Drafting Up Stability

The United Arab Emirates is a country consisting of seven principalities (Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain) and a population of approximately 8.2 million people.  90% of those 8.2 million people are foreigners.  The population of mostly expatriates will now be subject to compulsory military training.  The UAE cabinet has introduced a new law that will subject Emirati men ages 18-30 to mandatory military training.  Of those men, the ones who have finished high school will serve nine months, and the ones who haven’t will serve two years.  Training will also be optional for women.  The UAE has actually been relatively conflict free in that they have not been faced with militant attacks nor currently face any immediate threats from their hostile neighbors.  However, residing in an area referred to as the “red zone”, the UAE must continuously grow stronger in order to maintain the stability that they now enjoy.  Interestingly though, the crop of men who will be enduring military training, will not be Emirati nationals.  This actually works to the advantage of the UAE, being that they are a large buyer of Western military hardware, and have in the past relied on foreign nationals to operate such equipment.  The 90% of foreigners will be able to operate the equipment with less help.  “Protecting the nation and preserving its independence and sovereignty is a sacred national duty and the new law will be implemented on all,” UAE Prime Minister and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said on his Twitter account.  Is this proactive move by the UAE the right one?  Will it possibly be seen as a move of aggression by its’ irritable neighbors, leading to the conflict that they are striving to avoid?  Does it feel right that almost the entire army will be made up of foreigners?

Source: Reuters

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One comment

  1. The idea that the UAE plans on using foreign nationals in their military is quite strange. Why would non-citizens want to fight in a war for a country that they are not citizens of? The laws of the UAE are historically very strict, so I would imagine if foreign nationals were not to comply with this law, they would be subject to serious repercussions. I think this law highlights what is really wrong with the UAE mentality. This is a country that is very dependent on oil and outside talent to build their cities and their industries. The true citizens of the UAE are paid a stipend just for being nationals. It’s a type of mentality that breeds complacency. If you wanted to win a war, would you use troops that were fundamentally connected to the country they were protecting, or would you outsource your fighters? I think the answer is very simple, you would want the people who will fight to the end to protect the land that they love. Which again, highlights why this law is the product of a country that uses their money and oil as a means to buy a transparent form of success.

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