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    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) slowly but surely are becoming a force to be reckoned with not only in the Middle East, but well beyond the region, Nafeesa Syeed wrote for Bloomberg.

    UAE Grows Its Military Muscles, Ready to Assert Itself in Middle East

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    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) slowly but surely are becoming a force to be reckoned with not only in the Middle East, but well beyond the region, Nafeesa Syeed wrote for Bloomberg.

    While Saudi Arabia and Iran are scrambling for leadership in the Middle East, the UAE has continued to increase its military power.

    Between 2010 and 2014, the UAE was the second largest arms importer of US arms globally, the third largest buyer from France and the biggest customer of Italian arms.

    The small nation in the Arabian Peninsula is already one of Lockheed Martin's best customers. But most importantly, Sheik Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and the de-facto national leader, is both trusted in Washington and liked in Moscow.

    Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin received a $174-million contract to produce tactical long-range surface-to-surface missiles, or ATACMS.

    Despite the fact that the United States would certainly intervene to help out the UAE in case of a military invasion, Sheikh Mohamed has always been preoccupied with his country's security.

    Sheikh Mohamed is an experienced soldier himself. His plan is to essentially have a military force that can hold any foreign aggressor long enough until the United States intervenes to help, Bloomberg reported, adding that the man is also very knowledgeable about military equipment.

    "The UAE couldn't afford to just sit there and pretend to be Switzerland and have the whole region burn down," said Mishaal Al Gergawi, Director of the Delma Institute Research Center, as cited by Bloomberg.

    Currently, the UAE's military is involved in Yemen, where it's fighting against rebel forces, and in Syria, where its Air Force bombs ISIL targets.

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    Tags:
    Middle East, arms import, military power, Sheik Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE
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