences” of violating the
terms of U.N. resolutions. A paper issued by the White House in conjunction with
a speech by President George W. Bush on September 12, 2002 enumerated 16 U.N.
Security Council resolutions which the Administration believes Iraq has repeatedly
Iraqi actions prompting a U.S. military response have fallen into four general
categories, as summarized below. In addition, Iraq has engaged in other cease-fire
violations that have not resulted in a direct confrontation with the United States.
These include failure to return missing Kuwaiti property and to account for
approximately 600 Kuwaitis and other foreign citizens who are believed to be still
under detention in Iraq.
Weapons Inspections. Resolution 687 established an inspection regime to
find and eliminate Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and facilities to develop them,
including chemical and biological agents, nuclear facilities, and missiles with ranges
exceeding 150 kilometers (93 miles). The resolution also stipulated that Iraq was to
provide the U.N. Secretary General a list of all such weapons in its possession within
15 days. In addition, Resolution 707 requires Iraq to allow U.N. weapons inspectors
to use their own aircraft, and Resolution 715 provides for long term monitoring of
Iraqi facilities that could be used to develop mass destruction weapons. Iraqi
authorities interfered frequently with the conduct of inspections, concealed important
evidence of programs to develop weapons of mass destruction, and repeatedly
For a listing of occasions when the Security Council found Iraq in “material breach” of
cease-fire terms, see Greg Saiontz, “A Chronology of Diminishing Response: UN Reactions
to Iraqi Provocations since the Gulf War,” Research Notes, The Washington Institute for
Near East Policy, June 3, 1997, pp. 1-5.
provided incomplete and inaccurate declarations of the extent of its past programs to
develop mass destruction weapons. U.N. inspectors gradually discovered weapons
plants and programs not initially revealed by the Iraqis in their initial list or in
subsequent declarations to the United Nations.
Terrorism. Resolution 687 requires Iraq to assure the Security Council that
it will not commit or support terrorist acts. Iraq remains on an annual list of
countries identified by the U.S. State Department as supportive of international
terrorism. In the spring of 1993, Iraq was implicated in a plot to assassinate former
President George Bush while on a visit to Kuwait.
No-Fly Zones. The United States, together with Britain and France, began
enforcing air exclusion zones over northern and southern Iraq, respectively, in 1991
and 1992. The northern and southern no-fly zones cover 43,707 square kilometers
(16,871 square miles) and 227,277 square kilometers (87,729 square miles),
respectively; together, these zones cover 270,985 square kilometers (104,600 square
miles), or 62% of Iraqi territory. (See Map 1.) U.S. officials base the no-fly zones
primarily on Resolution 688, which demands that Iraq end repression of its
population (notably Kurds in the north and Shi’ite Muslims in the south), and on the
Safwan Accords, which forbid Iraq to interfere with allied air operations over Iraq.
Some countries question this interpretation, arguing that Resolution 688 was not
passed under Chapter VII provisions (peace and security) and does not by itself
permit military action to enforce its terms. Iraq maintains that the no-fly zones
constitute an illegal infringement on its sovereignty and has frequently fired on allied
planes conducting overflights to enforce these zones. (Map 1 shows the no-fly zones
Map 1. Iraq: No-Fly Zones
Troop Movements. In conjunction with establishing the northern no-fly zone
in 1991, the United States and its allies warned Iraq not to move ground forces into
a portion of the zone where the allies had established a protected enclave for Iraqi
Kurds. On at least one occasion, in the summer of 1996, Iraq briefly moved ground
forces into Kurdish controlled areas, as discussed below. Previously, in October
1994, the apparent deployment of Iraqi armored forces toward Kuwait led to Security
Council Resolution 949, which demanded that Iraq complete the withdrawal of these
units and refrain from threatening its neighbors in the future. (U.S. and British
officials sometimes interpret this resolution as imposing a “no-drive” zone in the
south, in addition to the no-fly zone already in place in that area.)
The Course of the Confrontations
Early Incidents, 1991-19924
Iraqi defiance of cease-fire terms initially took the form of obstructing the work
of U.N. weapons inspectors seeking to identify and dismantle Iraqi weapons of mass
destruction. Iraqi interference affected the conduct of inspections by two groups: the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), charged with inspecting Iraqi nuclear
programs, and the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM), established pursuant to
Resolution 687 and charged with inspecting chemical and biological weapons and
medium and long range missiles. Listed below are some of the more notable
incidents that occurred during the year following the establishment of the U.N.
weapons inspection regime in June 1991.
Between June and August 1991, Iraqi officials periodically denied
IAEA inspectors access to sites they wanted to visit, provided
information on several weapons programs that later proved to be
false, and at one point fired shots over the heads of weapons
On two occasions in September 1991, Iraqi officials refused to allow
U.N. inspectors to depart installations where they had gathered
documentation, insisting initially that the inspectors return
documents they were carrying.
In January and February 1992, Iraqi officials refused to allow
UNSCOM inspectors to destroy certain missiles and related
equipment the inspectors had identified as subject to dismantling
under relevant U.N. decisions.
In July 1992, Iraq officials refused to let UNSCOM inspectors enter
the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture, which the inspectors believed to be
housing proscribed material.
For further information, see Greg Saiontz, “A Chronology of Diminishing Response: UN
Reactions to Iraqi Provocations since the Gulf War,” Research Notes, The Washington
Institute for Near East Policy, June 3, 1997, pp. 1-3.
The Security Council described the confrontations in June-August 1991,
January-February 1992, and July 1992 as “material breaches” by Iraq of cease-fire
terms. The Council condemned Iraqi obstruction of U.N. inspectors in September
1991, but did not describe it as a material breach. (The January-February 1992
confrontation resulted in two findings of “material breach,” giving a total of four
such findings by the Security Council in 1991 and 1992.) None of these incidents led
to military action or deployments on the part of the United States or other members
of the Security Council. The findings of “material breach,” however, may have
strengthened the hand of the United States in responding to subsequent violations,
as described below.
January 1993 Confrontation5
Tensions increased during 1992 as several developments led Iraq to mount more
aggressive challenges to restrictions imposed after the Gulf war. In August, the
United States, Britain, and France imposed a second no-fly zone, this time over
southern Iraq, in response to increasing Iraqi military campaigns against Shi’ite
Muslim guerrillas in the south.
(France stopped participating in these
overflights–known as Operation Southern Watch–at the end of 1998.) Later, on
November 23, 1992, a U.N. commission established by Resolution 687 completed
demarcation of the Kuwaiti-Iraqi border, awarding to Kuwait additional territory
including a former Iraqi naval base and several oil wells. Iraq condemned the
findings of the commission. In addition, the outcome of the November 1992
presidential elections in the United States may have prompted Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein to test the willingness of the outgoing Bush Administration and the
incoming Clinton Administration to continue enforcing terms of the cease-fire.
Several subsequent Iraqi actions prompted a series of allied responses in January
In late December and January 1993, an Iraqi jet aircraft violated the
southern no-fly zone; Iraq briefly deployed air defense batteries in
the zone; and Iraqi units activated their targeting radar in the zone,
precipitating confrontations with allied coalition aircraft.
In early January 1993, Iraqi officials tried to prevent U.N. weapons
inspectors from using their own aircraft in Iraq and banned a flight
by weapons inspectors returning to Iraq, prompting another
“material breach” finding by the U.N. Security Council.
