Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, center, oversees the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Kuwait City, Dec. 5, 2017 (AP photo by Jon Gambrell).
Kuwait has had a strong start to its two-year term as one of the 10 rotating members of the United Nations Security Council. In February, it organized and hosted an international conference for the reconstruction of Iraq that raised a promised $30 billion in loans and investments. It has also partnered with Sweden to advance several draft resolutions for cease-fires in Syria and to coordinate the Security Council’s humanitarian work there. Long an active player in regional diplomacy, Kuwait is well-placed to act as a bridge connecting Arab and international efforts to find mediated solutions to conflicts and flashpoints in [...]
Bahrain’s foreign minister, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop at the donor conference for Iraq, Kuwait City, Kuwait, Feb. 13, 2018 (AP photo by Jon Gambrell).
The recent international conference in Kuwait to help Iraq rebuild after its war against the Islamic State provided stark and surprising insights into which countries are most invested in Iraqi stability. While the United Nations and the World Bank led the launch of a new recovery and resilience program for the country, it was the neighboring Gulf states and Turkey that stepped up to the plate with new pledges. Given heightened regional tensions over Iran and Syria, the commitment to help Iraq recuperate looks like a positive development for the Middle East. Perhaps with some trepidation and ambivalence, its neighbors [...]
A civilian fighter in the ruins of Benghazi, Libya, Feb. 23, 2016 (AP photo by Mohammed el-Shaiky).
The U.S. foreign policy community tosses the word “failure” around a lot: intelligence failures, policy failures, failures of imagination. Each American president is assigned his share of failures, sometimes based on reflections of those who participated in hard policy decisions, but more often based on judgments made by others who were not directly involved. It’s perfectly fair to assess whether the outcome of a particular policy succeeded or failed to achieve its stated goal. Yet over time, some misleading “truths” become established that need to be checked and revisited. Take the increasingly common framing of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya as [...]
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