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Accession Number ADA584289
Title Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S. Policy.
Publication Date Feb 2012
Media Count 26p
Personal Author K. Katzman
Abstract Kuwait has been pivotal to two decades of U.S. efforts to end a strategic threat posed by Iraq and then to stabilize that country in its transition to democracy. Because of its close cooperation with the United States, Kuwait is central to U.S. efforts to remain engaged in the northern Persian Gulf region following the completion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq at the end of 2011. However, the fragility of Kuwait's government could complicate U.S. efforts to use it as a centerpiece of post-withdrawal strategy for the Gulf. A further complication is that Kuwait's relations with the current government of Iraq are hampered, in part, by long-standing territorial, economic, and political issues unresolved from the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Kuwait is increasingly suspicious of Iranian intentions in the Gulf, which aligns Kuwait with U.S. efforts to contain Iranian power in the Gulf and prevent Iran from exerting undue influence in post-withdrawal Iraq. Still, Kuwait maintains relatively normal economic and political relations with Iran so as not to provoke Iran to try to empower pro-Iranian elements in Kuwait. Despite the infighting, and in contrast with Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, and other Middle East countries in 2011, Kuwait is a relatively wealthy society where most citizens apparently do not want to risk their economic well- being to bring about the complete downfall of Al Sabah rule. At the popular level, demonstrations by opposition groups over official corruption, security force brutality, citizenship eligibility, and other issues have been relatively small and their demands limited to the formation of a constitutional monarchy in which the Assembly names a prime minister. On other regional issues, in part because of its leadership turmoil, Kuwait tends to defer to consensus positions within the Gulf Cooperation Council; this deference is evident in Kuwait's stances on the Israel-Palestinian dispute and the uprisings in Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain.
Keywords Arab uprisings
Arab-israeli dispute
Civil disturbances
Defense cooperation
Economic development
Economic policies
Foreign policy
Freedom of expression
Government changes
Gulf cooperation council
Human rights
Human trafficking
International relations
Iraqi war
Islamic militancy
Labor rights
Media freedoms
Persian gulf war
Political crises
Political reform
Post- succession crises
Religious freedom
Security assistance
Trafficking in persons
United states government
Women's rights

Source Agency Non Paid ADAS
NTIS Subject Category 92 - Behavior & Society
92E - International Relations
92C - Social Concerns
74G - Military Operations, Strategy, & Tactics
Corporate Author Congressional Research Service, Washington, DC.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note Congressional rept.
NTIS Issue Number 1402
Contract Number N/A

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