While I appreciate thinking outside the box as well as anyone, there is no way you could say Iraq “contributed troops to Operation Desert Storm”, seeing as that was the name of a specific US Offensive against Iraq.
Had the question asked “contributed troops to the Gulf War”, it would be an entirely different beast, but as quoted, no reasonable person could argue your friend’s point (IMHO).
I imagine if you checked every news report, press conference, official announcement, and even ordinary conversation about that war that used a form of the word “participate,” you’ll find it was consistently used to refer to the allies who joined the U.S. to fight Iraq. I further submit that Iraqi troops were pitched against Operation Desert Storm, and could not in any reasonable sense be thought of as contributing to it. Play with semantics all you want, but I don’t see how a credible, much less compelling, case can be made that “Iraq” is a correct answer to the question posed.
No, arguing that Germans did participate in Operation Overlord would be ridiculous. Germans participated in the war for western Europe. They did not participate in the invasion, by definition.
Based on the wording of the question, Saudi Arabia is correct. If the question was, “which participating Arab nation contributed the most troops to the Gulf War of 1991?” the correct answer would be Iraq.
Yes, except for Iraqi Kurds. Iraq was one of the founding members of the Arab League.
The question is: “What participating Arab nation contributed the most troops to Operation Desert Storm?”
The quibble that Iraq was a “participant” in Desert Storm rises just barely above the laugh-it-out-of-court level. But there is no way to conclude that Iraq contributed troops to that operation (which, as has been noted, is not the name of the war, but rather of the allied effort against Iraq).
So your friends lose, and for bringing a frivolous case are assessed court costs (a round of drinks).
Nitpick: Operation Desert Storm was the name of the US effort against Iraq, specifically. Other coalition states named their own deployments - the UK war effort was called Operation Granby, for example.
I literally wrote a book about this, and the book was heavily fact-checked. According to my research, Saudi Arabia contributed about 50,000 troops to the war and Egypt about 30,200. Syria, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates also sent troops, but those numbers were considerably smaller.
Even if we concede that Iraq is/was ‘participating’, the question wasn’t about ‘participating’. It was about contributing troops to a specific operation, Operation Desert Storm. An operation mounted by the US and her allies. Iraq contributed nothing to this operation.
The OP says contributed. Iraq didn’t contribute anything beyond a major dose of stupidity. Contributing to Desert Storm means participating with the US in the invasion of Iraq. I don’t see how else to read it.
Well, in some sense other countries did participate in Operation Desert Storm; Saudi Arabia and India, for example, provided the US with use of their infrastructure in order to facilitate US operations.
Desert Storm (without the Operation part) has also become a sort of shorthand for the 1991 Gulf War in general.
If there’s anything I learned from trivia contests, it’s that the wording of the question makes all the difference. I’m assuming this is the actual wording:
“What participating Arab nation contributed the most troops to Operation Desert Storm?”
From the original wording, I’d say Saudi Arabia is the correct answer. The word “participating” should not have been included the question – it only confuses things.
However, Iraq did not contribute any troops to Operation Desert Storm, which is the military operation, not the war (if Saddam had left Kuwait without a shot being fired, there still would have been an Operation Desert Storm, but no war). Iraq participated in the war, but not in the operation.