"The Gulf Conflict provides the most authoritative and comprehensive account to date of Iraq's occupation of Kuwait, its expulsion by a coalition of Western and Arab forces seven months later, and the aftermath of the war. Blending compelling narrative history with objective analysis, Lawrence Freedman and Efraim Karsh inquire into the fundamental issues underlying the dispute and probe the strategic calculations of all the participants. As seen by the authors, the conflict offers a remarkable "snapshot" of the international system at the start of the 1990s and an opportunity to explore the global impact of the breakup of the Soviet empire in Europe. Resisting the temptation to view the situation in the Gulf as a prizefight between George Bush and Saddam Hussein, Freedman and Karsh analyze the war in relation to more general problems of the conduct of diplomacy and the role of military force in the "New World Order." They have produced what promises to be the standard work on the Gulf conflict." "Why did Saddam Hussein invade Kuwait in the first place? Once he had done so, were there any viable alternatives to the war? How precise was the use of military power? And, finally, how has Saddam been able to remain in power? To answer these key questions, the authors have uncovered new material not used in previous accounts. They have gathered here evidence from all available sources: government and other official documents, newspaper files, academic studies, and personal interviews with policymakers from both sides. The unique value of The Gulf Conflict, however, lies in the novelty of its analysis. Throughout the book Freedman and Karsh address not only American but also European, Soviet, and Middle Eastern decisions in an effort to redress the "Washington bias" found elsewhere. Neither a celebration of the war nor an indictment of it, The Gulf Conflict is a comprehensive account that reveals the interaction of all the parties involved."--Jacket.