With civil unrest occurring in several Arab and Muslim nations — including Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, and others — the government of Kuwait led by the Amir is attempting to strengthen it’s control over its military and security forces.
Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah recently announced and implemented several key initiatives for the Kuwaiti military.
He has issued pardons to military service members who have been absent from duty up to 180 days, has spearheaded salary increases for all military personnel. In addition, he raised the age of non-Kuwaiti military personnel to the age of 65.
According to Kuwaiti government officials, these initiative are in advance of the upcoming celebrations in Kuwait this month such as the 20th anniversary of Kuwait’s liberation from Iraq by the United States and its allies.
February is also the month to celebrate the 5th anniversary of His Royal Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s rise to power as Kuwait’s monarch. The Minister of Defense said the pardons and salary increases are part of an ambitiously positive agenda for 2011.
"Kuwait’s military is vital to our safety, strength and security," the Defense Minister said in a press statement. "When we have opportunities to encourage our service members, we must do what we can. It is my hope that all absent service members take advantage of this opportunity for amnesty by returning to duty."
Both the Amir and the Prime Minister avoided using the term "deserter" to describe AWOL (away without leave) member of the Kuwaiti armed services.
Kuwait’s Higher Council of Defense approved the salary increases with the urging of Sheikh Jaber. The council originally proposed an 80 percent increase, but Sheikh Jaber advocated a 100 percent raise.
The approved increase varies according to rank, ranging between 72 percent and 115 percent and will include all military personnel in the Army, Interior Ministry, National Guard and Fire Department.
While the Kuwaiti government is advocating kindness and generosity towards its servicemembers, several experts in Middle East geopolitics and military affairs believe the monarchy is seeking to maintain control, loyalty and allegiance of its army, intelligence service and law enforcement officers should civil unrest occur.
Jim Kouri, CPP, formerly Fifth Vice-President, is currently a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a columnist for Examiner.com and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he’s a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc.
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