Case #1057.1

Twisting in the Wind? Ambassador April Glaspie and the Persian Gulf Crisis (Sequel)

Publication Date: January 01, 1999
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This case chronicles the celebrated (some would say notorious) story of the actions of the US ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, on the eve of the August 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Diplomatic cables released by Iraq appear to show that Glaspie, a respected Arabist who had sought to implement Bush administration policy to broaden cultural and commercial contacts with the Iraqi regime in hopes of "civilizing" it, did not raise strong objections to the impending possibility of the invasion. Glaspie remains incommunicado, despite the press clamoring for her explanation--and growing belief that, by her silence, she is allowing herself to be made a scapegoat for an accommodationist policy likely to be viewed harshly in retrospect. The case provides a vehicle for discussing the responsibilities of a career official in a superheated political climate.

Other Details

Case Author:
Jillian Dickert
Faculty Lead:
Philip Heymann
Pages (incl. exhibits):
United States