Framing Conflict Escalation: United States versus al Qaeda/Islamic Extremism

  • Karen A. Feste
Part of the The Evolving American Presidency Series book series (EAP)


On August 2, 1990, Iraqi forces invaded and occupied the State of Kuwait. The United States reacted immediately, sending Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney to Saudi Arabia on August 5 to brief King Fahd on the threat and to secure his majesty’s immediate agreement to dispatching U.S. military forces to the kingdom. The Bush administration was increasingly concerned about the unwillingness of the House of Saud and other leading Arab countries to stand up to Saddam’s threat (Friedman, 1990). The United States decided it was necessary to defend Saudi oil fields and do so quickly, hence four days after the Iraqi intervention, the American delegation was pressuring its rich Middle East ally to allow American use of airstrips and naval installations. In order to respond to Iraqi moves, Cheney demanded several conditions for U.S. troop deployment: first, the United States would not accept any limits on the number of troops stationed in Saudi Arabia, and second, the United States would not accept a fixed date for troop withdrawal, although the military forces would leave if King Fahd requested they do so.


Saudi Arabia Terrorist Attack Arabian Peninsula Arab World Military Force 
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© Karen A. Feste 2011

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  • Karen A. Feste

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