Kuwait. According to Countryaah official site, the Arab Spring experienced repercussions in Kuwait in the form of demonstrations and a government crisis. Protesters in poor parts of Kuwait City demanded reforms in February and were supported by several opposition groups in the relatively influential parliament. The government responded with stricter legislation to “acts that jeopardize national unity”.
Opposition MPs accused Prime Minister Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah of retaining power by bribing support from 15 parliamentarians. The opposition, both inside and outside Parliament, stormed Parliament on November 16, demanding that Nasser be held accountable. On November 28, Nasser and his government resigned. The Emir, Sabah al-Ahmad as-Sabah, appointed another member of the ruling Sabah family, Defense Minister Jabir Mubarak al-Hamad as-Sabah, as new prime minister and asked him to form government. A week later, the emir disbanded Parliament. A new parliament would be elected after the turn of the year.
Among the opposition protesters there were many representatives of the country’s bidunas, a minority that partly originates from the region’s nomadic Bedouins and where there are also many descendants of immigrants from Iraq and other neighboring countries. The Bidunas, estimated at at least 100,000 in Kuwait, demanded above all citizenship, something the country’s migration agency announced in June that they could be granted under certain conditions.
The material devastation resulting from the war in Kuwait was extensive; more because of Iraqi sabotage, not least against oil installations, than as a result of combat actions. Direct costs are estimated at USD 20-30 billion; lost revenue to approx. USD 60 billion. In the absence of revenues from oil exports during the war and for the first time thereafter, Kuwait drew on its oil fund and investment abroad.
After the war, several Kuwaiti collaborators were brought to justice. Among these were Colonel Alaa Hussein Ali al-Jbour, of Iraq deployed as Kuwait’s prime minister during the occupation. He was first convicted in absentia in 1993, but in 2000 he chose to return to defend himself – after living in exile in Norway since 1998, and was sentenced to death. In addition to many Kuwaiti, most of the guest workers fled the country. As part of a plan to reduce dependence on foreign labor, many of them were denied permission to return. This was particularly true of about 400,000 Palestinians, much like a vengeance after the Palestinian leadership supported Iraq in the war.
Relations with the United States were strengthened as a result of the war, and the US-led Allied forces were allowed to use Kuwait as a marching zone in the 2003 war against Iraq. Iraqi threats of reprisals against the country. In 1992, the UN established the border between Kuwait and Iraq, marginally adjusted in Kuwait’s favor, and undertook to guarantee it. In the first two years after the war, Kuwait entered into defense cooperation agreements with both the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as France. The threat from Iraq persisted, and as a means of relieving the sanctions, the Iraqi regime sent large troop forces to the Kuwaiti border in 1994; The United States, the United Kingdom and France therefore strengthened their military presence in the region.
A UN commission was created after the war to deal with compensation claims against Iraq. Iraq had to pay Kuwait war damages, but Kuwait itself paid the United States for help in liberating the country. Furthermore, US companies were awarded valuable contracts during the reconstruction of Kuwait, and the US gained a military foothold in the country. The US intervention has been interpreted as much as a defense of control of vital oil deposits and influence in a strategically important region, as a defense of a small country’s independence; an interpretation that emerged again after the US-led invasion of the oil-rich and strategically central Iraq in 2003. Kuwait did not even participate with troops in this war, and contended with other Arab countries in principle against the invasion.
In the 1980s, Kuwait was hit by several terrorist attacks, with bomb attacks targeting, among others, the French and US embassies (1983), an attempted attack on the Emir (1985), and the hijacking of a flight from Kuwait Airways (1988). Kuwait also has many Shiites (about one-third of the population), and in the 2000s there were fears both of increasing influence from Shiite-ruled Iran and the contagion effect of Shiites in Iraq following the elections there in 2005. In 2005, exchange of gunfire between Kuwaiti security forces and Islamist groups, accused of belonging to the al-Qaeda network. Several officers were arrested, accused of planning attacks against US forces in Kuwait.
During the first Gulf War, between Iraq and Iran (1980-88), Kuwait was substantially hit by attacks on Kuwaiti tankers in the Gulf of Persia. The escalation of the conflict to hit civilian oil operations prompted Belgium, France, Italy and the United Kingdom to send miners to the area in 1986. Kuwait took Iraq’s side in the conflict, and in 1981 was a proponent of establishing the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to strengthen its security. In 1988, Bubiyan Island was attacked by Iranian naval vessels and two Kuwaiti soldiers were killed.