Military of Kuwait

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Military of Kuwait
Service branches
Flag of Kuwait (1915-1956).svg
  • Defense Security Force Cavalry & Infantry

(1915-1938)

(1938-1953)

Coat of arms of Kuwait.svg

1961; 53 years ago (1961)

  • Kuwait Armed Forces 1949; 65 years ago (1949)
  • Kuwait National Guard [1](Independent)
    • National Guard Border Force
    • National Guard Internal Force
    • National Guard Special Force Units
  • Kuwait Ministry of Interior[2](Independent)
    • Directorate of State Security
    • Directorate of Border Security
      • Land Border Force
      • Coast Guard [3]
    • Directorate of Special Forces
      • Airborne Intervention Units
      • S.W.A.T Teams
    • Directorate of Public Security
    • Kuwait Fire Service Directorate [4]
(others)
Leadership
His Highness, the Emir, Commander-in-chief Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
Manpower
Military age 18
Available for
military service
900,745 (2010 est.), age 15–49
Fit for
military service
857,292 (2010 est.), age 15–49
Reaching military
age annually
22,000 (2005 est.)
Active personnel 15,500 [5] (ranked 88th)
Reserve personnel 31,000 [5]
Expenditures
Budget US$4.7 billion (2008)[6]
Industry
Foreign suppliers  Egypt
 France
 Germany
 Russia
 United Kingdom
 United States
Related articles
History

The Military of Kuwait consists principally of the Army, Navy, Air force, the Emiri Guard Brigade, the 25th Commando Brigade, the Military Police, the National Guard, the Ministry of Interior which inlcude the Kuwaiti Coast Guard[7] and the Fire Service Directorate.[8][9] Each armed force part of the ministry of defense, interior or national guard has its own commander who reports to the chief of staff of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces; the latter reports to the Minister of Defense, who is also designated by government protocol as a Deputy Prime Minister.[9] The Ministry of Interior also has several military commanders, designated by government protocol as assistant ministers undersecretaries; each reporting to the Minister of Interior, also a Deputy Prime Minister. The National Guard is independent of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces with its own commander, who reports directly to the Minister of Defense.[9] The Emiri Guard is an independent brigade, part of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces, with its own commander.[9] The 25th Commando Brigade and the Military Police are independent brigades of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces, with their own commanders.[9] Each of the Emiri Guard, the Military Police and Kuwait 25th Commando are considered combat brigades commanded by a colonel (O-6) and in rare instances commanded by a brigadier general.[9]

According to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, in 2007 the Kuwaiti army had around 11,000 personnel, the air force 2,500, the Navy 10 patrol and coastal craft, and there were 23,000 reservists for all services not including uniformed men and women of the Ministry of Inteior. There were 6,600 paramilitary Kuwaiti National Guard forces. It was considered that, although Kuwaiti’s armed forces remained small, training and military readiness were taken seriously, and were effective at the brigade and squadron level.[10]:40

The operational doctrine is aimed at ensuring the armed forces can withstand an attack for 48 to 72 hours, protecting key areas, until international reinforcements come to Kuwait’s aid.[11]

Contents

Description[edit]

As a small nation with a limited citizen population, the Kuwaitis have often had serious problems maintaining a formidable military that can serve as even a partial deterrent to the country’s larger neighbors.[10]:33 Until the 1990 invasion, Kuwait preferred to address national security threats through diplomacy and efforts to play off rival powers against each other. According to a U.S. military publication "It did not take the route of attempting to transform itself into a small but well-armed and mobilized society (such as Israel or Cuba) that could exact a costly price on any potential invader."[10]:33 Also, a strong military was a potential threat to the leadership.[10]:34 However, in the early forming; it was always a problem to man the armed forces without stateless (non-citizen) Bedouin and foreign Arab soldiers, including Palestinians. Male conscription was introduced from 1978 until the 1990s. By the time of the 1990 invasion Kuwait's military was about 12,000 strong.[10]:34

Kuwaiti Defense Forces also include the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior which also performs military duties. The Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior is in charge of internal (criminal, immigration, drug trafficking and other internal departments), border and coastal security (police airbone special forces units and S.W.A.T - Special Weapons and Tactics Teams), each with its own commander reporting to the Kuwaiti Minister of Interior, who is also designated by government protocol as Deputy Prime Minister. The Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior closely coordinates operations with the Kuwaiti Armed Forces, the Kuwaiti National Guard and the Kuwaiti Emiri Guard.[9] Unlike most countries that have different ranks amongst the respective armed forces; in Kuwait; all military ranks across Kuwaiti Defense Forces follow the same rank insignia and chevron with no separation amongst the various forces.[9] The Kuwaiti Defense Forces rank insignia is based on the British Army rank insignia; all under alike, in defense of the Crown.[9]

