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The History of U.S.-Kuwait Relations. State of Kuwait June 19, 1961 Kuwait gained full independence from Britain January 23, 1962 First elections to the.

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Presentation on theme: "The History of U.S.-Kuwait Relations. State of Kuwait June 19, 1961 Kuwait gained full independence from Britain January 23, 1962 First elections to the."— Presentation transcript:

1 The History of U.S.-Kuwait Relations

2 State of Kuwait June 19, 1961 Kuwait gained full independence from Britain January 23, 1962 First elections to the National Assembly November 11, 1962 Kuwait’s Constitution was put into effect 1963 Kuwait became the 111th member of the United Nations

3 The beginnings of the U.S.-Kuwait relationship The relationship between the two countries really began in the early 20th century, when Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah, invited the Reformed Church of America to open a medical center in Kuwait. The hospital was opened in 1911 and is known to Kuwaitis as the American Hospital. Oil relations began in the 1930s, when Kuwait Oil Company was formed as a joint venture between the British Anglo-Persian Oil company and the American Gulf Oil company. In October 1951 the U.S. opened a consulate in Kuwait which was elevated to embassy status when the country received its independence in 1961.

4 The Gulf War August 2, 1990 Iraq invaded and occupied Kuwait threatening the country’s sovereignty and existence. Iraq claimed that Kuwait was harming its country economically by refusing to reduce its oil production and it tried to annex Kuwait by claiming that the country had historically been part of Iraq. The U.S. led an international coalition of 30 states to reverse the occupation. The Iraqis were forcibly ejected on February 26, 1991 at the conclusion of Operation Desert Storm (headed by the U.S.). November 1994 Iraq formally accepted Kuwaiti sovereignty along with a UN-demarcated border.

5 The Post-Gulf War relationship The post-Gulf War relationship has remained strong between the two countries. Kuwait and the U.S. worked together to monitor and enforce Iraq’s compliance with UN Security Council resolutions. Kuwait provided the main platform for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, it reserved 60% of its total land mass for use by coalition forces and donated more than $350 million in assistance in kind (primarily fuel).

6 The U.S.-Kuwait relationship today The U.S.-Kuwaiti relationship has remained strong during the post-Gulf War period. Kuwait and the United States were committed to enforcing Iraq’s compliance with UN Security Council resolutions and Kuwait provided the main platform for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Since Kuwait’s liberation in 1991, the U.S. has provided military and defense technical assistance to Kuwait from foreign military sales (FMS) and commercial sources. The U.S. Office of Military Cooperation in Kuwait is attached to the U.S. embassy and manages the FMS. U.S. military systems currently purchased by Kuwait ‘s Defense Forces are F-18 Hornet fighter jets, Patriot Missile systems and the Apache helicopter.

7 The U.S.-Kuwait Relationship Today (continued) Kuwait attitudes toward American products are favorable. Kuwait is the fifth-largest market in the Middle East, and the U.S. is Kuwait’s largest supplier of goods and services. Kuwait is a vital partner in the U.S.-led campaign against international terrorism. On April 1, 2004, the Bush Administration designated Kuwait as a “major non-NATO ally.” The Kuwaiti government sponsors foreign study for qualified students abroad for degrees not offered at Kuwait University. In 2004, about 1,720 Kuwaitis were enrolled in U.S. universities.

8 The History of the Kuwait-America Foundation

9 The Establishment of KAF Established as a non-profit organization on May 18, 1991 in Washington, D.C. Founding Directors: Dr. Hassan Al-Ebraheem, Messrs. Daniel Q. Callister and Fawzi Al-Sultan. Founded after the Gulf War to express Kuwait’s gratitude for American sacrifice during the war. Its mission is to support cultural and philanthropic projects that express goodwill and help strengthen ties between the people of the two countries.

10 Early KAF Programs KAF’s early efforts directly reached out to those affected by the Gulf War. Along with the Kuwait Association to Defend War Victims, KAF created a delegation of fifteen Kuwait associations representing various professions, who could speak about the suffering of their compatriots. KAF donated the use of its Washington office for a breakfast sponsored by the Desert Storm Surviving Dependents Fund to help in their efforts to raise one million dollars. In 1992, Dr. Al-Ebraheem and Ms. Pam Hall, an American expatriate living in Kuwait, created the Desert Peace Program “to bring to Kuwait families of Americans who had lost their lives in the effort to liberate Kuwait.” In the spring of 1994, after an invitation by Dr. Al-Ebraheem and Mr. Callister, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf visited Kuwait as a guest of the government. KAF commissioned Eng. Walid Al-Awadi to produce and direct a documentary on a true story that occurred during the Gulf War. The docudrama titled “A Moment in Time” won the 28 th TV and Movie Award Festival held in Texas in 1995.

11 KAF Programs - Making the connection Dr. Al-Ebraheem began to locate American trauma centers that specialized in treating afflicted children after the Gulf War. While researching for these centers for post-war Kuwait, he discovered that child trauma is often rooted in violence suffered within dysfunctional family life, drugs, peer pressure, and gangs. Although the source of trauma differed in the American and Kuwaiti situations, both were rooted in abuse and violence. Recognizing this connection, KAF began to develop different programs addressing the issue. Dr. Al-Ebraheem believes that “just as Americans assisted Kuwaitis to free their country from violence, KAF wishes to help Americans seek solutions to a problem of national importance.”

12 KAF Programs – Student Involvement In 1994 KAF forms a pilot project involving 7 th and 8 th grade students (who are seen in a critical transition period from elementary to secondary education). The youth were to write, in no less than 500 words, answering the question “What can I do about the violence I see or experience in my life?” Nineteen schools submitted writings, with over 850 students participating. Due to the projects overwhelming success, the National Campaign to Stop Violence (NCSV) was formed in 1996, and the “Do the Write Thing” Challenge Program was expanded onto a national level. The NCSV has partnered with the Urban League in an effort to build upon the success of DtWT. The students who have participated in the Challenge are given the opportunity to work with an organization in the Washington, D.C. community. The internship program became the second recipient of the Ron Brown International Community Service Award in 1998.

13 The success of KAF programs Since 1996, over 600,000 students have participated in NCSV classroom discussions, and over 250,000 have chosen to accept the “Challenge” by pledging not to engage in violent acts and by submitting writings on the causes of and solutions for youth violence to their local DtWT Committee. Over 600 National Finalists and their parents and teachers have been honored at national recognition ceremonies in Washington, D.C., and had their writings published and distributed to national policy-makers. The writings of these students have also been placed in the Library of Congress.

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