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Kuwait is situated northeast of Saudi Arabia at the northern end of the Persian Gulf, south of Iraq. It is slightly larger than Hawaii. The low-lying desert land is mainly sandy and barren. Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy, governed by the al-Sabah family.
Kuwait is believed to have been part of an early civilization in the 3rd millennium B.C. and to have traded with Mesopotamian cities. Archeological and historical traces disappeared around the first millennium B.C. At the beginning of the 18th century, the 'Anizah tribe of central Arabia founded Kuwait City, which became an autonomous sheikdom by 1756. 'Abd Rahim of the al-Sabah became the first sheik, and his descendants continue to rule Kuwait today. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the sheikdom belonged to the fringes of the Ottoman Empire. Kuwait obtained British protection in 1897 when the sheik feared that the Turks would expand their hold over the area. In 1961, Britain ended the protectorate, giving Kuwait independence, but agreed to give military aid on request. Iraq immediately threatened to occupy the area, and the British sent troops to defend Kuwait. Soon afterward, the Arab League sent in troops, replacing the British. Iraq's claim was dropped when the Arab League recognized Kuwait's independence on July 20, 1961. Historically, Kuwait followed a neutral and mediatory policy among Arab states.
Oil was discovered in Kuwait in the 1930s, and proved to have 20% of the world's known oil resources. Since 1946 it has been the world's second-largest oil exporter. The sheik, who receives half of the profits, devotes most of them to the education, welfare, and modernization of his kingdom. In 1966, Sheik Sabah designated a relative, Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, as his successor. By 1968, the sheikdom had established a model welfare state, and it sought to establish dominance among the sheikdoms and emirates of the Persian Gulf.
In July 1990, Iraqi president Saddam Hussein blamed Kuwait for falling oil prices. After a failed Arab mediation attempt to solve the dispute peacefully, Iraq invaded Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990, set up a pro-Iraqi provisional government, and drained Kuwait of its economic resources. A coalition of Arab and Western military forces drove Iraqi troops from Kuwait in a mere four days, from Feb. 23–27, 1991, ending the Persian Gulf War. The emir returned to his country from Saudi Arabia in mid-March. Martial law, in effect since the end of the Gulf War, ended in late June. The U.S. sent 2,400 troops to the country in Aug. 1992, ostensibly as part of a training exercise, though it was widely interpreted as a show of strength to Saddam Hussein. Iraqi “training” maneuvers near the Kuwaiti border in Oct. 1994 renewed fears of aggression in the country. A Kuwaiti appeal brought the quick deployment of U.S. and British troops and equipment.
In 1999, the emir gave women the right to vote and run for parliament, but later that year Parliament defeated the ruler's decree. Kuwaiti society has grown increasingly conservative under the influence of Islamic fundamentalists. In 2003, traditionalists won a sweeping victory in parliamentary elections. The emir and crown prince (who served as prime minister) were elderly and ailing; in July 2003, the country's de facto leader, foreign minister Sheik Sabah, replaced the crown prince as prime minister.
In May 2005, Kuwait abandoned its 1999 ban on women's suffrage, and in June a woman was appointed to the cabinet. In April 2006, women voted for the first time. In Jan. 2006, the emir, Sheik Jabir, died. His cousin, Crown Prince Sheik Saad, briefly became the nation's ruler, but he was forced to abdicate because of extreme ill health. The prime minister, Sheik Sabah, was then nominated and unanimously confirmed by Parliament as emir. Sheik Sabah named his brother, Sheik Nawaf, as crown prince, and his nephew, Sheik Nasser, as prime minister.
Prime Minister Sheik Nasser Muhammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah dissolved the opposition-led parliament in March 2008 and called for new elections. In May's parliamentary elections, radical Islamists took more than half of the body's 50 seats. No women were elected to Parliament. Prime Minister Sabah and his cabinet resigned in November in a dispute with Parliament over the visit to Kuwait by a controversial Iranian cleric. The emir reappointed Sabah in December, and he formed a new government in Jan. 2009, composed largely of previous cabinet members.
Thu, 27 Nov 2014 08:18:45 -0800
“The presence of our CF-18s to provide top cover for the transport aircraft, allowed it to deliver its aid cargo at a lower altitude knowing that our fighter aircraft could detect and target any air or ground threats,” Constable said. “The mission was ...
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:45:53 -0800
Gulf producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates - said on Wednesday that they will not propose an output cut during the official meeting on Thursday, reducing the ...
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:52:30 -0800
The 605th was stationed at Kuwait Naval Base and transported critical cargo throughout the Persian Gulf in more than 30 underway missions, totaling 110 days at sea and 17,500 nautical miles of travel. The crew also participated in Operation Eager Lion ...
Hawaii Army Weekly
Sun, 23 Nov 2014 13:44:19 -0800
Smuggling bid foiled: Officers at the Air Freight division of Kuwait International Airport foiled an attempt to smuggle wiretapping and spying devices that were hidden in a cargo addressed to a Kuwaiti citizen, reports Al-Shahed daily. The devices were ...
Arab Times Kuwait English Daily
Thu, 27 Nov 2014 10:00:00 -0800
Cargo arrivals in Singapore rose marginally to 1.2 million mt, supported by supplies from Kuwait, the United States, and India. Stocks of middle distillates, which include gas oil and jet fuel, fell to 11.2 million barrels. IE tracks the voluntary ...
Sun, 23 Nov 2014 07:45:00 -0800
While it may be lightly-armed, the V-22 was designed as a personnel and cargo mover. That plan shows that it does have systems that make it more survivable in a hostile environment, though. The aircraft has a missile warning system, a radar warning ...
Marine Corps Times
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:11:15 -0800
Soldiers from the 594th Transportation Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, pose in front of their equipment Nov. 8, during a deployment to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait to provide ...
The Fort Campbell Courier
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:00:00 -0800
Ott's flying career began in the U.S. Marine Corps, when he flew Boeing-Vertol CH-46E Sea Knights in Okinawa, and then participated in the 1990-91 Desert Shield and Desert Storm operations in Kuwait. While in the Marines, Ott earned a master's degree ...