During the Gulf War (1991), the US Navy and the US Marine Corps had assembled consequent naval and amphibious forces. Some of them (including the battleship Iowa) were attacked by Iraqi antiship missiles.

Those forces seemed to indicate that an amphibious attack was in preparation, and some Iraqi units were distracted from the Koweit-Saudi Arabia border to protect the coastline near Bassora.

However, this attack never got real, and the real attack was a massive land and air campaign. Only litte fights saw the Arabic navies of the coalition fight Iraqi navy.

Alone, without the massive deployment of the coalition in Saudi Arabia, would an amphibious attack stand a chance against the Iraqi army? Criterias: Stand a chance means to land troops, defeat counterattacks and free the Kuwait territory (at least). An air campaign could be made from the US carriers, a very long one if needed.

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    You should know the drill by now: Hypothetical questions are off-topic here.
    – Spencer
    Dec 1, 2019 at 10:52
  • Really? That is not really an hypotetical: I don't want to know how it would have been, just if it was possible with the orders of battle of the reality Dec 1, 2019 at 10:56
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    Any question phrased as "Could..." indicates that you are not asking about something that did happen (history), but about something that might have happened (hypothetical).
    – MCW
    Dec 1, 2019 at 13:34
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    Welcome to History:SE. Could you edit your question to clarify what you've looked into already, complete with links and references, and context if applicable? In particular, please let us know what you find missing or unclear about the Wikipedia entry on the topic, if one exists. This allows those who might want to answer to do so without needing to redo the work you've already done. You might find it helpful to review the site tour and Help Centre and, in particular, How to Ask.
    – MCW
    Dec 1, 2019 at 13:35

1 Answer 1


Yes, but it would have been more risky and more bloody. The US is a superpower. The only one at the time. Iraq was a minor regional power.

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