In August last year, after Egypt and Jordan, the United Arab Emirates became the third Arab country to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel. This deal, promoted by former President Trump’s administration and subsequent approval of the sale of fighter jets to that country, makes it a new American stronghold in the region facing Iran.
The United States cleared the sale of 50 modern Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighter jets and 18 General Atomics Aeronautical Systems unmanned Reaper MQ-9 aircraft to the Emirates for more than $ 23 billion, including bombs and missiles for both. Platforms.
However, this will not be the last purchase of US military equipment by the Middle East country, which acquired 68 percent of its military equipment from the US between 2015 and 2019, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. In addition to the two acquisitions mentioned above, the Emirates plans to purchase $ 8.4 billion for US air systems, another $ 15.1 billion for other aircraft, $ 12.2 billion for missiles and a missile defense system, and more between 2020 and 2030 2.1 billion to allocate its modernization programs to unmanned aircraft.
Consultants such as GlobalData value this surge in US acquisitions as a means of countering Iran’s presence in the region and strengthening the role of Israel and Saudi Arabia, the US’s traditional partners in the region.
Suffice it to recall that the sales contract to the Emirates is of a similar amount as the sales of F-35 aircraft to Japan, adding to the 36,000 million military equipment that the United States has been offering to the Emirates since 2009, adding up to the 59,000 Million dollars. He is also the head trainer of the Emirates Forces, of which he has trained more than 5,000 since 2009, including Army, Air Force, Navy and Special Forces personnel.
New plan with Biden?
However, President Biden’s new administration would consider the usefulness of this arms sale to the United States and its own relations with the United Emirates in terms of security and foreign policy objectives in the Middle East and Africa.
Some think tank reports suggest that sending arms to the Emirates would not be the best way to resolve conflicts in the Middle East, and question the country’s actions in the Yemen conflict and its participation in the war in Libya put. Emirates has been accused by international organizations of human rights abuses against civilians in Yemen and of assisting General Khalifa Haftar’s armed forces in Libya by delivering weapons and attacking the UN-recognized government of national unity by unmanned aircraft. (Jos M Navarro Garca)
Photo: F-35 fighter jets (Lockheed Martin)
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