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69

Because there's no oil in NK. And there's the Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty, which would make a war with NK a (nuclear?) war with China.


43

WMD were only part of a complex reasoning that led to the Gulf Wars. The West had no serious problems with Iraqi WMD as long as they were aimed at Iran. But then Saddam Hussein miscalculated and went after Kuwait, and suddenly Iraq was a "rogue nation." The enduring hostility from the unfinished 1991 Gulf War led to the 2003 regime change. (...


34

TLDR: Persecute civilians locally Attack civilians in Western countries Military operations Can be engageddiplomatically Taliban ✔✔ (1994-2001)2021+: ??? allowed Al Qaeda operationsleading to 9/11 ✔✔✔ up to 2001: somewhat2016-present: Trump, Biden2021+: ? Al Qaeda N/A ✔✔✔ no ISIS ✔✔✔ ✔✔✔ ✔✔ (not very capable against hard opponents) no ISIS and Al-Qaeda ...


12

Even if the impression is sometimes to the contrary, the US does not go around invading other countries on a whim. The US has a lengthy history of trying to influence Iranian affairs. This spectacularly backfired in 1979 and contributed to the Islamic revolution. (It would be hubris to say it caused the revolution.) So the US decided to provide limited ...


6

Let's start what those 3 groups have in common first. They all are militant groups trying to achieve their goals by military force and they all are trying to impose a hardcore version of Sunni Islamic law on some territory. Islamic law implies harsh punishments for large number of crimes and all those groups will attempt to prosecute people that they believe ...


6

There are 2 aspects to the questions - why didn't the US invade Iran, and are those missiles a significant hindrance? The missiles? Doubt it. They'd have to target fixed targets, like airfields. Yes, they could, but those would be defended. If the US has credible plans to take on Russia or China in a hot war, Iran's missiles would not be a tactical game ...


5

Basically North-Korea is close to being an unofficial protectorate of China. Invading North-Korea would probably get China to declare war on the US. You also would have to ask yourself what it would do to South-Korea one of the few bastions of democracy in Asia. A lot of South-Korea still harbour ambitions of a unified Korea and not only would it lead to ...


4

<sarcasm> Because the relevant weapon of mass destruction in that case was money, not things which splode. </sarcasm> I heard* that shortly before the US went into Iraq, Iraq had moved to primarily selling their oil in Euro's. The US befits from USD being backed by oil / the de facto reserve currency (think Breton Woods 2.0) And to be fair, for ...


4

Recorded history is somewhat murky (until the files of the H.W. Bush presidency are unsealed) but there's some evidence the US gov't at the time tried to do it by inciting uprisings. In particular, Bush gave some speeches inciting them, e.g. on March 1, a day after the end of the Gulf War: In my own view...the Iraqi people should put [Saddam] aside [...] ...


3

While the actual motives of the decisionmakers involved cannot be known with certainty, there are several factors that almost certainly contributed to the choices made regarding the U.S. stance towards Iran. Iran's military presents a credible threat to the lives of U.S. servicemembers. Although staggering differences in capacity exist between the ...


3

Why couldn’t the U.S. have bought petroleum from Iraq after they took control over Kuwait’s oil supply? Part of the reason for the quick international action on Kuwait during Gulf War 1 was that the West was worried that Iraq could then menace the Saudi oil fields as well, which would have given them a huge leverage over the global oil markets (by ...


2

I'll take a stab at this, from memory: The coalition was brought together to eject Iraq from Kuwait. Broadening its goal to remove Saddam after the fact would have "bait and switch". And would have sat badly with some of the Arab participants, like Syria, which were essentially dictatorships themselves. There was, unlike in 2003 with the more ...


2

Because Iran is very useful as it is. Since the end of WWII US internal and foreign policy has been heavily dependent on the availability of a bogeyman. The soviet empire first and lesser bogeymen later helped justify huge military spending and invasions of small countries on the ground they might be taken by the bogeyman otherwise. An example of using Iran ...


2

I don't think capturing the oil was a motivation for the US at all, but the oil markets played a big part in many of the events surrounding the war. After the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq took place in Jul 1990, oil prices spiked, reaching a peak in Sep 1990. Historical price chart - note, it is adjusted for inflation. Nominal prices were in the $10/barrel ...


1

I suspect that oil was pretext more than context in the first Gulf War. Had Iraq successfully annexed Kuwait, it would have had minimal impact on global oil markets, and the regional power balance would have shifted only slightly. Kuwait has always been a fairly minor player, and Hussein's regime was a major one; the other oil producing states would have ...


1

UN Charter: Article 51 Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-...


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