Both the Kuwaiti Minister of Defense and the Kuwaiti Minister of Interior are officially designated by protocol as Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Ministers, and report to the Prime Minister (as of 2014 Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah). The Prime Minister then reports to the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Military(as of 2014 Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Crown Prince of Kuwait), who finally reports to the Supreme Commander of the Military of Kuwait (as of 2014 Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Emir and Ruler of Kuwait).

Organization[edit]

The Kuwaiti Army is the primary land force of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces. The Army was established in 1949 and is the oldest of the armed forces of Kuwait. The Army was part of the Public Security Force in 1938, and part of the Defense and Security Forces in desert and metropolitan areas from 1928 to 1938.[9]

The Kuwaiti Navy, part of the Armed Forces, has its headquarters at its only base, Ras al-Qulayah Naval Base, located in the south of Kuwait approximately 35 miles (56 km) south of Kuwait City. Units in the Kuwaiti Navy also include the Kuwait commandos marine; a tier one special force unit[9]

The Kuwait Air Force headquarters is at Al Mubarak Air Base, with the remaining forces stationed at Air Defence Brigade, Ali Al Salem Air Base and Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base.[9] Both the Kuwaiti Army and Air Force are older and more senior than the Hereditary Constitutional monarchy of Kuwait, the Constitution of Kuwait and the National Assembly of Kuwait.[9]

The Kuwaiti Emiri Guard Brigade is an independent combat brigade in the Kuwaiti Armed Forces.[9]

The Kuwaiti 25th Commando Brigade is an independent tier one combat brigade in the Kuwaiti Armed Forces.[9]

The Kuwaiti Military Police is an independent combat brigade in the Kuwaiti Armed Forces.[9]

The Kuwaiti National Guard, considered an institution, is an independent body from the Kuwaiti Armed Forces and is a main internal and border combating security force. Units in the Kuwaiti National Guard also include internal, border and airborne special forces units.[9]

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior, considered an institution, is an independent corps from the Kuwaiti Armed Forces and is an internal, coastal and border security force with combating and non combatant elements.Combatant units in the Ministry of Interior consist of police land and coastal security forces, police airborne intervention units and S.W.A.T teams. The coast guard of the ministry of interior also inlcude specialised combatant units[9][12]

The Kuwaiti Armed Forces maintains a military base on Bubiyan Island, which has been established in 1991.[13]

History from 1756[edit]

"Al-Kout" (fortress near the water) 1756-1900 and commerce via the Arabian Sea[edit]

The National Guard, the Armed Forces, the Ministry of Interior and Emiri Guard of Kuwait derive from the cavalry and infantry who used to protect the lands of what is now Kuwait (Arabic: origin word -" Al-Kout"‎- meaning fortress near the water). Ever since the proclamation of the first ruler, Sheikh Sabah I bin Jaber, in 1756[14] tribes from the desert invaded and raided the lands, seeking to camp near the water to evade the harsh desert living conditions and profit from trade, primarily with India through the Arabian Sea, and Iran through the Persian Gulf.[9]

Since 1756, the cavalrymen and infantrymen of " Al-Kout" formed the Defense and Security Forces in metropolitan and desert areas, charged with protecting outposts outside the wall of Kuwait, which was built in 1920, after the Battle of Hamdh. It was five miles long along the desert border of Kuwait, ending at the sea front. It consisted of five main gates, a number of observation posts and several round towers.[9]

The 1928 battle of Al-Regga, fought particularly at the time against Ikhwan militants from Saudi-Arabia, is considered the last battle in Kuwait's early history[citation needed]; for the first time, vehicles were used in Kuwaiti warfare. In the fighting, Sheikh Ali Al-Salem Al-Sabah was killed; Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah ordered that Defense and Security Forces in Al-Jahra outside the wall of Kuwait fall under the command of Sheikh Abdullah Jaber Al-Abdullah II Al-Sabah, the Commander General of Defense and Security Forces from 1928 to 1938.

In 1938 Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah established the Public Security Department located in the middle of Safat in Kuwait City, later named the Ministry of Interior.[9] The Public Security was headed by Sheikh Ali Al-Khalifa Al-Sabah in 1939, with acting deputy Field Marshal Sheikh Abdullah Mubarak Al-Sabah II Al-Sabah.[9]

In 1948 a border and security force was set up within the Public Security Department, formed from members of the Defense and Security Forces responsible for guarding the wall of Kuwait.

