The war in the Persian Gulf is among the most significant political and military events of the twentieth century. In its aftermath, we will see profound changes in the balance of power in the Middle East, as well as changes in attitudes on the part of both governments and their populations. We will also see changes in alliances, both within the region and between the countries of the Middle East and the United States. This paper discusses the personal, political, and economic reasons for Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, the historical events that led to the crisis, the attitudes of the Middle Eastern governments that made possible the U.S.-led alliance against Hussein, and the problems and concerns in the Arab world that existed before the crisis, that will remain after the conflict, and that must be resolved if a true and lasting peace is to be achieved.
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