While Kuwait has been liberated in a forceful and definite manner, the country will probably never revert to what it was before the Iraqis made their ill-fated conquest last August, say Middle East analysts.
That the Kuwaiti leadership has the money to rebuild its smoldering and battered country is not in dispute.
Experts say it will cost about $50 billion -- probably no more than half of what the Kuwaiti rulers still have tied up in real estate and commercial ventures around the globe -- to heal the nation's still-open wounds, extinguish the burning oil wells, rebuild the blown-up buildings and resume revenue-earning oil production.
What the sheiks may not be able to restore, however, is national pride.
"The rulers have in effect blown their cover," said a military analyst of Middle East politics, who did not want to be identified. "For years they stood with their feet in both the Arab and Western camps. But now they have been forced to choose, and they will forever be objects of scorn and derision in the Arab world."