The U.S.-Kuwaiti military and political relationship has been of considerable value to both countries since at least 1990. This alliance was formed in the aftermath of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s brutal invasion of Kuwait and the U.S. decision to free Kuwait with military force in 1991. Saddam’s later defeat and removal from power in 2003 has ended an important rationale for the alliance, but a close look at current strategic realities in the Gulf suggests that Kuwait remains an important U.S. ally. It is also an ally that faces a number of serious national security concerns in the turbulent post-Saddam era. Problems with an assertive Iran, an unstable Iraq, and the continuing threat of terrorism will require both Kuwaitis and Americans to rethink and revise previous security approaches to meet the shared goals of reducing terrorism and regional instability.
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