By Alan Munro
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Extra info for Arab Storm: Politics and Diplomacy Behind the Gulf War
But such was Saddam Hussein's military budget that he might well have been prepared to foot the enormous bill to bring such a dodo back into production. Of more sinister significance, however, was the effective way in which Saddam Hussein exercised his authority with ruthless brutality at home to sustain popular support for the war and its sacrifices. He did this by suppressing, and indeed eliminating, any attempt by his commanders to question the inept and static conduct of Iraq's military strategy, of which he had arrogated the direction to himself.
The sentence of death was however carried out with a minimum of delay, perhaps with a view to preempting any intercessions which our friends in the region might be disposed to make in Baghdad. The affair coincided with Tom King's first visit to Saudi Arabia as Defence Secretary, when he called on Crown Prince Abdullah, the 22 The Gathering Storm commander of the National Guard with which the British army had for many years had a training mission, and on Prince Sultan, the Defence Minister. Discussions were concerned with our well-established co-operation in the security field, and particularly the important A1 Yamamah programme, under which British Aerospace (BAe) and other firms were providing Tornado and Hawk aircraft together with flying and technical training to the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) and minehunting ships to the Royal Saudi Navy.
Yet these virtues tended to be offset, even among those who benefited from them, by a cruder image of a self-indulgent society. The impression of a shortsighted pursuit of self-interestwas enhanced in 1990 by Kuwait's production of crude oil at a level in excess of the quota which she had agreed with her partners in OPEC. 4 million barrels a day during the first part of 1990 and was now finding it galling to see her neighbour flouting her quota. The Kuwaiti plea that she qualified for an exemption, on the grounds that her extensive overseas refining ventures had to be kept supplied, cut little ice.
Arab Storm: Politics and Diplomacy Behind the Gulf War by Alan Munro