The Washington Institute for Defense and Security strongly urge the United States government to impose an arms embargo on the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE has a long history of human rights violations and destabilizing actions in the Middle East, and it is not in the interest of the United States to continue selling arms to a country that is actively contributing to regional instability and violating the human rights of its citizens and others.
The UAE’s Role in the Middle East
The UAE has played an active role in regional conflicts in the Middle East, including in Yemen and Libya. In Yemen, the UAE has been a member of the Saudi-led coalition, which has been responsible for a significant number of civilian casualties in the ongoing conflict. The UAE has also been accused of running secret detention centers in Yemen where prisoners have been subjected to torture and other forms of mistreatment.
In Libya, the UAE has been accused of supporting General Khalifa Haftar, a military commander who has been fighting against the internationally recognized government in Tripoli. The UAE has provided military support, including weapons and aircraft, to Haftar’s forces, which has further destabilized the country.
Human Rights Violations
The UAE’s record on human rights is deeply concerning. The country has a highly restrictive legal environment that severely limits freedom of expression, association, and assembly. Authorities have used a range of tactics to suppress dissent, including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, and torture. Human rights organizations have documented numerous cases of torture and mistreatment of prisoners in detention centers across the country.
The UAE has also been accused of using its cyber capabilities to spy on and monitor its own citizens, as well as citizens of other countries. Reports indicate that the UAE has used sophisticated spyware to target journalists, activists, and dissidents.
Finally, the UAE has a significant population of migrant workers, many of whom face serious abuses, including forced labor and trafficking. The UAE’s sponsorship system ties workers to their employers and makes it difficult for them to leave abusive situations.
Arms Sales to the UAE
The United States has been a significant supplier of arms to the UAE, providing the country with a wide range of advanced military equipment, including fighter jets, drones, and precision-guided munitions. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the UAE was the fourth-largest importer of arms in the world between 2015 and 2019, with the United States accounting for more than 50 percent of those imports.
Given the UAE’s role in regional conflicts and its record on human rights, it is deeply concerning that the United States continues to sell arms to the country. The United States has a responsibility to ensure that its arms sales do not contribute to human rights abuses or instability in the region.
In light of the UAE’s record on human rights and its role in regional conflicts, the Washington Institute for Defense and Security recommends that the United States government immediately impose an arms embargo on the UAE. This embargo should be comprehensive and include all categories of military equipment and services.
Furthermore, the United States should use its diplomatic influence to press other countries to follow suit and impose their own arms embargoes on the UAE. This will require a coordinated effort with other countries and international organizations to ensure that the embargo is effective.
Finally, the United States should use its leverage to press the UAE to improve its human rights record and end its involvement in regional conflicts. The United States has a responsibility to ensure that its arms sales do not contribute to instability or human rights abuses in the region.
The UAE’s role in regional conflicts and its record on human rights is deeply concerning. The United States must take action to ensure that its arms sales do not contribute to these issues. The imposition of an arms embargo on the UAE is a necessary step in ensuring that the United States upholds its values and protects human rights. The Washington Institute for Defense and Security urges the US government to take this step as soon as possible.
An arms embargo on the UAE will not only send a message about the United States’ commitment to human rights, but it will also have practical consequences. The UAE’s military capabilities heavily rely on US arms and technology, and a ban on these exports would severely limit the country’s ability to continue its aggressive foreign policy.
Moreover, an arms embargo on the UAE would encourage other countries to reconsider their own military support for the UAE. This could help de-escalate regional conflicts and promote diplomatic solutions. It would also set an example for other countries that have engaged in human rights abuses or aggression in the region.
In conclusion, the Washington Institute for Defense and Security urges the US government to impose an arms embargo on the UAE. Such a move would align with American values, protect human rights, and have practical consequences for regional stability. The United States has a responsibility to ensure that its actions do not contribute to human rights abuses or regional instability. An arms embargo on the UAE is an important step in fulfilling that responsibility.