On four occasions, also in early January, groups of Iraqis seized
weapons and dismantled military equipment warehouses in the
demilitarized zone (DMZ) between Iraq and Kuwait. Iraq claimed
it had permission from the U.N. mission monitoring the DMZ to
For further information, see Facts on File Yearbook 1993, pp. 29-30; issues of The
Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal during January and
clear weaponry in that area, but the Security Council once more
found Iraq in material breach of cease-fire terms.
These and further provocations led to a series of allied responses in January
1993. On January 13, U.S.-led coalition forces, consisting of approximately 110
allied aircraft, conducted air strikes against eight Iraqi antiaircraft missile sites and
related control facilities in the no-fly zone of southern Iraq.6 The United States also
announced the deployment to Kuwait of additional ground forces (approximately
1,100 personnel) which joined 300 U.S. Special Forces troops already there, to
underscore U.S. commitments to Persian Gulf security. Iraqi responded with a
mixture of concessions and defiance, agreeing to end incursions into the DMZ and
offering to permit flights by U.N. inspectors in their own aircraft (while adding
stipulations), but vowing to continue resisting enforcement of the no-fly zones.
Sporadic allied military action continued from January 17 to January 23, 1993
in response to further Iraqi provocations: challenges to allied aircraft in the no-fly
zones; and a further attempt to deny entry to U.N. aircraft. In retaliation, allies struck
Iraqi air defense installations, using air-to-surface missiles, cluster bomb units, and
laser guided bombs; fired upon (and probably shot down) an Iraqi military aircraft;
launched 45 cruise missiles at the Zafaraniya manufacturing complex (allegedly used
to make components for Iraq’s nuclear program); and moved four warships
(including the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Kennedy to the eastern Mediterranean on a
contingency basis. One U.S. cruise missile aimed at the Zafaraniya complex went
off course and hit the al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, killing at least three civilians.
Bush Assassination Attempt
The Alleged Plot. In the spring of 1993, the Government of Kuwait informed
the U.S. Administration that it had discovered evidence of an Iraqi-sponsored attempt
to assassinate former President George H. W. Bush during a visit he made to Kuwait
on April 14-16. The Kuwaitis captured a small van loaded with 180 pounds of
explosives, and confiscated detonators, timing devices, and other bomb components.
Kuwait apprehended and tried 14 suspects, ultimately sentencing six to death (five
Iraqis and one Kuwaiti) and seven to prison terms; one defendant was acquitted.7
One of the Iraqi defendants testified that Iraqi intelligence was behind the plot. Some
skeptics questioned the validity of evidence obtained from Kuwait’s investigation of
the suspects; however, after conducting their own investigation, FBI agents and other
U.S. intelligence officers reported back to the President on June 24, 1993 that their
In addition to Britain and France, there are indications that one or more other countries
(possibly from the Persian Gulf region) may have participated as well. Asked by reporters
if Saudi aircraft had participated in the strikes, a Defense spokesman answered: “Members
of the coalition, to include the French and the British, participated. I’m not going to name
other countries.” Defense Department Background Briefing, Jan. 13, 1993, carried by
Reuters news wire. The press noted that the air strike was “joined by Britain, France, and
at least one other undisclosed ally.” Barton Gellman and Ann Devroy, “U.S. Delivers
Limited Air Strike on Baghdad,” The Washington Post, Jan. 14, 1993, p. A1.
After a long trial, the sentences were finally imposed in June 1994. “Kuwait Sentences Six
to Death for Plotting to Kill Bush,” The New York Times, June 5, 1994, p. 6.
findings confirmed the view that Iraq was behind the plot. Iraq has denied that it
sponsored the attempt.8
U.S. Missile Strikes. On June 26, 1993 (June 27, Baghdad time), amid calls
within the Administration and Congress for retaliation, U.S. warships launched 23
Tomahawk missiles toward the Iraqi intelligence headquarters in western Baghdad.
Twenty of the missiles hit the headquarters building, while three missed their targets
and hit nearby residential areas, killing eight and wounding 12 civilians. (Iraq
claimed to have shot down four of the missiles.) In brief follow-up actions, on June
27, the United States moved the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt and two
destroyers from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. Two days later, a U.S. F-4G
“Wild Weasel” aircraft fired a HARM missile at an Iraqi radar, in response to Iraqi
actions that appeared to threaten U.S. planes patrolling the southern no-fly zone over
On the evening of the Tomahawk strikes, President Clinton stated that the
United States was justified in acting against Iraq under the self defense provisions of
Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. Defense Secretary Les Aspin and
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell said the intelligence
headquarters was selected as the target because the Iraqi intelligence services had
been linked to the attempt on President Bush, because it was a discrete target, and
because it was at the low end of a spectrum of possible targets that included the
Ministry of Defense, the Presidential Palace, military bases, or others. The President
said the raids crippled Iraq’s military intelligence capability, but some observers
suggested that this capability was not severely damaged because of redundancies in
U.N. Camera Installation
In an unrelated incident in early June 1993, Iraqi officials refused to allow a
UNSCOM team to install six cameras at two test sites to maintain continuing
surveillance of Iraqi weapons programs. Iraq subsequently agreed to their
installation. Meanwhile, however, on June 18, a statement by the President of the
U.N. Security Council described Iraq’s action in impeding installation of the cameras
and failure to destroy certain banned chemical materials as “a material and
unacceptable breach” of relevant provisions of Resolution 687. This was the last
occasion on which the Security Council issued a finding of “material breach” against
According to one report, the Iraqi intelligence service linked to the plot was headed by a
son of Saddam Hussein. R. Jeffrey Smith, “Iraqi Officer Recruited Suspects in Plot Against
Bush, U.S. Says,” The Washington Post, July 1, 1993, p. A18.
R. Jeffrey Smith and Ann Devroy, “Clinton Says U.S. Missiles ‘Crippled,’ Iraqi
Intelligence” The Washington Post, June 29, 1993; Elaine Sciolino, “Clinton Overstates
Impact of Raids, His Aides Warn,” The New York Times, June 29, 1993, p. 6.
Greg Saiontz, “A Chronology of Diminishing Response: UN Reactions to Iraqi
Provocations since the Gulf War,” Research Notes, The Washington Institute for Near East
Policy, June 3, 1997, p. 5.
October 1994 Troop Movements11
In early October 1994, Iraqi authorities began augmenting approximately 40,000
regular army troops stationed in southern Iraq with at least two divisions from the
elite Republican Guards, roughly doubling Iraqi personnel strength in the south. As
lead elements of the Iraqi force reportedly approached within 12 miles from the
Kuwait border, Kuwait responded by moving most of its 16,000-person force to the
border. U.S. Defense Department officials expressed concern, saying that the Iraqi
deployments were not consistent with routine troop rotations. On October 7 and
again on the following day, President Clinton said that “it would be a grave error for
Iraq to repeat the mistakes of the past [the August 1990 invasion of Kuwait]. He said
the United States would honor a commitment to defend Kuwait and to enforce U.N.
resolutions on Iraq.
In a rapid response operation entitled “Vigilant Warrior,” the United States
began reinforcing approximately 13,000 U.S. military personnel already in the Gulf,
together with equipment prepositioned in Kuwait. Had the crisis not abated, the new
forces would have included two additional Patriot missile batteries; 350 additional
combat aircraft, approximately 16,000 Army troops and 18,000 Marines. An
additional 156,000 troops were placed on alert. The United States also moved the
carrier U.S.S. George Washington from the Adriatic Sea into the Red Sea, within
striking range of Iraq. Among U.S. allies, Britain sent two ships, six Tornado
aircraft, and a battalion of troops to the Gulf, while France sent a frigate. As the
crisis began to wind down in mid-October, however, the United States scaled back
the deployment of both ground and air forces to the region.
