Its ruling dynasty, the al-Sabah family, had concluded a protectorate agreement in 1899 that assigned responsibility for its foreign affairs to the United Kingdom.The UK drew the border between the two countries in 1922, making Iraq virtually landlocked.These are sometimes incorrectly used as the conflict's overall name, especially the US Desert Storm: Throughout the Cold War, Iraq had been an ally of the Soviet Union, and there was a history of friction between it and the United States.The US was concerned with Iraq's position on Israeli–Palestinian politics.Iraq also accused Kuwait of exceeding its OPEC quotas for oil production.In order for the cartel to maintain its desired price of a barrel, discipline was required.
These events drew little notice outside the Arab world because of fast-moving events directly related to the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe.
The US also disliked Iraqi support for many Arab and Palestinian militant groups such as Abu Nidal, which led to Iraq's inclusion on the developing US list of State Sponsors of Terrorism on 29 December 1979.
The US remained officially neutral after Iraq's invasion of Iran in 1980, which became the Iran–Iraq War, although it provided resources, political support, and some "non-military" aircraft to Iraq.
However, the US did begin to condemn Iraq's human rights record, including the well-known use of torture.
A UN mission to the Israeli-occupied territories, where riots had resulted in Palestinian deaths, was vetoed by the US, making Iraq deeply skeptical of US foreign policy aims in the region, combined with the US' reliance on Middle Eastern energy reserves.