During the 1948-1949 Israeli War of Independence Kuwait was not a formal belligerent, although some Kuwaiti volunteers joined the Arab Liberation Army.[15]

Kuwaiti Army and Ministry of Interior created by reorganisation (1953)[edit]

In 1950 Sheikh Abdullah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah ordered the capabilities of the Armed Forces to be developed to deal with external threats.[9] Accordingly, Sheikh Abdullah Mubarak Al-Sabah II Al-Sabah was appointed Commander General of the Kuwaiti Public Security Force, the newly designated Kuwaiti Army and the Armed Forces.[9]

In 1951 the Bren Gun entered into service with the Kuwaiti Public Security Department,[9] followed in 1952 by the Daimler Armoured Car, both primarily with the Army.[9]

In 1953 the border and security force was named the Kuwaiti Army and split from the Kuwaiti Public Security Department, forming the Ministry of Interior; members of the previous forces became members either of the army or merged with police forces within the Interior Ministry.[9] The Army was headed by Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who had recently returned from military training in the United Kingdom and reported to Sheikh Abdullah Mubarak Al-Sabah II Al-Sabah.[9]

Forming of the Kuwaiti Air Force (1953)[edit]

In 1953 Sheikh Abdullah Mubarak Al-Sabah II Al-Sabah established the first Kuwaiti Flying Club.[9] The Flying Club was part of the Civilian Aviation Directorate and graduated the first batch of Kuwaiti Pilots in 1954 who later attended advanced training in the United Kingdom.[9]

In 1954, Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was appointed Deputy Head Commander of the Kuwaiti Army, reporting to Sheikh Abdullah Mubarak Al-Sabah II Al-Sabah. During that same year, Sheikh Saleh Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah returned from the United Kingdom and was assigned as commanding officer of the Kuwait AlJiwan Camp.[9] Also in 1954 eight Auster aircraft entered into service with the Kuwaiti Flying Club for purposes of preliminary training.[9]

In 1956, the Kuwait Army officially moved to the AlJiwan Camp and Artillery in the Kuwaiti Army was introduced for the first time.[9] Also during the same year, a new training center was established for the Kuwaiti Army.[9]

Demolition of Kuwaiti City wall, and formation of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces[edit]

In 1957 the defensive wall of Kuwait was torn down for the expansion of Kuwait City, and the Public Security Force was reshaped and split into two entities. The Army, which had been part of the Public Security Force, became an independent unit, and police forces operating under the Public Security Force formed the Ministry of Interior. The Army was the first branch of what became the Armed Forces. In the same year the Army signed on the procurement of the Centurion tank, and two de Havilland DH.104 Dove monoplanes entered into service in the newly formed Air Force.[9]

In 1958 Kuwaiti officers were sent to the Military Academies in Egypt and Iraq to train, and the Kuwaiti Army underwent its first alert following the coup of Abdul Karim Qasim. In 1959 the Kuwaiti Army set up its first mechanized combat brigade, the Kuwait 6th Mechanized Brigade, known later as the Kuwait 6th Liberation Mechanized Brigade, following the liberation of Kuwait during the Gulf War.[9]

Operation Vantage (1961)[edit]

HMS Victorious taking part in Operation Vantage in support of Kuwait in July 1961

After 62 years as a British protectorate, Kuwait declared independence in 1961. Iraq immediately claimed that Kuwait was actually an Iraqi province, and threatened to invade to implement the claim. Britain flew troops into the newly-independent country to forestall Iraq, an operation called Operation Vantage.[15]

In 1961, Field Marshal Sheikh Abdullah Mubarak Al-Sabah II Al-Sabah, the Commander General of the Armed Forces, was absent and Brigadier General Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah stepped in to take part in Operation Vantage along with the Kuwaiti Armed Forces including the already active Kuwait 25th Commando Brigade as the Armed Forces were put on their second alert phase.[9] Also during the same year, the Kuwaiti Flying Club was separated from the Civilian Aviation Directorate and the Kuwaiti Air Force was officially enacted.[9] Also in 1961, the Universal Carrier was retired from the Kuwaiti Army[9]

Over the following years Kuwait built a small military force including an army, navy, air force, and national guard.[15]