Meanwhile, on October 8, the U.N. Security Council expressed grave concern
about the Iraqi troop movements and Iraqi threats to stop cooperating with
UNSCOM. One option reportedly under consideration by the Clinton Administration
was to seek U.N. approval for a military exclusion zone or a “no-tank zone” in
southern Iraq, south of the 32nd parallel, to supplement the no-fly zone in that area.
On October 15, the United States succeeded in gaining unanimous Security Council
approval of Resolution 949, demanding that Iraq remove forces recently deployed to
the south and avoid further deployments that would threaten its neighbors. The
resolution invoked Chapter VII (peace and security) of the U.N. Charter but did not
specify a means of enforcement.12
There are strong indications that the U.S. response, coupled with support from
the Security Council, caused Iraq to rethink its strategy. Even before passage of the
resolution, on October 10, Iraq’s Ambassador to the United Nations said Iraq was
redeploying troops from the border area because of “Security Council concerns,”
although he said Iraq reserved the right to move troops anywhere on its territory.
See Facts on File Yearbook 1994, pp. 745-746; issues of The Washington Post, The New
York Times, The Wall Street Journal in October 1994.
In nearly identical diplomatic notes on October 20, 1994, the United States and Britain
warned Iraq against moving reinforcements south of a line running roughly 150 miles north
of the border with Kuwait. Julia Preston and Thomas W. Lippman, “Allies Warn Iraq
Against Troop Shifts,” The Washington Post, Oct. 21, 1994, p. A1.
Secretary of State Warren Christopher confirmed these withdrawals on October 16.
On November 10, 1994, after the crisis had receded, Iraq formally recognized Kuwait
in a motion passed by the Iraqi National Assembly and signed by President Saddam
The motivation behind the Iraqi troop movements of early October remains
obscure. Most analysts believe that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was attempting
to attract international attention to his argument that Iraq has complied sufficiently
with certain provisions of Resolution 687 to justify lifting of the oil sale ban. Some
believed Saddam Hussein thought the United States might seek compromise rather
than military confrontation in view of its then current preoccupations with Haiti,
North Korea, and Bosnia. Still others theorized that internal economic pressures
impelled Saddam to demonstrate to the Iraqi people that he was moving aggressively
to eliminate economic sanctions. According to a minority view, reportedly shared
by some U.S. military officials, Iraq did not plan to threaten Kuwait, and Iraqi troop
movements were prompted by fear of heightened allied air operations previously
Iraqi Defections to Jordan
No major U.S.-Iraqi confrontations occurred for almost two years after
Operation Vigilant Warrior; however, in 1995, a potential Iraqi threat to Jordan
prompted a brief augmentation of U.S. forces in the Gulf region. On August 8, 1995,
two sons-in-law and key aides of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein defected to Jordan
and were given political asylum. One of the defectors, General Hussein Kamil
Hassan, was the principal architect of Iraq’s programs to develop mass destruction
weapons. Following his defection to Jordan, Hussein Kamil reportedly provided
information to U.S. and Saudi Arabian representatives on the status of Iraqi weapons
programs. Frustrated in his attempts to gain support from other Iraqi opposition
groups or foreign governments, Hussein Kamil and his brother unwisely returned to
Iraq in 1996 where they were promptly murdered, probably, analysts believe, on
orders of the Saddam Hussein regime.
There were initial concerns in August 1995 on the part of U.S. and Jordanian
officials that Iraq might retaliate against Jordan for granting asylum to the defectors.14
The United States took several precautionary steps in August 1995 to protect Jordan
under an operation called “Vigilant Sentinel.”15 An aircraft carrier (the U.S.S.
David A. Fulghum, “Iraq Invasion Threat Reassessed by Military,” Aviation Week and
Space Technology, Nov. 14, 1994, pp. 18-20.
Then U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry told reporters that “There have been some
unusual deployments of Iraqi military forces” but added that there was “nothing that leads
us to believe that any invasion is underway or planned.” Bradley Graham, “U.S. Speeds
Troops to Kuwait, Plays Down Chance of Iraqi Attack,” The Washington Post, Aug. 23,
1995, p. A24.
President Clinton praised Jordan’s decision to grant the defectors political asylum and said
“the United States considers Jordan our ally and entitled to our protection if their security
is threatened as a result of this incident.” Alison Mitchell, “U.S. to Protect Jordan from Iraq,
Theodore Roosevelt) was moved to the eastern Mediterranean within aircraft range
of Iraq, while another (the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln) was held in the Persian Gulf for
an additional month pending arrival of a replacement, to avoid a one-month gap in
carrier coverage. During August, 2,000 to 3,000 U.S. Marines and 4,000 Jordanian
troops held a previously scheduled two-week exercise; a joint U.S.-Kuwaiti military
exercise was advanced by two months; and an unspecified number of additional U.S.
military personnel were alerted for possible deployment to the Persian Gulf. Finally,
shiploads of U.S. military equipment normally stationed in the Indian Ocean and
western Pacific were shifted closer to the Gulf region.16 In the event, Iraq acted with
restraint and no further U.S. deployments proved necessary at that time.
The Incursion of August 199617
Events and Responses. Meanwhile, internal strife which erupted between
the two principal Iraqi Kurdish factions in 1994 provided Iraq and neighboring
countries with opportunities to exploit the growing disarray in the allied-protected
Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq. (Map 2 shows Kurdish inhabited areas in Iraq and
in neighboring countries.) One of the two leading Kurdish factions, the Patriotic
Union of Kurdistan (PUK), had seized the Kurdish provisional capital of Irbil after
feuding broke out between it and a rival faction, the Kurdish Democratic Party in
May 1994. In the summer of 1996, Saddam Hussein sought to exploit internecine
strife among the Kurds by intervening on the side of the KDP in response to an
invitation by KDP leader Massud Barzani.
On August 31, 1996, an Iraqi force estimated at three armored divisions
(30,000-40,000 personnel) invaded Irbil, which lies approximately 7 miles within the
allied-imposed no-fly zone. Over the next few days, and without much additional
Iraqi help, the KDP captured major Kurdish cities from the PUK, which was
supported by Iran. Numerous PUK members and other Kurds fearful of the apparent
extension of Iraqi Government influence in northern Iraq sought refuge in Iran. PUK
militia subsequently launched a counterattack on October 13, recapturing significant
portions of territory they had previously lost, and the two factions returned to their
former pattern of low-level conflict. Iraqi forces largely evacuated the Kurdish
enclave in September, but some Iraqi intelligence agents reportedly remained in these
Clinton Says,” New York Times, Aug. 11, 1995, p. A10.
Bradley Graham, “U.S. Bolsters Gulf Force to Counter Iraq,” The Washington Post, Aug.
18, 1995, pp. A1, A27.
See Facts on File Yearbook 1996, pp. 637-638; issues of The Washington Post, The New
York Times, and The Wall Street Journal in September 1997.
Tim Weiner, “Iraq Pulling Out, But Leaving Spies Behind, U.S. Says,” The New York
Times, Sept. 6, 1994, p. A1.
