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Despite Iraq's defeat in the Gulf War of 1991, and over 10 years of sanctions, Iraq remains the number one threat to the security and stability of Kuwait and the Gulf.
"There will be no true regional security in the Persian Gulf as long as Saddam Hussein is in power in Iraq," said Andrew Parasiliti, Director of the Kennedy School's Middle East Initiative, teaching a class titled, "US Policy Toward Iraq and Iran: Looking Ahead," during the first Executive Program on Global Challenges and Security in the Gulf sponsored by the Kennedy School's Kuwait Program, last month at the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences in Kuwait.
Parasiliti discussed the challenges that the United States faced in gathering regional and international support for its "smart sanctions" initiative to deal with Iraq. Anticipating a Russian veto, the United States withdrew this proposal from consideration by the U.N. Security Council on July 2.
Twenty-nine senior executives from the government, military, and private sectors in Kuwait and the Gulf participated in the Executive Program.
In addition to Parasiliti, John White, Faculty Chair of the Kennedy School's Kuwait Program and Middle East Initiative discussed how changes in U.S. defense policy might affect American policy toward the Gulf. Kennedy School Lecturer Jessica Stern taught classes on the challenges to Gulf security from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.
Professor Jeffrey Frankel addressed the challenges of globalization for Kuwait and the Gulf, and what the best policies might be to support change and reform in the economy. Deborah Hurley, Director of the Harvard Information Infrastructure Project, described the applications of information technology to governance and commerce in the region.
The Kennedy School's Kuwait Program is sponsored by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), a private organization oriented towards public service, which was established in 1976 to enhance intellectual development in Kuwait and other Arab countries. The Kuwait Program allows leaders from Kuwait and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to utilize the resources of Harvard University and the Kennedy School of Government to enhance cultural understanding, academic exchange, and global networks. Now in its sixth month, the Kuwait Program is achieving these goals.
"The Kuwait Program is an important pillar of the Kennedy School's efforts to engage the Gulf countries on the challenges of globalization, governance, and security in the 21st century," said White.
Further expanding the intellectual exchange between the Gulf and Harvard, the Kuwait Program awarded the first cycle of grants from the Kuwait Research Program to the following Harvard University faculty members:
* Robert Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government and Faculty Chair of the Environment and Natural Resources Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, for research on the economic dimensions of environmental policy, specifically the potential of price and non-price water conservation policies as scarcity management tools.
* Brian Mandell, Lecturer in Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, to support the development of an experiential exercise in negotiation focusing on water resource management in the Gulf for use in the Kennedy School's Executive Education Programs.
The Kuwait Program has also increased Kuwaiti representation in the Kennedy School's Executive Programs. By the end of the summer, six senior public policy executives from Kuwait will have participated in Executive Programs at the Kennedy School.
John White, Faculty Chair, Middle East Initiative and the Kuwait Program, Kennedy School; H.E. Shaikh Dr. Mohammad S. Al-Salem Al-Sabah, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, State of Kuwait; Dr. Ali Al-Shamlan, Director General, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences.
John White, Faculty Chair, Middle East Initiative and the Kuwait Program, Kennedy School, delivering a lecture.