In 1962 the Kuwaiti Army enacted the Kuwait 35th Shaheed (Martyr) Armored Brigade and the Kuwait 15th Mubarak Armored Brigade which were considered the second and third functioning mechanized brigades in service.[9] During that same year, the Kuwaiti Army held the first military parade in recognition of the independence of Kuwait,[9] and the BAC Jet Provost entered into service with the Kuwaiti Air Force.[9]

Establishment of the General Chief of Staff Headquarters (1963)[edit]

In 1963, an organizational Amiri Decree was issued, enacting officially the Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense along with the cancellation of the Head Command of the Kuwaiti Public Security Department and the establishment of the General Chief of Staff Headquarters of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces.[9] Similarly, an Amiri Decree was issued to appoint Major General Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to the first unprecedented position of Chief of Staff of the newly formed Kuwaiti Armed Forces. During the same year, the subsonic British Hawker Hunter jet aircraft and the de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou transport aircraft entered into service with the Kuwaiti Air Force[9]

In 1965 Brigadier General Sheikh Saleh Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah was appointed as the first Deputy Chief of Staff of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces.[9]

Six Day War (1967) & War of Attrition (1967-1970)[edit]

In 1966, the headquarters of the Kuwaiti Military Hospital was opened. In 1967, the Chief of Staff Major General Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah appointed his deputy Brigadier General Sheikh Saleh Mohammed Al-Sabah as acting commander of a hand-picked brigade from the Kuwaiti Armed Forces, mainly the Kuwaiti Army. In 1967 several Arab nations were at war with Israel in the Six Day War. Kuwait did not openly participate, but a contingent from the army took part in fighting in the central sector; Kuwaiti participation was too small to have any significant impact.[15] The assembled Yarmouk Brigade participated on the Egyptian Front, the first Kuwaiti military unit to fight outside the territory of Kuwait.[9]

On June 6, 1967 the Kuwaiti National Guard was established.[9] On July 1, the War of Attrition against Israel commenced while the Yarmouk brigade was engaged on the Egyptian Front.[9] In 1968, Kuwaiti military authorities established the Kuwaiti Military Academy.[9]

In 1969, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces placed the English Electric Lightning supersonic jet fighter aircraft and the Bell 206 and Bell 204/205 (mainly the 205) helicopters into service with the Kuwaiti Air Force.[9]

In 1970, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces suffered seventeen fatalities in fighting against Israeli forces in Egypt. One man was killed in April and sixteen more were killed in June.[9] During the same year, the Kuwaiti Air Force placed BAC Strikemaster light attack jets into service and the following year took delivery of Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.[9]

In 1972, the Kuwaiti Army introduced the Vickers MBT main battle tank series, and the Kuwaiti Armed Forces trained Egyptian pilots and technicians through the Kuwaiti Air Force on the English Electric Lightning.[9]

Double-fronted wars: 1973 Sanita border skirmish and October War[edit]

In 1973, the Armed Forces entered into their third alert phase with the beginning of the Kuwait-Iraq 1973 Sanita border skirmish[9] which led to a significant change in the operational capabilities of the Armed Forces.[9] Also in 1973, the leadership of the Armed Forces found itself battling on two fronts.[9] While components of the Armed Forces were readying to fight against Iraq following the skirmish on the Kuwaiti border, Kuwait sent a token force to participate on the West Bank of the Jordan River[15] alongside the Iraqi Armed Forces on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts during the 1973 October War against Israel (also known as the Yom Kippur war), being especially heavily engaged on the Syrian front.[9] As in 1967, Kuwaiti participation was too small to have any significant impact.[15] During 1973 the Kuwaiti Armed Forces officially enacted the Kuwaiti Naval Armed Service; mainly the Kuwaiti Navy.[9]

In 1973 the Chief of Staff, Major General Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, led a double fronted war with and against the same Arab belligerent for the defense of Kuwait.[9] Sheikh Mubarak led a third of Kuwaiti Armed Forces brigades engaged on both Syrian and Egyptian fronts during the war against Israel with the Iraqi Armed Forces while simultaneously leading and engaging the other two-thirds of the Kuwaiti brigades on the Kuwaiti borders during the 1973 Sanita War against the Iraqi Armed Forces.[9]

As the 1973 October War was drawing to an end, members of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces engaged on the Syrian and Egyptian fronts returned to Kuwait to find their military leadership and counterpart successful in halting the crisis caused by Iraq.[9] One year later in 1974 and as a result of unpredictable conflicting crises, defense authorities enacted a new plan to expand the Kuwaiti Armed Forces even further.[9] During the same year, Kuwaiti Armed Forces introduced the Aérospatiale Gazelle and Puma series helicopters to the Kuwaiti Air Force[9]

