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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.
Sat, 18 Apr 2015 07:26:15 -0700
The fleet includes vessels originally designed to move Marine weapons and vehicles, such as oil tankers modified into floating docks, cargo ships adapted to berth troops and a thin-skinned aluminum catamaran that can be used to launch special ...
Stars and Stripes
Thu, 02 Apr 2015 06:22:31 -0700
Ethiopian Kuwait Ethiopian Holidays (ET-Holidays), part of Ethiopian Airlines, opened new service offerings in Kuwait with a launch ceremony on 26 March at Holiday Inn Downtown.Ethiopian Airlines, which is represented in Kuwait by their GSA Al-Sawan ...
Sat, 18 Apr 2015 01:48:45 -0700
Oman Air has signed a Joint Venture agreement with Luxembourg-based Cargolux Airlines International SA , Europe's leading freight carrier and one of the top ten freight carriers in the world. The Joint Venture will create new ... The airline currently ...
Thu, 16 Apr 2015 10:15:00 -0700
Kuwait's parliament voted overwhelmingly to join the airstrikes in Yemen, while nine lawmakers -- all Shiite -- voted against, saying the intervention violated the constitution's requirement that the country only engage in defensive wars. Kuwaiti ...
Wed, 15 Apr 2015 23:38:29 -0700
GMTC an ISO & HSC certified Company, has successfully handled Cargo Logistic of more than 16 Oil and Infrastructure projects during last 15 years Kuwait. The scope of the on-shore transportation contract covers, customs clearance and transportation of ...
Thu, 16 Apr 2015 01:48:45 -0700
Darren Dwyer, the command team of the 419th Movement Control Battalion, U.S. Army Reserves- Bartonville, Ill., 3rd Sustainment Brigade, uncase their unit guide-on, during a ceremony at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, April 15, 2015. The 419th Movement Control ...
DVIDS (press release) (registration)
Fri, 10 Apr 2015 08:52:01 -0700
A Soldier, assigned to the 1191st Engineer Company, supervises the dirt extraction of Hesco barriers in Afghanistan as part of the retrograde operations in support of the U.S. Army Central Command's Material Recovery Element mission, Oct. 22, 2014.
United States Army (press release)
Tue, 14 Apr 2015 08:00:00 -0700
Saudi Arabia launched air strikes against the Houthis in neighboring Yemen last month with a coalition made up mainly of four Gulf Arab allies (Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE). The United States said last week it ... alongside the Houthis. The ...
Middle East Online