Kuwait: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON DC United States
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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 pre-positioned military equipment in Kuwait. These forces contribute to U.S. efforts to project power and otherwise operate in the region, including to combat against the Islamic State. Kuwait has been a significant donor to U.S. operations in the region since Iraqs 1990 invasion of Kuwait, and has received no U.S. foreign assistance in recent years. On regional issues, Kuwait usually acts in partnership with its allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council GCC Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. In March 2011, Kuwait joined a GCC military intervention to help Bahrains government suppress an uprising by the majority Shiite population, but it sent only largely symbolic naval ships and not ground forces for that intervention. Kuwaits leadership, along with that of Saudi Arabia and UAE, sees Muslim Brotherhood-related organizations as a potential domestic threat, and all three countries supported the Egyptian militarys July 2013 removal of elected president and senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Morsi. Kuwait has participated militarily in the Saudi-led coalition that is trying to defeat the Shiite Houthi rebel movement in Yemen, but has also focused on trying to forge a diplomatic solution to that conflict. Kuwait has supported U.S. efforts to contain Iran and it has periodically arrested Kuwaiti Shiites that the government says are supporting alleged anti-government plots, but it also maintains relatively normal relations with Iran. Kuwait has generally refrained from offering proposals to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.