U.S. Security Cooperation With Kuwait

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
March 23, 2018


The United States and Kuwait have a longstanding, mutually beneficial 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 Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Building on the May 2017 Riyadh Summit, we are working with Kuwait to increase cooperation on maritime security, military preparedness, arms transfers, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism. The United States is committed to our shared efforts to combat 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. Kuwait assisted logistically in the drawdown of U.S. combat forces and equipment from Iraq that was completed in 2011. 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.

Through the Foreign Military Sales program, Kuwait agreed in October 2017 to purchase 218 M1A2 tanks and in February 2018 to purchase 28 F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft. U.S. security cooperation, – including materiel, training, education, and readiness – aims to develop the capacity of the Kuwait military to defend itself and combat terrorism in the region.

U.S. military sales include Patriot missiles for air and missile defense; infrastructure construction support services for the Kuwait Armed Forces Hospital; and follow-on support for Kuwait’s current legacy F/A-18 Hornet aircraft and M1A1 tanks to ensure the operational efficiency of the Kuwait Air and Land Forces. U.S. military sales strengthen Kuwait’s homeland defense and promote security and stability for the nation.

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.

For further information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at PM-CPA@state.gov, and follow the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on Twitter, @StateDeptPM.