Kuwaiti Embassy protection and general support during the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990)[edit]

With the breaking of the Lebanese Civil War in 1975; units of the Kuwait 25th Commando Brigade of the Kuwaiti Army were sent to Lebanon to protect mainly the Kuwaiti Embassy in Beirut.[9] During that time, the Kuwait 25th Commando Brigade contributed extensive efforts in maintaining stability and supporting the peace efforts along with backing the general operation of the Lebanese Armed Forces; mainly the Lebanese Commando Regiment.[9] During the war, the Kuwait 25th Commando Brigade also played a vital and pivotal role supporting the general operations of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and the Multinational Force in Lebanon which included American contingents of United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy SEALs, French units of the French 11th Parachute Brigade and the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment, the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment of the French Foreign Legion; the same regiment, units and brigades which would later contribute and participate to the Liberation of Kuwait during the Gulf War in 1990.[16] The Multinational Force in Lebanon also included armored cars from 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards and Italian paratroopers from the Folgore Brigade, infantry units from the Bersaglieri regiments and Marines of the San Marco Battalion.[9]

During 1975, Kuwaiti defense authorities enacted the establishment of the first Kuwaiti naval base.[9] During the same year, Kuwaiti Armed Forces signed on the delivery of the MIM-23 Hawk surface to air missile system[9] and merged the Air Defense component to the Kuwaiti Air Force. The de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou was retired from service.[9]

In 1976, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces took delivery of Dassault Mirage F1s to be operated by the Kuwaiti Air Force.[9] During the same year, the Kuwaiti Air Force retired the Bell 206 and Bell 204/205 from service.[9]

In 1977, Defense Authorities enacted the Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base, officially opened in 1979, and Ali Al Salem Air Base, officially opened in 1980.[9] During the year of 1977, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces retired several equipment operated by the Air Force and Army and gained one new operating equipment.[9] The English Electric Lightning and Hawker Hunter were retired by the Air Force and Douglas A-4 Skyhawks were introduced; while the Vickers MBT was retired by the Army.[9]

Creation of the Kuwaiti Navy (1978)[edit]

In 1978, the Kuwaiti Navy and Coast Guard was created and designated as the sea-based component of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces.[9] During the same period, the Kuwaiti Army entered into service the M113 armored personnel carrier, the 9K52 Luna-M short range artillery rocket system and the M109 howitzer.[9]

Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)[edit]

In 1980, the Iran-Iraq War broke out and the Kuwaiti Armed Forces entered into their fourth alert phase.[9] During the same year, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces signed on the procurement of naval warships for the Kuwaiti Navy and Coast Guard.[9]

First joint Kuwaiti-Saudi air drills (1983)[edit]

In 1983, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces carried out the first air joint training with the Royal Saudi Air Force using Douglas A-4 Skyhawks.[9]

In 1984, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces enter the short range tactical surface to air missile system 9K33 Osa in service to be operated by the Kuwaiti Air Force.[9] During the same year, the ordered naval warships arrived and were directly commissioned by the Kuwaiti Navy and Coast Guard.[9]

Creation of the Kuwaiti Army (1988)[edit]

In 1988, the Kuwaiti Army was designated as the land component of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces.[9] The Kuwaiti Armed Forces were removed from their alert phase with the ending of the Iran-Iraq War.[9] The eight-year fourth alert phase was the longest in the Armed Forces' history.[9] With the ending of the Iran-Iraq War, the Kuwaiti Army adopted the BMP-2 infantry combat vehicle.[9]

In 1989, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces signed on the delivery of F/A-18 Hornets and launched the opening of the new Kuwaiti Military Hospital.[9]

Douglas A-4 Skyhawk aircraft of the Kuwaiti Air Force are serviced on a flight line in preparation for a mission during Operation Desert Storm on 13 Feb 1991

Iraqi invasion and aftermath (1990)[edit]

On 2 August 1990, Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait. The million-strong Iraqi army brushed aside disorganized resistance by the 20,000-strong Kuwaiti Armed Forces with heavy casualties; by the end of the day, Kuwait had been fully conquered.[9][10]:26–27[17] There were some instances of especially heroic resistance, particularly by combat aircraft pilots. Kuwaiti Forces, principally the Kuwait 35th Shaheed (Martyr) Armored Brigade of the Kuwait Army, engaged in the Battle of the Bridges near Al Jahra under Colonel Salem Masoud Al-Sorour, and the Kuwaiti Emiri Guards were engaged in the Battle of Dasman Palace where the emir's half-brother Sheikh Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was killed. Kuwaiti sources have given extremely heroic reports of this engagement;[9] others have expressed doubt.[10]:36

