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U.S. Foreign Policy in the Gulf: The Case of Kuwait

U.S. Foreign Policy in the Gulf: The Case of Kuwait

For the emirate of Kuwait, ôPax Americanaö has proven to be something of a blessing (Kuwait û Pax Americana is Changing, 2003). Kuwait was one of the first countries to gain first-hand experience of this phenomenon following the Iraqi invasion of the emirate on August 2, 1990, when George Bush, Sr. rallied the widest international coalition in history to liberate Kuwait from the forces of Saddam Hussein. Kuwait in the intervening years has been openly supportive of the United States and a major beneficiary of American military aid that has supplied the emirate's $12 billion rearmament drive and seen the positioning of up to 10,000 American troops in Kuwait (Kuwait û Well Adapted toà, 2003).

As an Islamic country supportive of much of American foreign policy, Kuwait clearly has a vested interest in that policy and in its effects both globally and in the Persian Gulf region. The proposed dissertation will examine U.S. Arabian Gulf policies largely from the Kuwaiti perspective in order to identify areas in which U.S. policy is congruent with the geopolitical agenda of Kuwait and to further explore the effect of U.S. policy on Kuwait. As an Arab country experiencing both democratization and stability, Kuwait is an excellent case study that is useful in exploring the effects of American foreign policy.

Preliminary Overview of the Literature

The current U.S. foreign policy, under President George W. Bush, rests upon the doctrine of preemption. Robert Jarvis (2003) states that this doctrine has four elements: 1) a strong belief in the importance of a state's domestic regime in determining its foreign policy; 2) the perception of great threats that can be defeated only by new and vigorous policies, including preventive war; 3) a willingness to act unilaterally when necessary; and 4) an overriding sense that peace and stability require the U.S. to assert its primacy...

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