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Why the UAE's Star Is Rising

Lori Plotkin Boghardt

Also available in العربية

The Hill

January 18, 2015

Unlike most Persian Gulf states, the UAE does not need to balance its counterterrorism policies with any delicate ties to Sunni conservatives.

Major American media organizations have been running stories lately that feature one of Washington's Persian Gulf allies, the United Arab Emirates, as a favored partner in the battle against the Islamic State (ISIS) and terrorism. It's "the strongest relationship that the United States has in the Arab world today," former commander of American forces in the Middle East, General Anthony Zinni, is quoted as saying for the Washington Post in November. Some see a UAE hand behind the burst of good press on a decades-old relationship. Regardless, the articles reflect an organic sense among some officials in Washington that the UAE is an easy partner to work with when it comes to counter-terrorism issues.

Certainly, the UAE's extreme position on what constitutes a terrorist has attracted a lot of attention. But it's not this sweeping definition that explains the close relationship with Washington on terrorism issues. Instead, it's the UAE's approach to the region's most conservative Sunni elements, some of whom support radical groups in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere...

Read the full article on The Hill website.