Map 2. Kurdish-Inhabited Areas
The Iraqi incursion on August 31 prompted a warning from the United States
to withdraw, and on September 3, U.S. forces launched 27 cruise missiles at Iraqi
military targets in the southern part of Iraq: 14 from the U.S.S. Laboon guided missile
destroyer and the U.S.S. Shiloh cruiser in the Persian Gulf, and 13 from two B-52
bombers that flew in from Guam. President Clinton also announced that he was
widening the no-fly zone over southern Iraq, extending it northward from the 32nd
to the 33rd parallel. In what the Pentagon described as a mopping-up operation, U.S.
forces fired an additional 17 missiles from three surface ships and one submarine on
September 4, and a U.S. F-16 fighter aircraft fired two anti-radiation missiles at an
Iraqi radar. In mid-September, following some further provocations by Iraqi air
defense units, the United States dispatched additional forces to Kuwait, bringing U.S.
military strength to approximately 30,000. Most of these reinforcements returned to
the United States before the end of 1996.
A by-product of the Iraqi incursion and Iraq’s temporary cooperation with the
KDP was the disruption of U.S. intelligence operations aimed at toppling the regime
of Saddam Hussein. U.S. agents reportedly fled just before Iraqi troops briefly
moved north, and Iraqi intelligence officers captured and executed approximately
Iraqi 100 opposition figures.19 The United States ultimately evacuated over 6,000
persons who had worked on U.S. supported humanitarian programs in northern Iraq
and a smaller number (about 600) of opposition figures to Guam where they were
screened for political asylum in the United States.20 Although the movement of Iraqi
ground forces into the Kurdish enclave technically was not a violation of the alliedimposed no-fly zones, it marked the first attempt by the Iraqi regime to send troops
into this area since the allies established a protective regime for the Iraqi Kurds in
1991. A perception that Iraq was not violating any formal cease-fire arrangements
was probably a contributing factor to a lack of widespread support among U.S. allies
for subsequent U.S. reprisals against Iraq. This in turn may have emboldened Iraq
to mount more serious challenges to the United States in the months ahead.
Further Confrontations: 1997-1998
The Mounting Crisis over Inspections. Between mid-1993 and 1996,
members of UNSCOM were able to carry out their inspections of Iraqi weapons
programs with relatively little interference by the Government of Iraq. Increasing
attempts by Iraq in 1997 to impede U.N. weapons inspections prompted demands by
the U.N. Security Council that Iraq cease its interference or face further sanctions.
Iraqi officials complained that U.S. pressure on the Security Council and UNSCOM
was prolonging economic sanctions against Iraq. On October 29, 1997, Iraq barred
participation by U.S. personnel in UNSCOM inspections, demanded the departure
of all U.S. UNSCOM personnel within seven days, and called for termination of
U.S.-piloted flights by U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. Iraq followed on November 13
by expelling U.S. inspectors, and chief UNSCOM inspector Richard Butler withdrew
most of the other inspectors the following day. A crisis was averted after a
diplomatic initiative by Russia, which undertook to work for the speedy lifting of
sanctions against Iraq and seek “balanced representation” on U.N. inspection teams.
U.S. officials denied that they had agreed to any conditions in exchange for Iraqi
compliance with U.N. demands.
Iraqi officials continued to complain about the alleged predominance of U.S.
and British personnel on inspection teams, and insisted on their right to bar
inspectors from an unspecified number of “presidential sites” on grounds of national
sovereignty. On January 12, 1998, Iraq declared three specific locations to be
“sensitive sites” and off limits to U.N. inspectors seeking to visit them, although the
Iraqis permitted access to them later in the day. On January 16, a U.S.-led team,
which was investigating Iraqi methods of concealing mass destruction weapons
The Iraqi regime reportedly had already discovered another opposition network in June
1996 and executed 100 Iraqi dissidents belonging to that group as well. R. Jeffrey Smith
and David B. Ottoway, “Anti-Saddam Operation Cost CIA $100 Million,” The Washington
Post, Sept. 15, 1996, pp. 1, 29; Evan Thomas, Christopher Dickey and Gregory L. Vistica,
“Bay of Pigs Redux,” Newsweek, March 23, 1998, pp. 36-37.
According to a press report, the CIA established two field offices in the Kurdish enclave
in October 2002, after a six-year period in which it had no permanent presence in northern
Iraq. Eli J. Lake, “CIA Puts Two Sites In Kurdish Areas,” The Washington Times, Oct. 25,
2002, p. A17.
programs, left Iraq after being barred for three days from conducting an inspection.
Iraqi officials asserted that the team was unbalanced inasmuch as it consisted largely
of Americans and British and that team leader Scott Ritter, a former U.S. Marine
officer and veteran of numerous similar inspections, was engaged in spying on Iraq.21
U.N. and U.S. officials denied the accusations concerning Ritter and emphasized that
Iraq could not dictate the composition of U.N. inspection teams. The following day,
President Saddam Hussein announced that Iraq would expel all U.N. weapons
inspectors if sanctions against Iraq were not removed within six months. Also on
January 17, 1998, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry criticized U.S. rejection of an offer by
Russia to replace the U.S. U-2 reconnaissance aircraft with Russian planes. (The U-2
flights have continued despite an Iraqi threat to fire on them.) By early February,
U.S.-led retaliatory action against Iraq seemed imminent.
The February 23, 1998 Agreement. Intensive diplomatic efforts in early
and mid-February centered on attempts to find a formula for inspecting eight
“sensitive” sites under conditions that the United Nations and Iraq would accept. The
United States insisted that two principles must govern any agreement on the conduct
of inspections: full access by UNSCOM to sites throughout Iraq, and respect for the
integrity of the U.N. Special Commission process. On February 17, the U.N.
Security Council reportedly endorsed a plan that would give U.N. inspectors full
access within Iraq, while allowing diplomats from U.N. Security Council member
countries to accompany U.N. inspectors on visits to the eight “presidential”
compounds. The presence of diplomats would serve as a face-saving gesture for Iraq
by signifying international recognition of Iraq sovereignty. On February 23, after
three days of negotiations, Secretary General Annan and Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq
Aziz signed an agreement with the following principal provisions:
Reconfirmation by Iraq that it accepts relevant U.N. resolutions;
Commitment of U.N. member states to “respect the sovereignty and
territorial integrity of Iraq”;
“Immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted access” by UNSCOM
and IAEA within Iraq, with respect for Iraqi concerns relating to
“national security, sovereignty, and dignity”;
Special procedures to apply to inspections at eight “presidential
sites” defined in an annex to the agreement;
Efforts to accelerate the inspection process, and an undertaking by
the Secretary General to bring to U.N. Security Council members the
concerns of Iraq over economic sanctions.
Under the special procedures governing inspections at the eight sites, the U.N.
Secretary General established a “Special Group” comprising diplomats appointed by
the Secretary General and experts drawn from UNSCOM and IAEA. Reports by the
Special Group were to be submitted by the Executive Chairman of UNSCOM
Subsequent press articles have cited U.S. officials as saying that U.S. intelligence
personnel worked under cover on U.N. arms inspection teams in Iraq. Other U.S. officials
reportedly dispute these assertions. Tim Weiner, “U.S. Spied on Iraq Under U.N. Cover,
Officials Now Say,” The New York Times, January 7, 1999, p. A1; Weiner, “U.S. Used U.N.
Team to Place Spy Device in Iraq, Aides Say,” The New York Times, January 8, 1999, p. A1.
through the Secretary General to the Security Council. Inspections of the eight sites
took place between March 26 and April 3, 1998, and revealed no evidence of
prohibited weapons systems, but the senior inspector said “It was clearly apparent
that all sites had undergone extensive evacuation.”22 Other inspections proceeded
relatively smoothly during the next few months, but many questions about Iraq’s
weapons programs remained unresolved as of mid-1998.
