The 1990-1991 Kuwait Crisis Remembered: Profiles in Statesmanship

For the last twenty-seven years, today has marked the anniversary of an infamous event: Iraq’s brutal invasion and subsequent occupation of Kuwait, which began on August 2, 1990, and which was brought to an end on February 28, 1991. The regional and international effects of numerous aspects of the trauma then inflicted upon Kuwait remain ongoing. Like Kuwait itself, the world, even now, has yet to fully recover.

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony was one of the first American civilians into Kuwait following its liberation. He would return there twelve times over following year with delegations of American leaders tasked with assisting in one or more facets of the war-torn country’s reconstruction. He is here with his escort observing one among over 650 of Kuwait’s oil wells set ablaze by the retreating Iraqi armed forces. Photo: National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.

Over a quarter century later, important postwar facets of what Iraq did to Kuwait fall short of definitive closure. And they defy effective description. The international legal requirement that an aggressor provide prompt, adequate, and effective compensation for a war’s victims was not honored at the end of hostilities. Despite continuing United Nations-supervised efforts to collect on this inhumane debt, what is due has still not been paid.

The Missing in Action and Context

A full accounting of Kuwait’s and other countries’ missing citizens swept up and carted off to Iraq in the war’s waning hours – in the immediate aftermath of the conflict its main cause celebre – continues to remain incomplete.  The reason is not for lack of effort.  After Kuwait’s liberation, an informal and unofficial effort was mounted by George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs to provide an estimate of the MIAs’ status.

The focus group included diplomats, scholars, media representatives, American armed forces’ civil affairs personnel, and other individuals who fought to liberate Kuwait. Their unscientific consensus reported that more than 400 of the missing Kuwaitis died after they were captured. The fate of more than 200 of the missing, however, was unknown.

In the immediate hours and early days following Kuwait’s liberation, when none of the country’s electric power, desalination water purification plants, and far more of the country’s infrastructure were left operative, and domestic security prospects had been rendered uncertain, armed personnel carriers and mounted automatic weaponry units were omnipresent in the country. Photo: Dr. John Duke Anthony.

That possibly countless others remain missing is no small matter. The numbers in question, to some, may seem few. Not so, however, for those among the loved ones who tear up at the thought of them. Not so either for those who, despite the absence of grounds to warrant optimism for a fortuitous ending to their pining, and continue to wait and pray for their return.

We Americans would do well to stop and think about this for a moment. We are often criticized, and rightly so, for having an empathy deficit when it comes to understanding the suffering of people in other countries and situations. An irony in this needs to be understood and underscored. The irony is that many in the United States demand that people in other countries understand us. For those in front of an American Consular Officer with ticket in hand to visit a friend or relative in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, or wherever, but who lack such empathy along with the understanding and civility that comes with it, they need to be wished good luck in obtaining a visa to the United States.

Continue reading »

Vision 2030: Enhancing American and Saudi Arabian Business and Investment Dynamics

On June 20, 2017, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center, and the U.S.-GCC Corporate Cooperation Committee hosted a public affairs briefing on “Vision 2030: Enhancing American and Saudi Arabian Business and Investment Dynamics” in Washington, DC.

Featured specialists included Dr. John Duke Anthony, Dr. Paul Sullivan, Mr. Fahad Nazer, and Mr. Edward Burton.

A video and podcast recording of the program, along with presentation slides from Dr. Sullivan and Mr. Burton, are available below.

“Vision 2030: Enhancing American and Saudi Arabian Business and Investment Dynamics” podcast (.mp3)

Dr. Paul Sullivan slides (.pdf)

Mr. Edward Burton slides (.pdf)

Economic Dynamics of U.S.-GCC Relations

On May 8, 2017, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, Nasdaq, and the U.S.-GCC Corporate Cooperation Committee hosted a public affairs briefing on “Economic Dynamics of U.S.-GCC Relations.”

NCUSAR Briefing on

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President & CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony speaks at the Council’s May 8, 2017, public affairs briefing on “Economic Dynamics of U.S.-GCC Relations.”

Featured specialists included Dr. John Duke Anthony, Mr. Khaled Alderbesti, Ms. Khlood Aldukheil, and Dr. Ihsan Ali Bu-Hulaiga.

