Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Political Science


Political Science, International Law and Relations.


Briggs, D.




This thesis examines Canada's decision to join Operation Desert Storm (the mission initiating the start of the 1991 Persian Gulf War) and the effects of the war and participation in it on Canada. To assist in the study's goal of presenting a clear, comprehensive picture of Canada's involvement in the war, three broad overarching questions are addressed: one, what factors most likely influenced Canada's decision to join Operation Desert Storm; two, what were the effects of Canadian participation in the operation; and three, what were the effects of the Persian Gulf War for Canada. This thesis demonstrates that external and non-governmental domestic determinants mostly affected the Canadian decision-making process. The factors most important in Canada's decision to send troops to the Persian Gulf region were external in nature. Specifically, the end of the Cold War, American expectations that Canada would join the operation, Canada's commitment to the UN, Arab acceptance of Western military involvement in the crisis, and Iraqi violations of international law contributed to the pro-participation decision adopted by the government. Canada's decision to limit its level of participation, on the other hand, was influenced primarily by non-governmental domestic factors. Most importantly, Progressive Conservative political concerns over how participation would affect the party's re-election chances in Quebec, the economic relationship between Iraq and Canada, and only moderate national support for participation in the war worked to constrain the extent of Canada's participation. This study also demonstrates that the war in general, as well as Canadian participation in it, had diplomatic, political, strategic, economic, and environmental consequences for Canada. The results, however, were surprisingly transitory and may therefore lessen the impact the Persian Gulf War has on future generations.Dept. of History, Philosophy, and Political Science. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1997 .D385. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 37-01, page: 0116. Adviser: E. D. Briggs. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1997.