An Enduring Partnership: The U.S.-U.A.E. Defense and Security RelationshipFebruary 10, 2017
Ahead of the upcoming International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council is proud to present an updated version of its report “An Enduring Partnership: The U.S.-U.A.E. Defense and Security Relationship.”
The United States has enjoyed good relations with the United Arab Emirates since the country’s independence in 1971. Their similar views on a wide range of issues have made them natural allies. Meanwhile, they have developed a thriving commercial relationship marked by almost $26 billion in bilateral trade while building deep and growing defense and security ties.
This defense relationship blossomed during the First Gulf War in 1990 when the U.A.E. allowed American planes and ships to operate out of its territory. Following the cessation of combat, the U.S. military maintained a presence in the U.A.E. and, in 1994, this presence was formalized when the Emirates and the U.S. signed a Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA).
Since this time, the U.S. and U.A.E. have partnered to bring security to the wider region. The U.A.E. has joined with the U.S. in actions in Somalia, Bosnia-Kosovo, Afghanistan, Libya, and the campaign against the “Islamic State” (Daesh) in Syria and Iraq. In turn, the U.S. has provided military and intelligence support for U.A.E. operations in Yemen.
In recent years, shared concerns over Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the rise of extremism in the region have led to an even further deepening of the defense and security relationship between the two countries. Today, this partnership includes the hosting of U.S. troops, joint exercises and training, billions of dollars in arms sales, and deep military and intelligence cooperation in the U.A.E. and abroad.
This report provides an overview of these key components of the U.S.-U.A.E. relationship. It also looks ahead to future developments, from possible arms sales to the negotiation of a revised and expanded DCA.
In the process, this report highlights how the U.A.E. has become not just a consumer of security, but also a provider of security and a key U.S. partner in a volatile and dangerous region.An Enduring Partnership The U.S.-U.A.E. Defense and Security Relationship: An Update Back to Resources