The UAE and the F-35: US National Security Experts Reactions
General (US Army, Ret.) David Petraeus
Given Israel’s support for Emirati acquisition of the F-35, US approval of that purchase is both advisable and timely.
I have no problem with an F-35 sale. The UAE are allies and punch above their weight. They also face real threats.
…the threat posed by Iran to the Gulf, Israel, and indeed the entire region continues to grow. The F-35 is not a bargaining chip. However, it is a decisive military capability which, when operated by the US and its allies and friends, can create a regional and even global deterrent capability.
The F-35 would significantly enhance the UAE Air Force’s capabilities and survivability on this front. Its stealth design features would allow Emirati pilots to penetrate Iranian defenses in response to hostile actions and execute precision strikes against threatening Iranian and proxy targets throughout the Persian Gulf region. This capability may therefore increase the UAE’s deterrence against Iranian military activity.