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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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RedPhalanx

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Here are the planned "solutions"

Iraqi Diplomatic Victory - USA accepts Iraqi control of Kuwait, refuses to intervene further.
USA Diplomatic Victory - Iraq leave Kuwait, releases all hostages etc... without a fight

Iraqi Military Victory - USA fails to liberate Kuwait and move into southern Iraq, ceasefire occurs after ~30 days and Iraq maintains defacto control over Kuwait
USA Military Victory (Historical) - USA liberates Kuwait and moves into Iraq; Kuwait liberated, Saddam neutered politically/militarily.

Partial Iraqi Victory - If USA pushes for more talks and refuses to invade, eventually a compromise is reached where Kuwait regains some autonomy (probably an Iraqi puppet).
Partial USA Victory - If USA liberates Kuwait but fails to invade Iraq, Kuwait is liberated but Saddam may attack again when USA is distracted.

There will be various points for different paths to be taken, and at least one event that allows the USSR to weigh in on the issue and provide moral support to either Iraq or the USA.
 

Cap`n Jim

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Arguably, if the USSR stays Hawkish, the USA couldn't risk deploying the necessary troops to liberate Kuwait. Plus, the Politburo pre-Gorbachev backed Saddam with arms and political support, which means they'd probably try to veto the whole thing.
 

RedPhalanx

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I think the Soviet Union generally accepted that Kuwait, and especially Saudi Arabia were in the US sphere-of-influence. Even in the instances that the USSR tried to weigh into the situation, it was always to bring about a peace agreement that had Iraq withdrawing from Kuwait. The USSR never used its veto power on the UNSC to stop the progression of the war.

I suppose if the war continues long enough (~30 days) then they probably would have intervened diplomatically to stop it (the Iraqi Military Victory just calls for Iraq to hold back the USA, not actually push into Saudi Arabia).
 

Cap`n Jim

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Though arguably it might respond differently were it not under Gorbachev, or were he forced into a more hardline stance.

Still though, there's really more of a case that the US couldn't spare that many troops if they still intended to keep their side of the Iron Curtain guarded. I mean, it could make sense that the Soviets would keep quiet if they used the opportunity to attempt to make some forays into the West, maybe nudge a bordering country or two into a more "agreeable" mindset. They could try it on with Greece, maybe. Use the distraction brought on by the Gulf War to funnel in arms or men. It had a fairly prominent Communist element, after all.