UK looks to build ‘permanent’ base in Kuwait

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At the request of the government of Kuwait, the British government will be increasing its military presence in Britain, Forces Network reported today.

In an exclusive interview, Michael Davenport, British ambassador to Kuwait expressed interest in the move.

“We’re not talking about a deployment I don’t think, but we’re looking at what might work for both the United Kingdom and for Kuwait,” Devenport said. “As I say, it’s at a very early stage.”

The potential increase in presence would come off the back of a Joint Steering Group which focuses on defence cooperation. The last meeting took place in December last year, when the decision to go ahead with a beefed-up presence was agreed.

Kuwait endured and recovered from the first Gulf War almost 30 years ago. British nationals would likely recall Iraq’s 1990 invasion which the UK forces played an instrumental role in supporting Kuwait. Up to 40 British forces remain in Kuwait in an “advisory and training” capacity.

Read: As Iraqis fear another cholera outbreak the government is absent

In the Gulf region, Kuwait has been deemed as a “broker”, Devenport said, amid the Yemen civil war and the Gulf rift with Qatar.

Kuwait is “western leaning”, although a conservative country in the Middle East, Devenport remarked. Britain may deem Kuwait a good ally to strengthen in the region as a result of its foreign policy.

Western nation states have, on numerous occasions, used Arab countries to launch attacks in conflict zones they are engaged in across the Middle East and Asia. The United States military is using an air base in the United Arab Emirates to target sites in Iraq and Syria. In Qatar, America is using the Abu Nakhlah Airport which also hosts United States Central Command.

Britain has been engaged in targeting the Daesh group and others across Syria and Iraq since 2015. New research by Drone Wars UK found that air strikes in Iraq are coming to a close, whilst drone strikes in Syria are on an uptick.

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