In September 2010, Kuwait added itself to the list of existing and potential Gulf Cooperation Council C-17 customers. Within the Gulf Cooperation Council, both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have bought the aircraft, even though they’re both small countries whose territories are well within the operating radius of smaller planes.
A hint of why might be found in neighboring Qatar’s decision to paint their first military C-17 in the bright colors of their national airline. C-17s that can deploy across oceans are a potent asset in a world that’s very short on advanced airlift. When disaster strikes, they boost the prestige and soft power of countries that possess them. If a Kuwaiti sale goes through, it could push total GCC fleet orders to 12 planes.