chapter  4
7 Pages

Internal Security

WithAnthony H. Cordesman

Kuwait is taking important steps to broaden its structure of power. The elected National Assembly is increasingly active, and the ruling Al Sabah family is making a slow but steady transition to increased popular participation in government. The main ethnic division within Kuwait's native population is between Sunni and Shi'ite. The Kuwaiti government has established a review process which would regularize the status of some of the Bidoon and their families, especially for any Bidoon who has served in the military or security forces, and for the children born to marriages between Bidoon men and Kuwaiti women. Kuwait faces equally serious problems in terms of migration and dependence on a foreign work force, although there is no agreement on the numbers involved. Kuwait's political leadership faces increasing demands by its citizens for the sharing of political power. These demands are partly a result of a general desire for political liberalization.