Iraqi forces seized all the heavy military equipment of the Kuwaiti military and used it against the coalition forces. This included the entire navy, which was sunk by coalition forces. Tanks and armoured personnel carriers were also seized, and also destroyed. While the Iraqis were required to return seized equipment after their defeat, most of it was damaged beyond repair. Only the air force escaped complete destruction, as many of its aircraft had escaped to Saudi Arabia.[15]

Gulf War and Operation Desert Storm (1990-1991)[edit]

Kuwaiti M-84 MBTs.
Ground troop movements 24–28 February 1991 during Operation Desert Storm

In the same year Kuwait was part of a U.S.-led military coalition formed in response to the invasion which expelled Iraq from Kuwait in what became known as the Gulf War or First Persian Gulf War. Operation Desert Storm was launched by the coalition.[9] Douglas A-4 Skyhawks of the Kuwaiti Air Force destroyed several Iraqi Naval ships trying to infiltrate into Bubiyan Island.[9] The Kuwaiti Armed Forces commissioned and entered into service the M-84 battle tank during the attack on Iraqi forces in Saudi Arabia.[9]

Aftermath[edit]

U.S. President George H.W. Bush condemned the invasion, and led efforts to drive out the Iraqi forces. Authorized by the United Nations Security Council, an American-led coalition of 34 nations led by Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. fought the Gulf War to liberate Kuwait. Following several weeks of aerial bombardment, a U.S.-led United Nations (UN) coalition began a ground assault on 23 February 1991 that completely removed Iraqi forces from Kuwait in four days. After liberation, the UN, under Security Council Resolution 687, demarcated the Iraq-Kuwait boundary on the basis of the 1932 and the 1963 agreements between the two states. In November 1994, Iraq formally accepted the UN-demarcated border with Kuwait, which had been further spelled out in Security Council Resolutions 773 (1992) and 833 (1993).[18]

There was an exodus of Palestinian from Kuwait during and after the Gulf War. During the Iraqi occupation more than 200,000 Palestinians fled Kuwait due to harassment, intimidation by Iraqi security forces,[19] and being dismissed from their employment due to Iraqi influence.[19] After the Gulf War, the Kuwaiti authorities forcibly pressured nearly 200,000 Palestinians to leave Kuwait in 1991.[19] This was in response to the alignment of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the PLO with Iraqi dictator and invader of Kuwait Saddam Hussein. The Palestinians who fled Kuwait were Jordanians.[20]

After the liberation, Kuwait became a close military partner of the United States, Britain and France.[10]

Kuwait entered into a ten-year defense cooperation agreement with the United States in September 1991, and later with the United Kingdom and France. The defense cooperation with the United States, the United Kingdom and France is done at the training level in the foreign country and at the joint military exercise level on Kuwaiti soil.[9] Sailors of the Kuwaiti Navy undergo training and drill in France with the French Navy while Kuwaiti marines undergo training and drill in the United States with units of the United States Marine Corps, specialized elite units of the United States Navy and specialized elite units of the French Army and the Commandos Marine.[9] Units of the Kuwaiti Army undergo training and conduct military drills in Kuwait with the Bangladesh Army, the United States Army, the British Army and the French Army to include also the elite regiments of the French Foreign Legion.[9] Specialized units of the Kuwaiti Army train with elite specialized units of the United States Army, United States Navy, British Army, French Army and the Royal Jordanian Army.[9] Personnel of the Kuwaiti Air Force are primarily trained by the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force. Pilots of the Kuwaiti Air Force later trained with the Italian Air Force; however, the United States Air Force is the primary lead for training, drills and reference.[9]

The agreement with the United States also includes port access, military equipment storage, and joint training and exercises. The agreement did not officially provide for the stationing of United States service personnel in Kuwait, as the 1,500 US personnel remaining after the Gulf War were scheduled to leave within a few months.

