Scowcroft Center Senior Fellow for Middle East Security Bilal Y. Saab writes for Foreign Affairs on what the United Arab Emirates wants from collaboration with NATO.
The United Arab Emirates has said and done all the right things to prove that it wants a stronger partnership with NATO. In addition to appointing an ambassador to NATO, the UAE has also supported prominent NATO missions, for example, by contributing airpower to Operation Unified Protector, which defended civilians during the 2011 Libyan civil war, and by participating in the International Security Assistance Force, a program that trains Afghan security forces.
In turn, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has on several occasions expressed his desire to strengthen ties with the UAE and other states in the Gulf Cooperation Council. It is clear what NATO wants from the UAE: help combating terrorism, funding military operations, and protecting regional sea-lanes, energy supply routes, and cybernetworks. It might be less clear, however, what the UAE wants from NATO.