In 1991, the UAE signed a defense pact with the United States, which permits Washington to base troops and surveillance aircraft within federation boundaries.
(The joint defense pact with the US was given a blunt choice to United Arab Emirates
(UAE). Agree to scrap the condition that US soldiers would be subject to
law or there would be no mutual
defense agreement with US. More at Gulf sheikhs cling to
US for security)
Since the Gulf War, Jebel Ali port in Dubai has become crucial to the U.S. naval operations in the Persian Gulf because it is the safest liberty port in the region and the only harbor in the Gulf deep enough to berth an aircraft carrier.
Fujairah, which faces the Indian Ocean and is connected to the Gulf coast by a modern road, would be critical to American operations were the Strait of Hormuz closed off. In addition, U.S. warplanes fly out of UAE air bases on support missions for Operation Southern Watch over Iraq, and it has prepositioned materiel on UAE soil.
The UAE has also emerged as one of the world's largest markets for U.S. arms manufacturers; Abu Dhabi purchased $360 million in U.S. arms between 1992-94.
A top military official said the Emirates is sending Apache attack helicopters, Leclerc tanks, BMP3 amphibious armored vehicles, a missile boat, a frigate and about 4,000 troops to Kuwait to help defend that country from Iraqi attack.
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