Year Founded: 1961
Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy situated in the northeast part of the Arabian Peninsula. In 1990, Kuwait was invaded by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, claiming that Kuwait is a province of Iraq. Some alleged that Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion because he coveted Kuwait's oil reserves. Kuwait's proven oil reserves rank about fifth in the world and their oil and natural gas industries together account for more than 90% of the government's income. The former Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, took a neutral approach to foreign policy and has been on good terms with Saudi Arabia, Iran and even Iraq, its former invader. This state is an important ally of the U.S. in the Arabian Peninsula and is committed to the stability and security of the Persian Gulf. Its GDP per capita ranks among the top 40 in the world.