Examine Baker's negotiations with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz in 1991, and find out why Baker set out to build an international coalition prior to war. After Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, Bush and Baker knew that the U.S. response would set an important precedent. This was the first conflict after the end of the Cold War, and they wanted to show the world that the U.S. could respond appropriately. Baker believed that the United States should not jump into a military conflict in the Middle East without first winning the consent of Iraq's Arab neighbors. He appealed for help from the United Nations, and tried to stop the coming war by using diplomacy.