ABSTRACT

Kuwait: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy [November 30, 2017]   [open pdf - 944KB]

"Kuwait remains pivotal to U.S. efforts to secure the Persian Gulf region because of its consistent cooperation with U.S. strategy and operations in the region, and its proximity to both Iran and Iraq. Kuwait and the United States have a formal Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA), under which the United States maintains forces and prepositioned military equipment in Kuwait to project power in the region. Kuwait usually acts in concert not only with the United States but also with allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman). However, Kuwait tends to favor mediation of regional issues over commitments of military force. Kuwait, working with the United States, is the lead mediator of the intra-GCC rift that erupted in June 2017 when Saudi Arabia, UAE (United Arab Emirates), and Bahrain moved to isolate Qatar. Kuwait hosts the operational command center for U.S.-led Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) that is combating the Islamic State, but Kuwaiti forces have not participated in OIR. The Kuwaiti government has not been reported to support any rebel groups in Syria, instead hosting donor conferences for civilian victims of the Syrian civil war. However, the government has failed to prevent wealthy Kuwaitis from raising funds for extreme Islamist rebels in Syria or elsewhere. Kuwait is participating militarily in the Saudi-led coalition that is trying to defeat the Shiite 'Houthi' rebel movement in Yemen, but has also worked to forge a diplomatic solution to that conflict. In March 2011, Kuwait supported the GCC military intervention to help Bahrain's government suppress an uprising by the majority Shiite population, but it sent only largely symbolic naval ships and not ground forces. Kuwait has supported U.S. efforts to contain Iran and has periodically arrested Kuwaiti Shiites that the government says are spying for Iran, but it also engages Iran at high levels. As part of this engagement, in mid-February 2017, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani visited Kuwait and Oman--the latter of which consistently engages Iran"

Report Number:CRS Report for Congress, RS21513
Author:Katzman, Kenneth
Publisher:Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service
Date:2017-11-30
Series:CRS Report for Congress, RS21513
Copyright:Public Domain
Retrieved From:Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Format:pdf
Media Type:application/pdf
URL:https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=806171
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