Accession Number:



The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy

Descriptive Note:

Congressional rept.

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The UAE has been a significant U.S. partner in Gulf security for more than two decades, and the alliance is extending to the U.S.-led effort against the Islamic State organization. A 1994 U.S.- UAE defense cooperation agreement DCA provides for U.S. military use of several UAE facilities, and about 5,000 U.S. military personnel are in the UAE at those facilities. The UAE was the first Gulf state to order the most sophisticated missile defense system sold by the United States, demonstrating support for U.S. efforts to assemble a regional missile defense network against Iran. The UAE has helped pressure Iran by implementing financial and economic sanctions against it, while avoiding antagonizing that large neighbor by maintaining trade and commercial ties with it. The UAE has sought to use a relaxation of tensions produced by ongoing nuclear negotiations between Iran and the international community to try to resolve a territorial dispute with Iran. Yet, suggesting continued wariness of Iranian ambitions in the Gulf, the UAE has sought U.S. assurances that the United States will maintain its commitment to Gulf security. Regionally, the UAE has become increasingly assertive against extremist Islamic organizations, even to the point of undertaking some military action in post-Qadhafi Libya without consulting the United States. The UAE has financially backed moderate Islamist rebels forces in Syria who are fighting not only the Asad regime but also the Islamic State that holds territory there and in Syria. This stance has led the UAE to join the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition, including engaging in airstrikes in Syria against it as of September 2014. In concert primarily with de-facto leader of the Gulf Cooperation Council GCC Saudi Arabia, the UAE is giving financial assistance to the military-led government of Egypt that in July 2013 ousted the elected president Mohammad Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement: