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The United Arab Emirates’ bad behaviour hurts U.S. interests

The United Arab Emirates, dubbed “Little Sparta” by former US Secretary of Defense James Mattis because of Abu Dhabi’s disproportionate military capabilities opposed to its tiny geographic area, is frequently mentioned as one of the US’ most important Middle East allies. Abu Dhabi, in this view, is a critical ally in deterring Iran, fighting terrorism, and fostering regional stability.

As Washington pivots to Asia, the UAE has recently been viewed as a crucial component of its goal to “offshore” its regional duties in the Middle East. Although the UAE sometimes may participate in regional operations or conduct human rights violations on occasion, this viewpoint contends that such activities are not damaging to US interests and that the UAE remains a reliable ally.

The UAE’s policies in the Gulf Region have been intrinsically disruptive, aggravating many of the region’s ongoing civil wars, breaking international laws, and intentionally undermining democratic reform efforts, said a report published in Foreign Policy The UAE’s recurrent attempts to meddle in United states internal affairs at the highest levels, as well as its surveillance of diplomatic officials all around world, go hand in hand with these regional endeavours.

Before pivoting to other theatres, the US must review those “allies” it wishes to offshore its interests to in the Arab World, and those who seek to illegally influence in US domestic affairs must be held accountable. To do so, the United Arab Emirates’ blank check from Washington must be revoked.

It’s past time for Washington to stop writing “Little Sparta” a blank check and openly acknowledge its role in destabilising the Middle East, undermining democratic progress in the area, and illegally interfering in US domestic affairs. The quickest way to do so is to stop selling weaponry to the UAE, that are being used to lengthen conflicts in the middle east, commit human rights violations, and promote policies which are not in the US’ best interests.

The reassessment of the US-UAE relationship should serve as a springboard for a more fundamental reconsideration of Washington’s broader Middle East strategy, which is based on the erroneous idea of authoritarian stability.

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