Meanwhile, on March 3, the U.N. Security Council unanimously passed
Resolution 1154, co-sponsored by Britain and Japan, which commended the initiative
of the Secretary General in securing commitments from Iraq, stressed that Iraq must
comply with its obligations, and warned that “any violation [of the agreement or
other pertinent resolutions] would have severest consequences for Iraq.” President
Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright described the agreement as a “step
forward” for U.S. policy of containing Iraq, but the President commented that “What
really matters is Iraq’s compliance, not its stated commitments.” Secretary Albright
said of the agreement that “The proof is in the testing.”
Operation Desert Fox
After a lull of several months, tensions mounted in August 1998, as Iraq began
to challenge U.N. operations once more. On August 5, Iraq announced that it would
no longer allow UNSCOM to inspect new facilities, and followed with a ban on all
remaining UNSCOM activities on October 31. U.S. officials described Iraq’s actions
as unacceptable, as did some other members of the Security Council. Resolution
1205 of November 5, which demanded that Iraq rescind its bans on U.N. weapons
inspection activities and resume full cooperation with UNSCOM, did not specifically
mentioned use of force; however, U.S. officials emphasized again that all options are
open including military force to compel Iraqi compliance. On November 11, 1998,
the United Nations evacuated more than 230 staff personnel from Baghdad, including
all weapons inspectors, as the United States warned of possible retaliatory strikes
As U.S. forces were on the verge of conducting air and missile strikes against
Iraq on November 14, the Clinton Administration delayed them for 24 hours upon
learning that Iraq had agreed to resume cooperation with UNSCOM. After further
negotiations, Iraq agreed in a letter to the Security Council on November 15 to
provide unconditional cooperation to UNSCOM and rescind its ban on UNSCOM
activities. The Administration then canceled the planned strikes; however, the
President warned that Iraq must fulfill its obligations. Specifically, in a news
conference on November 15, he listed five conditions Iraq must fulfill to meet the
criteria of unconditional cooperation:
Resolution of all outstanding issues raised by UNSCOM and the
Unfettered access for inspectors with no restrictions, consistent with
the February 23 memorandum signed by Iraq.
Barbara Crossette, “Inspectors Report Lack of Progress in Verifying Iraqi Disarmament,”
The New York Times, April 17, 1998, p. 1.
Turnover by Iraq of all relevant documents.
Acceptance by Iraq of all U.N. resolutions related to mass
No interference with the independence or professional expertise of
Despite its pledges on November 14-15, 1998, Iraq began to impede the work
of U.N. weapons inspectors once more, according to statements by UNSCOM Chief
Butler on December 8. On December 15, Butler submitted a report in which he
concluded that “Iraq did not provide the full cooperation it promised on 14
November 1998” and “initiated new forms of restrictions upon the Commission’s
work.” On December 15, Butler withdrew remaining UNSCOM inspectors from
Iraq, saying that they could no longer perform their mission. On the following day,
then President Clinton directed U.S. forces to strike military and security targets in
Iraq. He described the mission as “to attack Iraq’s nuclear, chemical and biological
weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.”
Attacks began on December 16, 1998, at 5:06 p.m. EST (December 17 at 1:06
a.m. Baghdad time) in an operation known as Desert Fox, as U.S. forces launched
over 200 cruise missiles (officials declined to give an exact number) at over 50
targets in Iraq, from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Enterprise, other Navy ships in the
region, and some 70 Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. According to some media
reports, B-52 bombers based in the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia took part as
well. British forces also joined in the attacks. A second wave of attacks took place
on the evening of December 17-18, involving approximately 100 cruise missiles (but
with larger warheads than those used in the first wave of attacks) and B-52 bombers,
again with British participation. B-1 bombers joined the attack during the third wave
(evening of December 18-19), marking the first combat operations for this aircraft.
After the fourth wave of attacks (evening of December 19-20), President Clinton
halted the 72-hour Operation Desert Fox on December 20. Senior U.S. officials
warned that the United States would repeat its attacks as often as necessary to prevent
Iraq from continuing programs to develop mass destruction weapons.
All told, during Operation Desert Fox, U.S. and British forces launched
approximately 415 cruise missiles (325 Tomahawks fired by Navy ships and 90 air
launched cruise missiles mainly by B-52s) and dropped more than 600 bombs. In an
assessment on December 20, 1998, the U.S. Department of Defense provided a
breakdown of 97 targets of allied attacks, consisting of lethal weapons production or
storage facilities (11), security facilities for weapons (18), Iraqi Republican Guards
and other military facilities (9), government command, control, and communications
facilities (20), air defense systems (32), airfields (6), and one oil refinery.23 A
subsequent assessment on December 21 cited a total of 98 targets, of which 43 were
severely damaged or destroyed, 30 moderately damaged, 12 lightly damaged, and 13
not damaged.24 The U.S. theater commander described the estimates as conservative,
Philip Shenon, “U.S. Declares It Might Need More Strikes On Iraq Soon,” The New York
Times, Dec. 21, 1998.
Steven Lee Myers, “U.S. Says 85% Of Iraqi Targets Were Hit,” The New York Times,
pointing out that even lightly damaged facilities can be rendered unusable. There
were no U.S. or British casualties. According to the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, the
allied action killed 62 Iraqi military personnel (including 38 Republican Guards) and
wounded 180; there have been no estimates of Iraqi civilian casualties. Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Henry Shelton told the Senate on January 5, 1999,
however, that allied strikes killed or wounded an estimated 1,400 members of Iraq’s
elite military and security forces (600 from the Special Republican Guard and 800
from the Republican Guard).25
Further Actions Since 1998
A series of follow-on military actions occurred after Operation Desert Fox, as
Iraqi air defenses tried to target U.S. and British aircraft patrolling the no-fly zones
and Iraqi aircraft made brief intrusions into the zones. U.S. Air Force and Navy
aircraft, as well as British aircraft, responded to Iraqi challenges with missile strikes
directed against Iraq air defense and command and control installations and fired at
intruding Iraqi aircraft. Before Operation Desert Fox, U.S. responses to Iraqi
violations of the no-fly zones were usually confined to the immediate source of the
violation, i.e., an air defense battery or an intruding Iraqi aircraft. On January 27,
1999, authorities expanded rules of engagement to allow U.S. aircraft to target a
wider range of Iraqi air defense systems and related installations in response to Iraqi
violations of the no-fly zones. In congressional testimony on March 23, 2000, a
Defense Department official said operational commanders had been given additional
flexibility in responding to Iraqi provocations; under the current rules of engagement,
pilots may respond not only by defending themselves but also by acting to reduce the
overall Iraqi air defense threat to coalition aircraft.
Official Iraqi media reported on January 3, 1999 that President Saddam Hussein
condemned the no-fly zones as illegal and said his people would resist them with
“bravery and courage.” The Iraqi President followed up by offering a $14,000 bounty
to any unit that succeeded in shooting down an allied plane and an additional $2,800
reward for capturing an allied pilot. Allied officials state that no U.S. or British
manned aircraft have been lost, despite Iraqi claims to the contrary. (For example,
on September 13, 2000, an Iraqi air defense spokesman asserted that Iraqi air defense
units had shot down 10 allied aircraft since December 17, 1998.) Similarly, allied
officials dismissed an Iraqi claim on June 15, 2000 that Iraq had shot down or
intercepted 100 U.S. high-speed anti-radar missiles (HARM) used by allies to target
Iraq claimed that allied air strikes killed a number of Iraqi civilians. In a note
to the U.N. Human Rights Commission released by U.N. officials on March 26,
2001, the Iraqi government protested that allied air strikes had killed 315 and
wounded 965 Iraqis, all civilians; the note described the allied overflights as a
Dec. 22, 1998.
