U.S. Security Cooperation With Kuwait

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
March 1, 2016

The United States and Kuwait have a longstanding relationship to promote security and stability in the Middle East. Kuwait is a key partner in U.S. counterterrorism efforts, and is an active participant in the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Building on the May 14, 2015 Camp David Summit, we are working with Kuwait and its Gulf Cooperation Council partners to increase cooperation on maritime security, military preparedness, arms transfers, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism. The United States is committed to our shared efforts at combatting terrorism in the Middle East and working to build Kuwait’s capabilities to ensure its sovereignty, security, and independence.

  • In 1991, as part of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, U.S. military forces led a multinational coalition in expelling forces from the former Iraqi regime from Kuwait. Kuwait subsequently served as the major platform for U.S. and coalition operations in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, providing up to 60 percent of its territory. During the drawdown of U.S. combat forces from Iraq, Kuwait assisted with the removal of U.S. troops and equipment, concluding in 2011.
  • The United States provides security assistance to Kuwait through foreign military sales, as well as direct commercial sales. In November 2015, the United States approved a possible foreign military sale to Kuwait for Sniper advanced targeting pods and associated equipment, parts, and logistical support for an estimated cost of $115 million. We continue to make every effort to expedite security assistance to develop the capacity of the Kuwait military with regard to training, education, readiness, and war fighting to combat terrorism in the region.
  • Some of the security assistance the United States has provided includes infrastructure construction support services for the Kuwait Armed Forces Hospital; follow-on engineering services for Kuwait’s F/A-18C/D aircraft to ensure the operational efficiency of the Kuwait Air Force; and Patriot missiles for air and missile defense. These sales strengthen Kuwait’s homeland defense and promote security and stability for the nation.
  • The United States currently maintains 2,200 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles in Kuwait. The majority of these vehicles are prepositioned for any necessary U.S. Army operations, and the remainder is contracted for distribution to partners throughout the region.
  • The Ministry of Interior and the Kuwait National Guard have also partnered with the Embassy’s Office of Military Cooperation through the Joint and Combined Exchange Training program. This program works with local counterterrorism units via training and bilateral exercises to increase Kuwait’s counterterrorism capacity.