The 1991 Gulf War, which caused Iraq first an embargo and then an attack from a coalition of forces including some major arms suppliers, occupies a particular place in the study of arms transfers, their impact on regional stability, and the dependencies associated with them. The United States, in turn, launched a Middle East arms control initiative on May 29, 1991, which included a proposal to ban weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and to regulate sales of conventional arms to the Middle East. After the end of the 1991 Gulf War, the governments of several major Western countries came forward with initiatives for improved monitoring or control of arms transfers. A reduction in the demand for its arms would present Russia with economic difficulties but also with political opportunities. The Kuwait War and the breakup of the Soviet Union have profoundly changed the situation surrounding conventional arms transfers.