See above-cited and other contemporary news articles, including: Thomas E. Ricks,
“Assessing Success of Iraq Bombing May Take Months,” The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 22,
2002, p. A20.
violation of international law. Subsequently, the Iraqi government claimed that a
U.S.-British air strike on June 20, 2001 killed 23 Iraqis and injured 11 others
participating in a soccer game near the city of Mosul in northern Iraqi. U.S. and
British officials have denied some Iraqi reports of civilian casualties and have
attributed others to the Iraqi practice of placing air defense weapons in close
proximity to populated areas, thus using nearby residents as human shields.
After Operation Desert Fox, Iraq reportedly succeeded in extending the range
of some of its older model air defense missiles and made its communications less
vulnerable by installing fiber optic cable, reportedly with Chinese assistance. In this
connection, a gradual escalation in military clashes became noticeable in 2001.
Several highlights are summarized below.
The February 2001 Air Strikes. On February 16, 2001, between the hours
of 11:20 a.m. and 1:40 p.m. Washington, D.C. time, 24 U.S. and British combat
aircraft struck five Iraqi air defense command-and-control installations, using
precision guided munitions. According to a U.S. Defense Department spokesman,
four of the five installations struck by the allied aircraft were located north of the 33rd
parallel (the northern limit of the southern no-fly zone), but the aircraft themselves
did not go north of the 33rd parallel. The spokesman noted that this was the first time
since Operation Desert Fox that allied aircraft had hit targets outside the southern nofly zone, although targets outside the northern zone had been struck during the fall
of 1999. According to press reports, one goal of the allied strikes was to destroy a
fiber optic cable network that Chinese were reportedly installing to upgrade the
effectiveness of Iraqi air defense radars.26
Subsequent press reports indicated that many of the munitions fired by allied
units had missed their targets; according to these reports, a majority of the AGM154A Joint Stand-Off Weapons (JSOWs) dropped by U.S. aircraft went astray,
although two other types of “smart weapons” (AGM-130 guided missiles and StandOff Land Attack missiles) achieved somewhat more success. These alleged problems
have been attributed by press sources to several possible factors: human error in
programming, heavy wind, software defects, mechanical failure, or jamming of
signals by Iraqis; officials reportedly believe the first two explanations are the most
likely. Defense spokesmen have declined to identify the munitions used in the
Additional Military Strikes. After February 2001, allied forces carried out
several significant strikes against Iraqi air defense installations, including an Iraqi
mobile early warning radar in southern Iraq on April 19, 2001, an air defense site in
northern Iraq on April 20, 2001, an air defense installation 180 miles southeast of
Baghdad on May 18, and an air defense site in northern Iraq on August 7, 2001. On
August 10, 2001, in the largest air strike since the previous February, U.S. and British
aircraft hit three installations: a surface-to-air missile battery 170 miles southeast of
Baghdad, an associated long-range mobile radar system, and a fiber optic
communications station 70 miles southeast of Baghdad. Before this strike, on July
Steven Mufson and Thomas E. Ricks, “U.S. to Protest China’s Aid on Iraq’s Anti-Aircraft
System,” The Washington Post, Feb. 21, 2001, p. A2.
29, U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice told CNN that the
Administration was contemplating the use of “military force in a more resolute
manner” and said that “Saddam Hussein is on the radar screen for the
Targeting U.S. Reconnaissance Aircraft. Meanwhile, some observers
believe Iraqi air defense forces may have improved their ability to target allied
aircraft. On July 24, 2001, Iraqi forces fired a surface-to-air missile at a U.S. high
altitude U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, and Defense Department sources reportedly said
the missile came close to hitting the plane. On three subsequent occasions Iraqis
claimed to have shot down a U.S. Air Force RQ-1B Predator–an unmanned aerial
vehicle (UAV or “drone”)–over southern Iraq. U.S. Defense spokesmen
acknowledged that the UAVs were lost but did not confirm that they had been shot
down by Iraqi units. Conflicting reports indicate that a fourth Predator may have
been lost on May 27, 2002; Iraq claimed to have forced an unmanned reconnaissance
plane (nationality not indicated) on a mission over northern Iraq to land, while
unnamed defense sources in Kuwait said a Predator malfunctioned and crashed in
northern Kuwait. After the loss of the first Predator on August 27, press reports
noted that if the Iraqi claim is correct, it would be the first time that a U.S.
aircraft–albeit an unmanned aircraft–involved in enforcing the no-fly zones has been
brought down by Iraqi fire.27
Aftermath of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks. The Iraqi
government was the only Middle East regime that did not send condolences to the
United States after the September 11, 2001, attacks, although Iraq officials did
express sympathy to several U.S. non-government organizations known to oppose
U.S. containment policies toward Iraq. According to numerous press reports, U.S.
officials have not found clear evidence of an Iraqi hand in the attacks or subsequent
cases of anthrax, although some U.S. officials have said they suspect Iraqi
involvement. Some commentators have pointed to several alleged meetings in recent
years between Iraqi intelligence officials and members of Osama bin Laden’s Al
Qaeda organization and speculated that Iraq could provide Al Qaeda with money and
expertise on chemical and biological warfare.28 Other commentators counter that
Saddam and bin Laden have different views and ideologies and note that Iraq has
been trying recently to cultivate better relations with western countries in an effort
to gain support for terminating economic sanctions imposed after Iraq invaded
Kuwait in 1990. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on
March 19, 2002, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet said “the jury’s out”
regarding any Iraqi involvement in the September 11 attacks but added that “it would
be a mistake to dismiss the possibility of state sponsorship, whether Iranian or Iraqi,
Dave Moniz, “Iraq Says It Shot Down Unmanned U.S. Plane,” USA Today, August 28,
2001, p. 6. The next two Predators were lost on September 11 and October 10.
Proponents of this view, for example, have cited an intelligence report from officials in
the Czech Republic that one of the September 11 hijackers, Muhammad Atta, met with an
Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague in April 2001; however, according to several press articles,
the report has not been verified and U.S. intelligence officials doubt that the meeting took
place. See, for example, David S. Cloud, “Bush’s Efforts To Link Hussein To al Qaeda
Lack Clear Evidence,” The Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2002, p. 1.
and we’ll see where the evidence takes us.” During a speech in Cincinnati on
October 7, 2002, President Bush pointed out that Iraq and Al Qaeda had a common
enemy in the United States and stated that the two have had high level contacts going
back for a decade.
With regard to military action, on October 11, 2001, U.S. Defense Department
spokesmen were quoted as saying that there had been no significant increase in
skirmishes between allied forces and Iraqi forces after the September 11 attacks.
Later press reports, quoting U.S. military officials, indicated that a two-month lull in
Iraqi air defense activity after the September attacks proved short-lived and that Iraq
subsequently resumed more aggressive engagements with allied aircraft enforcing the
no-fly zones. A Christian Science Monitor article in October 2002 noted that the
long-standing low-level warfare between allied pilots and Iraqi air defense units was
intensifying and could be a prelude to another Gulf war. According to the article,
allied pilots were concentrating on command and control centers and higher profile
targets, including two recent strikes on the airport at the southern city of Basra.29
They also dropped leaflets warning personnel stationed at air defense units not to
track or fire upon allied aircraft enforcing the no-fly zones, along with psychological
warfare leaflets telling commanders to stay in their barracks.
