We must be very clear that this is not a religious war.This is a conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran as nations.The objective of the visit was to explore Kuwait’s role in the region, recent trends in Kuwait’s politics and economy, and other areas of bilateral interest. While it is too early to tell if this optimism will be rewarded, the new administration does have an opportunity to support reform in Kuwait and foster greater multilateral cooperation in the region. Today, it serves an essential partner in the fight against the Islamic State by granting the United States full access to its military facilities and hosting the joint headquarters for Operation Inherent Resolve.The Kuwaitis we met were hopeful that President Donald Trump would set aside inflammatory rhetoric in exchange for renewed U. This report argues that President Trump should shore up an essential regional partner through a series of modest investments designed to: U. In addition to this strong security partnership with the United States, Kuwait maintains an independent and pragmatic foreign policy across the Middle East.There is mounting anxiety that the regional competition between Iran and Saudi Arabia is spilling over into domestic sectarian politics and social conflicts.As one observer noted, “Regional conflicts have impacted relations between Shiites and Sunnis inside Kuwait.
The younger generation of Kuwaitis did not viscerally experience the Iraqi occupation and may come to question the value of the U. As one senior Kuwaiti security official observed: “When I open my land and sea to the United States and I’m still called a freeloader, there is something very wrong.” This deterioration in the tenor of bilateral diplomacy comes at a time when senior U. officials in the region consider Kuwait to be “as important of a strategic military partner now as it ever was.” The delegation met with top political and security officials, members of parliament, economists, and private sector representatives. Beginning in 2003, Kuwait provided the main staging area for military operations in Iraq.
This trend appears to be driven by regional dynamics, rather than domestic politics.
Kuwaiti interlocutors underscored that sectarian relations at home were highly vulnerable to regional conflict and the broader Saudi-Iranian competition for power.
Finally, a slight increase in the price of oil holds out some hope of limited fiscal relief.
There is little doubt that the 2014 collapse of oil prices destabilized Kuwaiti politics.