An article in the Washington Post analyzed the complicated relationship between the US and the UAE. The UAE’s desire for influence has driven it to enhance its international credibility by building up a sophisticated, capable military and increasing its involvement in conflicts. Much of the time, the UAE sides with the US: it leads in the fight against AQAP in Yemen and it has contributed troops in Western-backed conflicts such as in Somalia or Afghanistan. However, the UAE’s support for autocrats, its efforts in resisting peace, and its alleged illegal actions in conflict zones that risk US culpability have undermined the alliance between it and the US.
A recent report from the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, authored by senior resident scholar Karen Young, discusses the Yemen civil war and its cost for Yemen’s Gulf neighbors, urging Gulf Cooperation Council states to end their contributions to the cycle of violence in Yemen. The report notes that the future cost of the ongoing war for Gulf states may be greater than GCC states anticipate due to the reverberations that civil wars tend to have in neighboring states. The author makes policy suggestions for GCC states that seek to minimize the impact of the war in Yemen both on Yemeni society and on Yemen’s neighbors.
The American Bar Association (ABA) recently delivered a white paper authored by Vanderbilt Law professor Michael Newton to the US Senate that assesses the ways in which US arms sales and military assistance to Saudi Arabia violate existing US laws. Because of Saudi Arabia’s gross and consistent violation of the human rights standards outlined in the Foreign Assistance Act and the Arms Export Control Act, the paper recommends that arms sales cease until Saudi Arabia complies with international humanitarian law.