In 1992, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces initiated joint structuring of its various Armed Forces.[9] In the same year, F/A-18 Hornet aircraft were delivered and entered official service with the Kuwaiti Air Force.[9]

October 1994 crisis with Iraq[edit]

In 1994, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces entered their fifth alert phase with the beginning of the Iraq disarmament crisis in October,[9] and the Kuwaiti Air Force signed on the delivery of Starburst missile systems.[9]

In 1995, the Desert Warrior tracked armoured vehicle and the BM-30 Smerch System entered into service with the Kuwaiti Army.[9]

In 1996, the M1A2 Abrams main battle tank and the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle entered Kuwaiti service.[9] During the same year, the Mubarak al-Abdullah Joint Command and Staff College (Arabic: كلية مبارك العبدالله للقيادة و الأركان المشتركة - دولة الكويت‎), named in memory of Lieutenant General Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (1934-1987), opened.[9]

Operation Desert Strike (1996)[edit]

Following Operation Desert Strike in 1996, Kuwait agreed to a United States Battalion Task Force to be permanently stationed in Kuwait.[21] These US Army Intrinsic Action (later called Operation Desert Spring on 1 October 1999) rotations and US Marine Corps EAGER MACE rotations conducted combined training with the Kuwaiti Land Forces and other coalition partners. In addition, US Special Operations Forces conducted Iris Gold rotations to train and assist other Kuwaiti military units.

In 1997, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces entered into service the MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) system with the Kuwaiti Air Force.[9]

Operation Desert Fox (1998)[edit]

In 1998, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces made an organizational change in command between the Chief of Staff and his various assistants through the chains of command.[9] During the same year, the Kuwaiti Armed Forces enter into their sixth alert phase with the December 1998 bombing of Iraq (code-named Operation Desert Fox) between the United States, the United Kingdom and Iraq.[9]

50th anniversary of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces (1999)[edit]

In 1999, the 50th Anniversary of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces, newly ordered armored Naval warships were received and directly commissioned by the Kuwaiti Navy and Coast Guard.[9]

Current since 2004[edit]

Major non-NATO Ally of the US and Global War on Terrorism (from 2004)[edit]

After the War on Terror began with military campaigns following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Kuwait was declared one of fifteen major non-NATO allies of the United States by US President George W Bush.[22]

During the Iraq War, the Military of Kuwait played an important role supporting the logistical operations of the United States Armed Forces engaged in military operations in Iraq.[9]

Order of battle[edit]

Kuwait Navy[edit]

The Kuwaiti Navy is the main sea deterring force with sailors and marines.Units in the Kuwaiti Navy also include the Kuwait Commandos Marine Unit; a tier one special force unit.[9]

Kuwait Air Force[edit]

According to Jane's World's Air Forces the operational doctrine of the Kuwaiti Air Force is to provide air support to ground forces as part of a coalition, rather than alone. It is made up of 2,500 people organized into two fighter/ground attack squadrons, two fixed-wing transport squadrons, two helicopter squadrons, a utility squadron and a training/attack helicopter squadron. Although comparatively small in size, it is well-equipped and trained, with Kuwaiti pilots averaging 210 flying hours per year. It does not constitute any offensive threat, but can support ground forces in defensive operations.[23]

Kuwait Army[edit]

The Kuwaiti army consists of 11,000 active duty personnel organized into three armored brigades, two mechanized infantry brigades, a mechanized reconnaissance brigade, an artillery brigade, a combat engineering brigade, a reserve brigade and air defense command. Its main bases are in Kuwait City (HQ), Al Jabah and Mina Abdullah. The brigades are small by western standards, roughly the equivalent of small regiments or large battalions. They are "cadre forces", kept up to 80 percent of full strength, with the balance made up of reserves in case of war.[23] Although the threat from Iraq was replaced by the threat of terrorist attacks, the army’s force structure has remained largely static since 2000.

Kuwait Emiri Guard[edit]

The Emiri Guard is an independent combat brigade in the Kuwaiti Armed Forces.[9]

Kuwait 25th Commando Brigade[edit]

The 25th Commando brigade is an independent combat brigade in the Kuwaiti Armed Forces.[9]

Kuwait Military Police[edit]

The Kuwaiti Military Police is an independent combat brigade in the Kuwaiti Armed Forces.[9]

Kuwait National Guard[edit]

The Kuwaiti National Guard, considered an institution, is an independent body from the Kuwaiti Armed Forces and is a main internal and border combating security force. Units in the Kuwaiti National Guard also include internal, border and airborne special forces units.[9]

Kuwait Ministry of Interior[edit]

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior, considered an institution, is an independent corps from the Kuwaiti Armed Forces and is an internal, coastal and border security force with combating and non combatant elements.Combatant units in the Ministry of Interior consist of police land and coastal security forces, police airborne intervention units and S.W.A.T teams. The coast guard of the ministry of interior also inlcude specialised combatant units[9][24]

Relationship with the United States Armed Forces[edit]

An analysis of the U.S.-Kuwaiti strategic relationship after the Iraqi invasion was published in 2007 by the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute.[10]

Forces[edit]

The situation as of 2014 is that the United States of America had at least 50,000 troops stationed in Kuwait as part of a defence agreement. The largest part is the US Army Central Command (ARCENT), part of the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM).

