chapter  5
7 Pages

Kuwait’s Military Forces

WithAnthony H. Cordesman

Kuwait faces potential threats from Iran and Iraq that make it the most vulnerable country in the Gulf. Iraq's invasion provided a brutal demonstration of that vulnerability. Kuwait, the other Southern Gulf states, and the West must clearly recognize this strategic imperative if any effort to encourage regional stability is to succeed. Kuwait's military forces disintegrated during the first hours of Iraq's invasion. Much of Kuwait's military equipment was captured and much of the rest was lost or destroyed. Since the Gulf War, Kuwait has attempted to rebuild its forces and correct many of the military weaknesses that existed at the time of the Iraqi invasion. Kuwait reports that its security system has been valuable in reducing border infiltrations. Kuwait's dependence on electric power and desalination plants increases its vulnerability, and its refineries and oil port are potential hostages to air and missile attacks from Iran and Iraq.