Statistics. Complete and uniform statistics on Iraqi challenges and U.S.
responses are not available, since spokesmen use varying criteria in reporting such
numbers. On July 31, 2001, U.S. Defense Department spokesman Rear Admiral
Quigley told reporters that Iraq has shown “a considerably more aggressive stance in
trying to bring down a coalition aircraft.” He listed continuing provocations by Iraq
against allied aircraft over the two no-fly zones, especially in the southern zone, and
allied retaliations (number of days on which allied aircraft have struck Iraqi targets
Southern Watch: 221 provocations in 2000 (18.4 per month); 370 in
the first seven months of 2001 (30.8 per month).
Northern Watch: 145 provocations in 2000 (12.1 per month); 62 in
the first seven months of 2001 (8.9 per month).
In response, allied forces conducted strikes on Iraqi targets in the Southern Watch
area on 32 days in 2000 and 19 days during the first 7 months of 2001; in the
Northern Watch area, on 48 days in 2000 and 7 days during the first 7 months of
2001. Later a November 26, 2001 press release by U.S. Central Command
(CENTCOM), which is responsible for Operation Southern Watch, reported that Iraq
had fired anti-aircraft artillery against allied aircraft on more than 1,050 occasions
since December 1998, including 420 times during the current year, and that Iraqi
aircraft had violated the southern no-fly zone more than 160 times since December
According to a July 26, 2002 press report, a spokesman for U.S. European
Command (which is responsible for Operation Northern Watch) gave the following
Scott Peterson, “U.S. Sliding Into War With Iraq?” Christian Science Monitor, October
8, 2002, p. 1.
statistics on the numbers of incidents in which Iraqi air defense units threatened U.S.
or British aircraft: 143 in 1999; 145 in 2000; 97 in 2001; and 32 during the first six
months of 2002. The press report cites the following figures on the number of times
U.S. and British aircraft returned Iraqi fire: 102 in 1999; 48 in 2000; and 11 in 2001.
(It is not clear whether these figures cover only Northern Watch or Southern Watch
as well.) According to the same press report, a Pentagon spokesperson said U.S. and
British combat aircraft returned fire from Iraq on 14 occasions over the southern zone
and 8 occasions over the northern zone so far during fiscal year 2002 (i.e., from
October 2001 through July 2002).30
A more recent press report of October 8, 2002, quoting unnamed U.S. officials,
indicated that allied aircraft had been fired upon 1,000 times during the past three
years by Iraqi anti-aircraft batteries and by at least 60 surface-to-air missiles.
Force Deployments and Costs
U.S. force levels in the Persian Gulf region have fluctuated since the Gulf war
of 1991. During the mid-1990s, U.S. forces in this area on an average comprised
15,000 to 20,000 personnel (many of them Navy and Marine Corps personnel
embarked on ships), together with up to 200 aircraft and 20 ships (usually but not
always including an aircraft carrier). After brief upsurges during the run-up to
Operation Desert Fox in December 1998, force levels averaged somewhat higher,
varying from 20,000 to 25,000, between 1998 and 2001. Most U.S. personnel in the
region, including those conducting Operation Southern Watch, are assigned to the
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), whose area of responsibility covers large parts
of the Middle East, southern and central Asia, and northeast Africa. U.S. forces
conducting Operation Northern Watch are based in Turkey and assigned to U.S.
European Command (EUCOM). The task forces responsible for enforcing the two
no-fly zones are linked by a hot line and coordinate many of their operations.
U.S. and other allied forces in the region were increased significantly after the
September 11 attacks. Recent official figures are not available; however, according
to a February 24, 2002 Washington Post article, Defense Department officials said
there are 60,000 U.S. troops in the CENTCOM area of operations, of whom 4,000
are on the ground in Afghanistan. Many other troops in the CENTCOM area are
involved in supporting allied operations Afghanistan.
News media have reported a further build-up in the Fall of 2002 in the Persian
Gulf region amid increasing reports of expanding the war against terrorism to Iraq.
The Navy and Air Force already had headquarters elements in the Gulf region, and
during October the Defense Department reportedly ordered the Army’s Fifth Corps
and the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force to deploy headquarters elements to the region
as well. The U.S. Central Command, which would have overall responsibility for a
military operation against Iraq, planned to send 600 of its headquarters personnel to
Vernon Loeb, “‘No-Fly’ Patrols Praised,” The Washington Post, July 26, 2002, p. A23.
nearby Qatar. Though officially described as routine deployment in connection with
a joint military exercise, the movement of CENTCOM personnel to Qatar could
facilitate the establishment of a forward headquarters in the Gulf region, according
to press speculation.31 Other articles reported continued U.S. troop movements to
the Gulf region, some of them in connection with joint military exercises but possibly
designed to support military planning for a campaign against Iraq.32
Total incremental costs of U.S. military operations related to Iraq from the end
of the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf crisis amounted to more than $10 billion as of May
2002. (Incremental costs reflect additional spending on these operations, over and
above normal personnel and training expenditures.) An annual breakdown appears
in Table 2, below.
Legislative and International Implications
Use of Force
Congress and the Administration. Congress authorized the President to
use the U.S. Armed Forces to implement pertinent U.N. resolutions in Public Law
102-1 (H.J.Res. 77), passed by Congress on January 12, 1991, and signed into law
by President George H. W. Bush on January 14, 1991, two days before Operation
Desert Storm began. Congress reaffirmed its approval of the use of force against Iraq
in the Defense Authorization Act for FY1992 (Section 1095, P.L. 102-190,
December 5, 1991).
The Administration consulted with Congress during subsequent confrontations
with Iraq. Prior to taking military action against Iraq on January 13, 1993, President
George W. Bush informed congressional leaders of his intention to launch air strikes
against Iraqi missile sites. In the first hours after the strikes, several Members of
Congress voiced their approval of the use of force. According to reports, President
Clinton conferred with selected Members of Congress prior to the June 26, 1993
attack on the Iraqi Intelligence headquarters. Most Members of Congress supported
the President’s action, although some believed the President should have pursued
diplomatic avenues before resorting to military action, and some questioned the
wisdom of launching the Tomahawks at night when civilians were more likely to be
at home.33 Congress was out of session at the height of the October 1994 Iraqi troop
Michael Matza, “Tiny Qatar May Be Pivotal To Any U.S. War Action In Iraq,” The
Philadelphia Inquirer, October 16, 2002.
For example, Bradley Graham, “U.S. Boosts Its Ability To Plan War,” The Washington
Post, October 12, 2002, p. A1.
Rep. Ron Dellums, then Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee (now the
House National Security Committee), criticized the Administration for failing “to consult
effectively with Congress on the specific exercise of military force.” Mary Jacoby,
movements crisis but the Administration kept Congress and the public informed
through speeches, briefings, and news conferences. The same was true of the
response to Iraq’s incursion into the Kurdish enclave, which occurred at the end of
the 1996 summer recess.
The question of congressional authorization for use of force arose again in the
context of Iraq’s challenges to U.N. inspection teams in late 1997 and 1998. On
November 13, 1997, the House of Representatives passed House Resolution 322,
which expressed the sense of the House that the United States should assure
compliance with U.N. resolutions and supported military action if diplomatic efforts
were unsuccessful. Some Members favored additional legislation to authorize
military action against Iraq, while others were concerned that such measures could
give the Administration a blank check for military escalation. On October 31, 1998,
President Clinton signed H.R. 4655, the Iraq Liberation Act (ILA–P.L. 105-338),
which authorized the President to provide up to $97 million in defense articles to
designated Iraqi opposition groups. The ILA has been widely interpreted as an
endorsement by Congress of regime change in Iraq, but it did not contain an
authorization for use of military force. According to news reports, however, the
Clinton Administration cited the original authorization enacted by Congress before
the Gulf war in 1991 (P.L. 102-1) as a legislative basis for using force against Iraq
as the crisis over U.N. weapons inspection heated up in 1998.34
A week after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Congress passed S.J.Res.
