July 13, 2015 | Quote

UAE To Supply Regional Aid in Terror Fight

The United Arab Emirates is instituting an armed forces commission to supply financial and military aid to Arab allies for counterterrorism efforts, a UAE source told Defense News.

The commission, ordered by Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan in June, is expected to be chaired by five senior members from the UAE Armed Forces to review, evaluate and assess the counterterrorism requirements of Egypt, Libya, Iraq and Bahrain, the source added.


David Andrew Weinberg, senior fellow at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, sees this as a positive development, especially in Iraq.

“A Sunni-ruled gulf state providing military aid to Baghdad could be seen as a very positive development, boosting the [Haider] Al-Abadi government's ability and motivation to assert the state's armed forces to put Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias under greater control, or at least off the front lines in Sunni areas of the country,” he said.

“Libya, Egypt, Bahrain and Iraq are all countries that are struggling to fight genuine terrorist threats, so helping finance their military budgets in that sense is extremely valuable in the fight against terror,” Weinberg added.

Weinberg, however, questioned if any safeguards or conditions will be built into the arrangements.

“Unless the currency value of these arms deals is particularly high, it's hard to envision them changing the overall balance of power in the region. However, what it does suggest is that the UAE is further institutionalizing its aid policy, developing an apparatus to provide greater military aid while leveraging European producers to make up for the fact that the UAE's domestic weapons manufacturing sector is presumably not yet capable of providing all these armaments itself.”


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