A podcast of the event can be found below as well as in iTunes along with recordings of other National Council programs: http://bit.ly/itunes-ncusar.

“Economic Dynamics of U.S.-GCC Relations” podcast (.mp3)

The Future of U.S.-GCC Trade and Investment

On March 29, 2017, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, the Middle East Council of American Chambers of Commerce, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, and the U.S.-GCC Corporate Cooperation Committee hosted a public affairs briefing on “The Future of U.S.-GCC Trade and Investment” in Washington, DC.

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President & CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony speaks at the Council’s March 29, 2017, public affairs briefing on “The Future of U.S.-GCC Trade and Investment.”

Featured specialists included Dr. John Duke Anthony, Mr. H. Delano Roosevelt, Mr. Christopher Johnson, Ms. Nahlah Al-Jubeir, Mr. Robert Hager, Mr. Mike Jones, and Dr. Karl Petrick.

A podcast of the event can be found below as well as in iTunes along with recordings of other National Council programs: http://bit.ly/itunes-ncusar.

“The Future of U.S.-GCC Trade and Investment” podcast (.mp3)

Statements From Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Meetings with President Trump & Secretary Mattis

March 14, 2017Statement from a senior adviser to Saudi Arabian Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump (via Bloomberg)

March 15, 2017White House readout of President Donald Trump’s meeting with Saudi Arabian Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

March 16, 2017Opening remarks from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ meeting with Saudi Arabian Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Pentagon

March 16, 2017Readout of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ meeting with Saudi Arabian Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Pentagon

“Libya-U.S. Relations 2017: New Vision, Hope, and Opportunities” **Conference Postponed**

and

Invite you to attend a full-day conference:

Libya-U.S. Relations 2017
New Vision, Hope, and Opportunities

Date TBD*

*Due to events and circumstances beyond the organizers’ and sponsors’ control, the conference on “Libya-U.S. Relations 2017: New Vision, Hope, and Opportunities,” originally scheduled for February 16, 2017, has been postponed. A new date for the conference will be announced soon.

Pavilion Room
Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center
Washington, DC

Featured Speakers Include:

“Oil & Gas in Libya: from Trepidations to Exhilaration?” “What Went Wrong in Libya: Reflections from the Top” “What Went Wrong in Libya: Reflections from the Top”
Mr. Mustafa Sanalla
Mr. Mustafa Sanalla
Chairman of the National Oil Corporation (Libya)
H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Jebril
H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Jebril
Former Prime Minister of Libya
H.E. Ali Zeidan
H.E. Ali Zeidan
Former Prime Minister of Libya

 

“Private-Public Joint Enterprises and Investment in Libya” “Fate of the U.N. Sponsored Agreement in Libya” “The Humanitarian and Health Crisis in Libya: Magnitude and Needed Measures”
Fawzi Farkash
Fawzi Farkash
Chairman, Libya Investment Authority
Jonathan Winer
Jonathan Winer
Special Envoy for Libya, U.S. Department of State
Dr. Syed Jaffar Hussain
Dr. Syed Jaffar Hussain
Representative & Head of Mission, World Health Organization for Libya, U.N. Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator in Libya

 

“The Trump Administration Perspective on Libya: Considerations and Expectations” “Mapping Investments in Libya: Opportunities and Challenges” “The Central Bank of Libya: Walking a Fine Line”
Dr. Walid Phares
Dr. Walid Phares
Foreign Policy Advisor to the Donald J. Trump Presidential Campaign 2016, author, consultant and commentator on Middle Eastern affairs and global terrorism
Mohamed Mohamed Ben Yousef
Mohamed Mohamed Ben Yousef
General Manager, Libyan Foreign Bank
Ali Hebri
Ali Hebri
Governor, Central Bank of Libya

 

“Economic and Security Implications of Libyan Instability on its Neighbors” “Social Capital & Nation Building in Libya: A Bottom Up Approach and Role of Women” “Congress and Libya: How Will Future Policy on Libya be Shaped?”
Dr. Gawdat Bahgat
Dr. Gawdat Bahgat
Professor of National Security Affairs, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University
Zahra Langhi
Zahra Langhi
Chairperson, Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace
Mr. Christopher Blanchard
Mr. Christopher Blanchard
Middle East Analyst, Congressional Research Service

 

“Chasing ISIS and its Allies Across Libya: How to Secure the Country” “Rebuilding the Libyan Economy & Investment Opportunities” (MODERATOR) “How Significant is Libyan Oil & Gas to Loco-regional and Global Security?”
Col. Wolfgang Pusztai
Col. Wolfgang Pusztai
Chairman of the Advisory Board, National Council on U.S. Libya Relations, and Former Defense Attaché, Austrian Ministry of Defense
The Hon. David Mack
The Hon. David Mack
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Dr. Paul Sullivan
Dr. Paul Sullivan
Professor of Economics, National Defense University, and Senior International Affairs Fellow, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations

Along with other distinguished specialists. Full agenda announced soon.

