Apr 22, 2007

Kuwait readies itself for possible Iran-US war

Taken from the online version of the Khaleej Times:

KUWAIT CITY - US ally Kuwait is to form an emergency team to draw up contingency plans for any conflict between the United States and Iran, a senior minister said in comments published on Friday.

‘The team ... will devise a comprehensive contingency plan to deal withrisks that may result in case a war breaks out in the Gulf on the back of the rising US military escalation towards Iran,’ State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Faisal Al Hajji told the Al Watan daily.

The cabinet will form the team at its weekly meeting on Sunday, drawing on officials from the defence, interior, oil and health ministries as well as the fire and civil defence departments, Hajji said.

The team is then due to hold its first meeting on Monday.

The Kuwaiti parliament is scheduled to hold a special debate on May 1 on the government’s readiness for any military confrontation between the United States and Iran.

Washington has said that it would prefer to address its concerns about Teheran’s nuclear programme diplomatically but has refused to rule out the option of military action.

It has beefed up its military presence in the Gulf and currently has a second aircraft carrier there for the first time since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Kuwait served as the launchpad for that invasion and remains the main staging point for US-led troops in Iraq.

Around 15,000 US troops are stationed at a series of bases in the emirate, the largest of them at Arifjan, south of Kuwait City near the border with Saudi Arabia.


Should war be on the cards at any stage, its likely the Gulf states will know first, along with Saudi Arabia. The USA talks with them fairly often on Middle East security issues and its precisely moves like this that suggest the back-door diplomacy that has been going on may be breaking down or more uncertain than previously thought. Keep an eye out for similar developments in the UAE, Qatar etc

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