This rich emirate looks like the very model of stability and prosperity, but it is in a dangerous neighborhood and the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is visiting to improve the partnership between the two countries.
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey took part in the Joint Strategic Military Dialogue today with his Emirati counterpart, Army Lt. Gen. Hamad Thani al-Rumaithi. He also met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the deputy supreme commander of the UAE’s armed forces.
The dialogue is an effort to better integrate American capabilities with the United Arab Emirates, the chairman said during an interview following the meeting.
The two countries work together on security cooperation, integrated air and missile defense and command and control. The dialogue helps both countries improve capabilities, “so that the sum is greater than the parts, [and] also so we can make it clear to other actors in the region that our partnership is intended to produce greater stability,” Dempsey said.
The better the United States and the United Arab Emirates are able to cooperate, he added, the more secure this volatile region can be.
Iran is across the Persian Gulf from the UAE. At the narrowest point of the Strait of Hormuz, the distance is only a couple of miles. Through that strait flows much of the world’s oil supply.
The UAE is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council -- along with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman -- and cooperation with the UAE benefits that organization as well, the chairman said. “It’s not about the U.S. helping the GCC or the GCC helping the United States of America,” Dempsey said. “It’s building a better partnership.”
The United States has a long partnership with the United Arab Emirates and with the rest of the nations of the GCC. “To the extent that we can refresh our partnership, refresh our understanding of threats, refresh our capabilities, [and] to not take each other for granted,” the chairman said, “I think we will stronger bilaterally and cooperatively.”