Continue reading »

Listen to the 2016 Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference

Complete audio recordings from the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ 2016 Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference, “The Next U.S. Presidency and U.S.-Arab Relations: Probabilities, Possibilities, Potential Pitfalls,” are now available from the Council. Listen to and download each session below, or visit the National Council’s podcast feed through iTunes or FeedBurner to access recordings from the conference along with other Council programs.

2016 Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference

Visit the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations in iTunes.

Remarks from the Seventh Annual Gulf Research Meeting

The National Council is pleased to share remarks from specialists who participated in the Seventh Annual Gulf Research Meeting in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

For the many who are unaware of the Annual Gulf Research Meetings (GRM) in Cambridge, it is a gold mine of information, insight, knowledge, and understanding regarding the Gulf. Among the many yearly international conferences that focus on Arabia and the Gulf, arguably at once the world’s most strategically vital yet least understood region, few if any come close to this one.

Certainly, no comparably focused international forum is known to match the timeliness and context, or the nature, background, and preparation, that go into the planning and administration of the GRM’s annual three-day event, which is held in one of the loveliest, liveliest, and most intellectually stimulating settings imaginable.

Participants at the Seventh Annual Gulf Research Meeting at Cambridge University. Photo: Gulf Research Center.

Participants at the Seventh Annual Gulf Research Meeting at Cambridge University. Photo: Gulf Research Center.

In this regard, the Seventh Annual GRM was no different. Included were eleven separate and simultaneous workshops. And, as in each of the previous years, 300 participants, among whom again were fewer than 20 Americans, actively engaged in the give and take of the discussion periods and the question and answer sessions integral to the proceedings. 

Each of the presentations at the annual GRMs occurs only after nearly an entire year’s preparation.The brainchild of the GRM is Dr. Abdulaziz Sager, founder of the Gulf Research Center (GRC), with offices in Jeddah, Geneva, and Cambridge (About whom, see more below).

The National Council is proud to be a partner with the GRC as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding entered into in 2015.

The GRM has quickly established itself as an extraordinary example of what can transpire if the visionaries are extraordinary, the topics exceptionally timely and relevant, and the workshops carefully organized to exhibit the best of existing scholarship on the region from scholars from throughout the world, especially younger scholars, analysts, and academics among tomorrow’s emerging leaders. In all, more than two thousand scholars have participated in the seven GRMs to date. Some forty books produced and distributed by some of the world’s most prominent publishers have been but one among others of the remarkable results of the yearly proceedings.

GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani addresses a meeting organized by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and its U.S.-GCC Corporate Cooperation Committee on September 18, 2015, in Washington, DC. Seated to the right of the Secretary General is H.E. Shaikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Khalifa, Ambassador of Bahrain to the U.S., and seated to the left of the Secretary General is National Council Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony. Photo: National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.

GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani addresses a meeting organized by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and its U.S.-GCC Corporate Cooperation Committee on September 18, 2015, in Washington, DC. Seated to the right of the Secretary General is H.E. Shaikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Khalifa, Ambassador of Bahrain to the U.S., and seated to the left of the Secretary General is National Council Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony. Photo: National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.

In order to place the GRC and the GRM in context, three short, incisive pieces follow. The first is extracted from the Council Chronicle, the periodic newsletter of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. The second is the GRM’s introductory address by Stuart Laing, former Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Kuwait and Oman, Cambridge University Deputy Vice Chancellor, and Master of Corpus Christi College. The third, which will follow separately, is the keynote address at the opening session of the Seventh Annual Gulf Research Meeting by H.E. Dr. Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Dr. John Duke Anthony
Founding President and CEO
National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations
Washington, DC

Continue reading »