WashPo: UAE meddled in internal US politics - Intel report
One of the United States' closest allies has been caught red-handed trying to overturn the way Washington acts on its foreign affairs front.
Intelligence officials in Washington have put together a report that is classified in the meantime showing efforts made by the United Arab Emirates to meddle in US politics despite Abu Dhabi being a close ally of Washington's.
According to The Washington Post, the activities include legal and illegal bids to influence the US foreign policies in ways that would serve its interests throughout various administrations in the White House.
The UAE sought to exploit the various weak spots the United States has within its means of governance, such as campaign contributions and the susceptibility to lobbying attempts.
Three people familiar with the matter told The Post on the condition of anonymity several details they had on the issue, such as how the National Intelligence Council put the document together, which was briefed to US policymakers in recent weeks to guide the future of Washington's policies regarding West Asia, and namely the UAE.
One key aspect of the report is that it marks a rare occasion when the National Intelligence Council was probing the interactions of US policymakers and internal US politics given that the agency's mandate is foreign threats rather than domestic ones.
However, it was shocking - to say the least - to many that there were threats stemming from an ally of Washington's rather than known adversaries, such as Russia and China.
Notably, the UAE's ambassador to the United States underlined his pride in "the UAE's influence and good standing in the US."
"It has been hard earned and well deserved. It is the product of decades of close UAE-US cooperation and effective diplomacy. It reflects common interests and shared values," he said in a statement.
This comes after the United States agreed for years to sell highly advanced weapons to the UAE, mainly sophisticated air defense systems, advanced lethal drones, and F-35 fighter jets, after it declined to do such transactions with any other Arab state due to concerns over "Israel".
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Another article written at an earlier time by The Washington Post exposes that the United States, despite repeatedly and consistently documenting human rights violations, would continue to provide weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Three UAE squadrons, according to videos, participated in joint exercises with US forces hosted at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada in 2016 and 2019 – the Red Flag exercises.
"To have the US, over successive administrations, sell billions of dollars worth of weapons to governments that have carried out, over years, airstrikes on hospitals, markets, food production facilities, and prisons: [Those] attacks have killed thousands of civilians," said Priyanka Motaparthy, director of the Counterterrorism, Armed Conflict and Human Rights Project at Columbia University Law School's Human Rights Institute. "It does not serve them well in the court of public opinion, or in the annals of history."
Though the individuals who informed The Washington Post of the matter could not delve into too many details, they acknowledged that national security professionals were aware of the attempts to influence Washington. However, such activities have been at an increase due to the US' refusal to overhaul its foreign-influence laws or grant more resources to its Justice Department.
Meanwhile, only as per DoJ records, Abu Dhabi has spent over $154 million on lobbyists since 2016. It goes without saying that there could be more unrecorded "donations".
The UAE has also spent hundreds of millions of dollars on donations to American universities and think tanks, mainly ones that happen to write reports that enshrine the UAE and whose findings are favorable to Abu Dhabi's interests.
Now, despite the UAE spending hundreds of millions to influence the United States and its foreign policies, and despite all the crimes it has been committing against Yemenis and Emiratis, a group of US lawmakers only saw the UAE backing an OPEC+ decision cutting oil production as deserving of a bill mandating the removal of US forces from the monarchy.
OPEC+ members voted on cutting their production of oil by 2 million barrels a day in light of the world's surging energy crisis.
The US is concerned that OPEC's probable decision to reduce oil production will pose serious problems for the country and may even be interpreted as a hostile act, according to a US Treasury report.
The bill would relocate US military defense systems and equipment to the Middle East with an aim to protect US troops elsewhere, the release said.
"Saudi Arabia and the UAE's drastic cut in oil production, despite President Biden's overtures to both countries in recent months, is a hostile act against the United States and a clear signal that they have chosen to side with Russia in its war against Ukraine," Representatives Tom Malinowski, Sean Casten, and Susan Wild wrote.
The release noted that the United States presently has some 3,000 US troops in Saudi Arabia and 2,000 in the UAE.