chapter  3
41 Pages

Political and Economic Stability and Security

WithAnthony H. Cordesman

Kuwait's economy had largely rebuilt its prewar ability to exploit its massive oil and gas resources. Kuwait rivals the UAE for the title of the wealthiest Gulf state in terms of total savings and oil and gas resources per capita. Kuwait's oil industry is the core of its national wealth and economy. The US Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that Kuwait is one of the largest oil powers in the world. In spite of Kuwait's oil wealth, the Kuwaiti government spends far more than it receives by way of revenues. The Kuwait government, however, was forced to make massive expenditures during the Gulf War. Kuwait needs the kind of structural economic reform that will allow privatization to create new jobs and industries, and reduce its dependence on foreign labor. At the same time, Kuwait's economic, social, and political reforms must take account of strategic realities.