Active US Forces facilities:

  1. Ali Al Salem Air Base
  2. Camp Arifjan
  3. Camp Buehring
  4. Camp Fox
  5. Camp Patriot
  6. Camp Spearhead
  7. Camp Virginia
  8. Camp Wolf
  9. Kuwait International Airport
  10. Kuwait Naval Base
  11. Kuwait Navy Base
  12. Udairi Range

Inactive US Forces facilities:

  1. Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base
  2. Camp Doha
  3. Camp Moreell
  4. Camp Navistar
  5. Camp New York
  6. Camp Victory
  7. Failaka Island
  8. Mina Al Ahmadi

Equipment[edit]

The United States has provided military and defence technical assistance to Kuwait from both Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and commercial sources, with all transactions made by direct cash sale.[9] The US Office of Military Cooperation in Kuwait is attached to the American Embassy and manages the FMS program.[9] US military sales to Kuwait total US$5.5 billion since 2004.[9] Principal US military systems purchased by the Kuwait Defence Forces as of 2014 are the Patriot missile system, F-18 Hornet fighters, and the M1A2 Main Battle Tank.[9]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Official website of the Kuwaiti National Guard, (Section Arabic Read)
  2. ^ Official website of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior, (Section Arabic/English Read)
  3. ^ Official Website of General Department of Coast Guard, Section Arabic/English Read
  4. ^ Official website of the Kuwaiti Fire Service Directorate, (Section Arabic/English Read)
  5. ^ a b "Kuwait Military Strength". 2014-03-27. 
  6. ^ Military Expenditure Database The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  7. ^ Official Website of General Department of Coast Guard, Section Arabic/English Read
  8. ^ Official website of the Kuwaiti Fire Service Directorate, (Section Arabic/English Read)
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg dh di dj dk dl dm dn [1], Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense, (Section Arabic Read الجيش الكويتي)
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Terrill, W. Andrew (2007). KUWAITI NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE U.S.-KUWAITI STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIP AFTER SADDAM. Carlisle, PA 17013-5244, USA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College. p. 116. ISBN 1-58487-305-1. 
  11. ^ Cordesman, Anthony H, and Al-Rodhan, .Khalid R (2006). The Gulf Military Forces in an Era of Asymmetric War - Kuwait. Washington DC, USA: CSIS - Center for Strategic and International Studies. 
  12. ^ Official Website of General Department of Coast Guard, Section Arabic/English Read
  13. ^ "Kuwait Geography and Population". Visit Kuwait. Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  14. ^ [2] Al-Diwan Al-Amiri;Al-Sabah Rulers of Kuwait
  15. ^ a b c d e f g Tucker, Spencer C and Roberts, Priscilla (2008). The Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Political, Social, and Military History. Santa Barbara, California, USA: ABC-CLIO, Inc. p. 596. ISBN 978-1-85109-841-5. (printed). ISBN 978-1-85109-842-2 (ebook). 
  16. ^ Jordan, David (2005). The History of the French Foreign Legion: From 1831 to the Present Day. Globe Pequot. p. 103. ISBN 978-1-59228-768-0. 
  17. ^ Srivastava, L.S., Joshi, V.P. (2005). International Relations From 1914 To Present Day. Krishna Prakashan Media (p) Ltd. ISBN 978-81-85842-70-7. 
  18. ^ http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N93/313/44/IMG/N9331344.pdf?OpenElement
  19. ^ a b c Shafeeq Ghabra (May 8, 1991). "The PLO in Kuwait". 
  20. ^ Yann Le Troquer and Rozenn Hommery al-Oudat (Spring 1999). "From Kuwait to Jordan: The Palestinians' Third Exodus". Journal of Palestine Studies. pp. 37–51. 
  21. ^ Military Global Security[dead link]
  22. ^ Pike, John. "U.S. Designates Kuwait a Major Non-NATO Ally of U.S". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  23. ^ a b Kuwait Security Breakdown
  24. ^ Official Website of General Department of Coast Guard, Section Arabic/English Read

References and links[edit]