A long-standing Iraqi-Kuwaiti dispute culminated in the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. This invasion triggered a worldwide reaction and brought about many United Nations (U.N.) resolutions to expel Iraq from Kuwait. This contemporary Iraqi-Kuwaiti dispute is not new in the history of the Middle East. This dissertation investigates the decisions behind the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. There are many theories and approaches that can be used to interpret wars within the international system, such as idealism, realism, neorealism, liberal institutionalism, the capital world economy, postmodernism, etc. Realism is selected here to provide the analytical framework with which to explain the Iraqi invasion. Although there are many general propositions of realism regarding the international system, three main propositions are focused upon to help explain the Iraqi invasion: the notion that states pursue their national interest defined in terms of power, that realists believe that external forces determine a state`s foreign policy and that rationality explains states’ behavior. These three assumptions of realism are applied to explain the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.