"The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been a significant U.S. partner in Gulf security for more than two decades, helping to address multiple regional threats. About 5,000 U.S. military personnel are stationed at UAE military facilities, hosted there under a bilateral defense cooperation agreement (DCA) that remains in effect. The UAE is a significant buyer of U.S. military equipment, including the most sophisticated missile defense system sold by the United States, demonstrating support for U.S. efforts to forge a coordinated missile defense network. As the UAE has gained capability to project force, it has increasingly asserted itself in the region. The UAE is part of a Saudi-led military effort to pressure the Iran-backed Zaidi Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen, an effort to which the United States provides logistical support. In partnership with U.S. special operations forces, UAE forces also are combatting Al Qaeda's affiliate in that country. In recent years, UAE forces have used several bases in East African countries to train allied forces and facilitate UAE operations in Yemen. The UAE is supporting an anti-Islamist commander in eastern Libya who thus far has not agreed to join a unified political structure."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21852