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Interesting US History
A Website Devoted to Interesting Events in U.S. History





January 12, 1991

The United States Congress Authorizes the
Use of Military Force to Drive Iraq from Kuwait

On this day in 1991, the United States Congress authorized the use of military force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. The vote was 52 to 47 in the Senate and 250 to 183 in the House making it the closest vote to authorize military force since the War of 1812.

The vote occured after several months of occupation of Kuwait by Iraq which began in August of 1990. According to Iraq, they were justified in invading Kuwait due to several reasons, one of which was Kuwait's insistence on increasing oil drilling. This depressed the price of oil at a time when Iraq was trying to pay off its war debts from the Iraq-Iran war.