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.

Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

I have no problem with an F-35 sale. The UAE are allies and punch above their weight. They also face real threats.

Dan Gouré, Vice President, Lexington Institute

…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.

Lt. Col. Christine McVann, Military Fellow, Washington Institute for Near East Policy

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.

Ambassador John Bolton, Former Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

While it is too early to call Israel’s ties with the Arabs ‘alliances,’ such relations could arise. In any case, they are all US allies. Strengthening these links benefits America.

Ambassador Nikki Haley, Former US Ambassador to the United Nations

The UAE is aligned with our interests in confronting & containing Iran. The F-35 is made in America so the sale would also support good-paying US jobs. For the sake of American security and stability in the Middle East, the US should approve the sale as soon as possible.

Marshall Wittmann, Spokesman, American Israel Public Affairs Committee

AIPAC “does not oppose the proposed arms sale to the UAE, given the peace agreement reached between Israel and the UAE as well as the agreement reached between the U.S. and Israel to ensure Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME) will not be adversely impacted by the sale.

Norman Roule, Former CIA Officer

The UAE has proven to be a reliable US security partner in six joint coalitions, with personnel operating aside US war fighters in harm’s way. Their skill and impact in joint operations is routinely praised by US counterparts.

We will likely partner with the Gulf countries in any future regional military operations. UAE’s skill with advanced technology will assist burden sharing, especially as we shift resources to meet Pacific challenges.

Israel does not oppose this sale & is itself seeking to build a new security relationship with the UAE. It is difficult to say that we understand Israel’s security needs better than the Israeli government.

Although we should all hope that any Iran negotiations succeed in the coming year, there little reason to believe Iran will be less aggressive in the region. The UAE has a reasonable need for a deterrent against Iranian missiles, mines, submarines, and terrorism.

 

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