Online Class: The Gulf War

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  • 18
  • 44
    Exams &
  • 195
    have taken this course
  • 16
    average time
  • 1.6

Course Description

In 1990-1991, the United States of America, under President George H. W. Bush, along with several allied nations launched a massive military operation in the tiny nation of Kuwait at the northern boundary of the Persian Gulf. This was the first war following Viet Nam in which America was actively involved in a combat role. Indeed, the United States played a key part in organizing, funding, building, executing, and maintaining the war. It was a historic confrontation in that it was the most widely-seen war in history, covered heavily on television, radio, internet, and other media outlets across the globe.

Beginning with Operation Desert Shield, which yielded to the much larger Operation: Desert Storm, this conflict became known as the First Gulf War. This course will examine the history and setting of the Gulf War, the motivations for fighting it, the strategies and tactics that were used, and the battles that were fought. In addition, an examination of how the Gulf War changed the nature of war, the reaction to the conflict at home, and dealing with the aftermath will be undertaken to provide a detailed and comprehensive overview of the conflagration.


  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.8 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(517 votes)

Lesson 1: Setting the Stage: A Very Brief History of the Middle East, Part I

This lesson provides part one of a brief history of the region, beginning with the geographical location of Kuwait and Iraq. 55 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video A
  • Lesson 1 Video B
  • Review 2 Videos: Fall of Ottoman Empire destabilized Middle East; Fall of Ottoman Empire and destabilization of Middle East
  • Take Survey: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: WWI and the Middle East
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2: Setting the Stage: A Very Brief History of the Middle East, Part II

This lesson examines the various religious sects within Islam and also provides a political background that lead to the Iran-Iraq War and, ultimately, the Persian Gulf War at the end of the 20th century. 29 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video A
  • Lesson 2 Video B
  • Review Article: Sufi
  • Review Video: Shiites v. Sunni
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3: The Nations of Iraq and Kuwait: Their Geography and History

This lesson will examine the geographical features and relevant historical details for each country, beginning with Iraq. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video A
  • Lesson 3 Video B
  • Review Video: History of Kuwait
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4: Major Players - Who's Who in the Gulf War

This lesson introduces briefly some of the major players in the Gulf War and explains their importance relative to the events related to Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in the early 1990s. 48 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video A
  • Lesson 4 Video B
  • Review 2 Videos: The Gulf War in Brief; Israel and the Gulf War
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: Charles 'Chuck' Horner
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5: Gulf War & Middle East Glossary, Part I

This lesson provides basic definitions for a number of organizations, philosophies, regions, and other terms relevant to our study of the Gulf War. 49 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video A
  • Lesson 5 Video B
  • Review Article: Persian Gulf Vocabulary
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6: Gulf War and Middle East Glossary, Part II

This lesson continues the essential definitions of Middle East and Gulf War terminology begun in the previous lesson. 50 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video A
  • Lesson 6 Video B
  • Review Article: Middle East Glossary
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: Republican Guard
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7: Saddam Hussein: The Leader of Iraq

Saddam Hussein was and what his motivations were for invading the tiny nation of Kuwait. This lesson examines the role of this nefarious leader up to the beginning of the Gulf War. 50 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video A
  • Lesson 7 Video B
  • Review Article: Saddam Hussein Life and Death
  • Review Video: Saddam Bio on History Channel
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: The Importance of Kuwait
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8: Israel, Oil, Terrorism, and Hostages: The Decade Before the Storm

Beginning in the late 1970s and running through the decade of the 1980s, the situation in the Middle East really began to intensify. 49 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video A
  • Lesson 8 Video B
  • Review Video: How the Middle East was divided up after WWI
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: The Lebanese Civil War
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9: Saddam's Battle Plan: Rationale and Weaponry

This lesson will provide an overview of Saddam's rationale for the war, as well as the types of weapons he would employ from his arsenal. 29 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video A
  • Lesson 9 Video B
  • Review Article: Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10: A New Breed of Soldier, A New Kind of War

This lesson takes a look at the new American soldiers, their equipment, and the aspects of the Persian Gulf War that redefined the way modern wars would be fought. 50 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video A
  • Lesson 10 Video B
  • Review 3 Articles: Gulf War Syndrome; Gulf War Weapons; Citizen-Soldier
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: Maneuver Warfare in the Gulf War
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11: The Iraqi Invasion

This lesson describes the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, as well as America's rationale for getting involved. 79 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video A
  • Lesson 11 Video B
  • Review Article: The War in Iraq
  • Review 2 Videos: Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait; Flames of Kuwait
  • Complete Assignment: America gets involved in the Middle East
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Exam

Lesson 12: The United States Mobilizes

This lesson examines the political debate in the United States regarding whether to get involved in the Persian Gulf. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video A
  • Lesson 12 Video B
  • Review Video: Gulf War Coalition
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Exam

Lesson 13: Operation Desert Shield

This lesson discusses the various aspects of Operation Desert Shield and how it was gradually changed from a defensive to an offensive measure (i.e., Operation Desert Storm). 26 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video A
  • Lesson 13 Video B
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Exam

Lesson 14: Operation Desert Storm, Part I: Setting the Stage

This lesson details the naval blockade of Iraq and the opening salvos of what would become Operation Desert Storm--the proactive phase of the Gulf War. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 14 Video A
  • Lesson 14 Video B
  • Review Article: General Norman Schwarzkopf
  • Review Video: Naval Blockade during Gulf War
  • Complete: Lesson 14 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 14 Exam

Lesson 15: Operation Desert Storm, Part II: Air War

This lesson recounts the major battles and events of Operation Desert Storm. 29 Total Points
  • Lesson 15 Video A
  • Lesson 15 Video B
  • Review 2 Videos: Air War; The Ground War
  • Complete: Lesson 15 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 15 Exam

Lesson 16: Operation Desert Storm, Part III: Ground War

It was time to implement phase two of Operation Desert Storm: the ground war. This lesson details the major events and battles of this final phase of the war. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 16 Video A
  • Lesson 16 Video B
  • Complete: Lesson 16 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 16 Exam

Lesson 17: The End of the War, the Media, and the Aftermath

This lesson will cover the details of the conclusion of the Persian Gulf War, as well as the unique media coverage that made this war a uniquely modern one. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 17 Video A
  • Lesson 17 Video B
  • Complete: Lesson 17 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 17 Exam

Lesson 18: Appendix: General Timeline of the Gulf War. Works Sited.

Appendix & works sited. 52 Total Points
  • Lesson 18 Video A
  • Lesson 18 Video B
  • Review 2 Articles: Key Players; The Gulf War: A Chronology
  • Take Poll: What is your opinion of this course?
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Summarize the reasons and evidence for going to war.
  • Summarize the history and conflicts of the nations involved.
  • Identify who's who in the gulf war.
  • Describe Saddam Hussein.
  • Describe the history leading up to the war, including the role of Israel, oil, terrorism, and hostages.
  • Describe Saddam's battle plan.
  • Summarize the Iraqi invasion.
  • Operation Desert Shield
  • Summarize Operation Desert Shield.
  • Summarize Operation Desert Storm.
  • Summarize the end of the war, the media, and the aftermath, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

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Course Title: The Gulf War
Course Number: 7550444
Course Requirements: View Course Requirements
Lessons Rating: 4.8 / 5 Stars (517 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: General Education (Self-Paced, Online Class)
CEU Value: 1.6 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: C. Michael McKenna
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $65.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $90.00

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Student Testimonials

  • "This course helped me to have a clearer understanding of the complex situations in the Middle East...the history of terrorism and the Gulf War were my 2 favorite lessons...." -- Evelyne B.