23, signed by President Bush as P.L. 107-40, which authorizes the President “... to
use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or
persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks
that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons ....”
Use of force under this act would be contingent on a presidential determination that
Iraq had perpetrated or conspired in the September 11 attacks. (For further
discussion of these and related legislative issues, see CRS Electronic Briefing Book,
Terrorism, “War Powers and Iraq,” by Richard F. Grimmett and David M. Ackerman
News reports indicate that President Bush believed he already had legal
authority to use military force against Iraq without further legislative authorization,
but decided to seek a new resolution from Congress to gain wider support. On
October 10, 2002, by a vote of 296 to 133 (Roll no. 455), the House of
Representatives passed H.J.Res. 114, which authorizes the President to use the U.S.
armed forces to defend the national security of the United States against the
continuing threat posed by Iraq, and enforce all relevant U.N. Security Council
resolutions regarding Iraq. The Senate passed H.J.Res. 114 by 77-23 (Record Vote
“Dellums Slams Clinton for Not Consulting Hill on Strike,” Roll Call, July 1, 1993, pp. 1,
P.L. 102-1 has no expiration date, and according to the press, some specialists in
international law have expressed the view that it provides sufficient authority to use force
against Iraq. Philip Shenon, “U.S. To Use ‘91 Law to Justify Air Strikes on Iraq,” The New
York Times, February 4, 1998.
No: 237) on October 11. President Bush signed H.J.Res. 114 on October 16, 2002,
as P.L. 107-243. (See also CRS Report RS21324, Congressional Action on Iraq,
1990-2002: A Compilation of Legislation, by Jeremy Sharp.)
United Nations. In the international context, the United States asserted that
two previous U.N. Security Council resolutions provide sufficient authority to use
force against Iraq: Resolution 678 (November 29, 1990), which authorized military
action after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, and Resolution 687 (April 3, 1991), which
made a cease-fire conditional on Iraqi compliance with various specified terms,
including the inspection and dismantling of Iraq’s lethal weapons programs. Other
U.N. Security Council Resolutions have found Iraq in “material breach” of its
obligations under Resolution 687 and expressed full support of the efforts of the U.N.
Secretary General to obtain full implementation of relevant agreements. Most
members of the Security Council, however, with the notable exception of Britain, did
not believe the wording of previous U.N. Security Council resolutions provides an
automatic trigger authorizing further military force against Iraq.
On November 8, 2002, however, after several weeks of negotiations, the U.N.
Security Council passed Resolution 1441, which provides for an enhanced inspection
regime to assure the dismantling of Iraqi WMD programs and reiterates previous
warnings that Iraq “will face serious consequences” if it continues to violate
obligations under U.N. resolutions. President Bush praised the resolution, saying that
“[t]he world has now come together to say that the outlaw regime in Iraq will not be
permitted to build or possess chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.”
A review of international reactions to U.S.-Iraqi confrontations from 1991 into
2002 shows that international support for retribution against Iraq eroded over time.
Indicative of this trend is the reluctance of the U.N. Security Council since 1993 to
find Iraq in “material breach” of Resolution 687, despite Iraq’s frequent attempts to
obstruct the work of U.N. weapons inspectors and its failure to observe certain other
provisions of the resolution. Some Council members, like Russia, essentially ruled
out a finding of “material breach” by insisting on a narrow interpretation of the term
that would exclude most of Iraq’s recent challenges.35 Altered international
conditions, including growing Arab disillusionment with broader U.S. Middle East
policies, some U.S.-Russian disagreements, Arab perceptions that Iraq is no longer
a major threat, and concerns among Arabs and others over the effects of sanctions on
the Iraqi population have made it increasingly difficult to replicate the broad-based
coalition the United States was able to assemble in response to the Iraqi invasion of
Kuwait in 1990. Whether passage of Resolution 1441 by unanimous vote of the
Security Council in November 2002 signaled a reversal of this trend remains to be
seen; however, Security Council members did show a willingness to use the term
“material breach” once more when describing Iraqi actions and omissions.
In 1998, Russia’s U.N. Ambassador said: “A material breach of the cease-fire resolution
would mean that Iraq invaded Kuwait again.” Christopher S. Wren, “U.N. Resolutions
Allow Attacks on the Likes of Iraq,” The New York Times, Feb. 5, 1998, p. A6.
Declining support within the Arab world for military action against Iraq has
been particularly apparent. Although Arab countries formed an important component
of the allied coalition that defeated Iraq in 1991,36 subsequent U.S. confrontations
with Iraq have not seen comparable levels of Arab support, for several reasons. First,
none of Iraq’s subsequent provocations involved the invasion and occupation of
another Arab state. Second, Arab public opinion has increasingly blamed the United
States for the sufferings of the Iraqi people under U.N.-imposed economic sanctions.
Third, as Arab-Israeli peace negotiations have faltered, Arabs have complained that
the United States is applying a dual standard, by using force to make Iraq comply
with cease-fire provisions but not exerting pressure on Israel to comply with terms
of various peace agreements. Finally, some Arab governments that would privately
welcome the departure of Saddam Hussein are unwilling to support limited U.S.
measures that provoke the Iraqi dictator but do not remove him from power, leaving
him in a position to extract future revenge on his neighbors.37 (For further discussion
of foreign attitudes toward a U.S.-Iraqi confrontation, see CRS Report RL31629,
Iraq-U.S. Confrontation: International Attitudes, by Jeremy M. Sharp.)
Nine Arab countries committed forces to the allied coalition. On August 10, 1990, the
Arab League voted for a resolution condemning the Iraqi invasion, supporting U.N.
Security Council resolutions on Iraq, and endorsing the dispatch of forces to the Gulf. The
vote was 12 in favor, 3 opposed, 2 abstaining, 3 expressing reservations, plus one absentee.
Foreign Broadcast Information Service–Near East, August 13, 1990, pp. 1-2.
There are indications that some Gulf leaders, while fearful of “pinprick attacks” that
would leave them exposed to subsequent Iraqi reprisals, would privately support U.S.
military actions on a scale sufficient to undermine or overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime.
Douglas Jehl, “On the Record, Arab Leaders Oppose U.S. Attacks on Iraq,” The New York
Times, Jan. 29, 1998, p. A6. More recent reports continue to indicate similar ambivalent
views on the part of Gulf and some other Arab leaders.
Table 1. Comparative Military Strengths and Inventories:
* Includes aircraft flown from Iraq to Iran during 1991 Gulf war.
International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2002-2003. (Note:
Figures shown here do not include materiel believed to be in storage and inoperable.)
Table 2. Incremental Costs of U.S. Operations in Southwest Asia Related to Iraq,
(Budget authority in millions of current year dollars)
Provide Comfort/Northern Watch
Southern Watch/Air Expeditionary Force
Desert Strike/Intrinsic Action/Desert Spring
Desert Thunder (force build-up 11/98)
Desert Fox (air strikes 12/98)
UNIKOM (UN/Iraq Observer Group)
Desert Thunder (11/98)
Desert Fox (12/98)
UNIKOM (UN/Iraq Observer Gp)
Provide Comfort/Northern Watch
Southern Watch/Air Exp. Force
Source: Defense Finance and Accounting System data. FY2002 figures obtained August 29, 2002.
Notes: Some totals do not add due to rounding