The United States and the UAE are working collectively towards the common goal of a stable, secure, and prosperous Middle East. The UAE is also a vital U.S. partner on a wide range of regional security issues. The United States works with the UAE and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council to increase cooperation on border security, maritime security, military preparedness, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism. The deepening U.S. security partnership with the UAE as a result of the Abraham Accords builds the Gulf region’s capability to defend and deter increasing dangers from Iran, reinforces our longstanding commitment to Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge, and pushes back against malign influence from the PRC and Russia.
The UAE has fought alongside the U.S. in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as being an active, expeditionary participant in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, and in operations against alQa’ida and their regional and global affiliates. The UAE is a co-lead of the Global Coalition’s Communications Working Group, providing strong support for counter-messaging and countering violent extremism through its Sawab and Hedayah centers, and also a co-lead of the Coalition Stabilization Working Group. UAE hosted both working groups in meetings October 23 and 24, 2019.
Cooperation between the UAE and the United States has been vital to supporting U.S. interests across the region. The UAE hosts the Gulf Air Warfare Center at Al Dhafra Air Base, where approximately 3,500 U.S. personnel are based, and which provides regionally focused air and missile defense training for around 2,000 participants from 10 nations every year. UAE ports also provide critical logistical support for the U.S. Navy and collectively host more Navy ships than any other port outside the United States.
The UAE is a significant purchaser of U.S. military equipment, including our most sophisticated missile defense systems. This partnership has enhanced the UAE’s military capabilities to the point that they have become a net security provider for the region.
The U.S. has $28.1 billion in active government-to-government sales cases with the UAE under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. FMS sales notified to Congress are listed here, and recent and significant prior sales include: CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopters, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles, both new and refurbished AH-64E Helicopters, Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) systems, RQ-21A Blackjack Unmanned Air Vehicles, and Patriot, Javelin, AIM-9X Sidewinder and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.
Since 2014, the U.S. has also authorized the permanent export of over $7.2 billion in defense articles to the UAE via the Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) process. The top categories of DCS to the UAE include: launch vehicles, aircraft, munitions, and military electronics. During this time, the Department closed 65 Blue Lantern end-use monitoring checks in the UAE.
The U.S. and the UAE brought a Defense Cooperation Agreement into force on May 24, 2019, which was an important step for both countries that underscored their vital and longstanding collaboration in defeating terrorist groups, such as ISIS and al-Qa’ida, securing regional stability, and combatting threats against their common interests including terrorist financing.
For further information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at PM-CPA@state.gov, and follow the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on Twitter, @StateDeptPM.