US Relations With Kuwait Essay Research Paper

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U.S. Relations With Kuwait Essay, Research Paper CIA Blue Paper: Kuwait Kuwait is located on the Northwest coast of the Persian Gulf in Southwest Asia. It is bordered by Iraq on the Northwest and North sides, and by Saudi Arabia on the South side. The country s total area, including the islands of Bubiyan, Warbah, and Faylakah is 6,880 square miles. (Encarta) Virtually the entire country, except for some small coastal areas, is barren desert, with a flat to rolling terrain. Soils are practically nonexistent. The average annual temperature is 77. F, and the average annual rainfall is 127 mm (5 in) or less, most of which falls in the cooler season, between October and March. During the dry season temperatures frequently exceed 115. F. The country obtains its water supply from

the desalination of sea water. Petroleum and natural gas are Kuwait’s only natural resources. (Encarta) The Native people of Kuwait are Arabs. There are also many minority groups in Kuwait such as Indians, Pakistanis, and Iranians. In 1999, the estimated population of Kuwait was 1,991,115, with fifty-four percent being immigrants. The population density is around 112 persons per 289 square miles. ( The dominant religion is Islam. The majority of the Muslims are Sunnite Muslims. The official language is Arab, but English is widely spoken. (Grolier) Kuwait s government is headed by a hereditary emir whose power is exercised through a prime minister and a council of ministers. There are fifty legislators elected to four year terms. Political parties are not allowed;

however, several Islamic groups have run candidates in elections. Voting is only done by native born, literate males over the age 21. (Grolier) Kuwait s economy is almost completely based on petroleum. Kuwait has a law that requires ten percent of all petroleum revenues to be deposited into a special reserve fund to provide for the time when the oil reserves are exhausted. Kuwait has one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world. In 1997 the per-capita income was 22,300 dollars a person. Much of this wealth is in the hands of the government. ( The official currency is the dinar, which is made up of one thousand fils. In September of 1999, the exchange rate was .3 dinar equals one U.S. dollar. Kuwait was developed around the city of Kuwait in the late 18th century.

It was under Ottoman Turkish rule until 1899 when the reigning emir asked for, and got, British protection. In 1914 Great Britain recognized the independence of the state. Petroleum was discovered in Kuwait in 1938. Operating under a concession, the Kuwait Oil Company, owned jointly by the Gulf Oil Corporation of the United States and the British Petroleum Company, began full-scale exploitation of the reserves in 1946. Under the provisions of a 1951 agreement, the emir shared equally in the company’s profits. During the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, Kuwait aided Iraq; in 1987 the U.S. and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) each sent naval escorts to protect Kuwaiti shipping from Iranian attack. After the Iran-Iraq war ended, Iraq revived a long-standing territorial

dispute with Kuwait and claimed that overproduction of petroleum by Kuwait was injuring Iraq’s economy. Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990 and rapidly took over the country; they reportedly committed many human rights abuses. The invasion was condemned by the UN Security Council and the Arab League, which continued to support the exiled emir, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, as Kuwait’s legitimate ruler. ( During the Persian Gulf War, a coalition led by the U.S. successfully freed Kuwait by late February 1991. Problems facing Kuwait in the postwar period included inadequate supplies of food, fresh water, and electricity; hundreds of oil-well fires set by the retreating Iraqis; environmental damage from burning wells and deliberately spilled oil;