23 October 2014
UAE Poised to Lead Arabian Peninsula in Missile Defense, says MDAA



Washington D.C. -
Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org, coming off a visit to the United Arab Emirates in conjunction with MDAA’s inaugural United Arab Emirates Air and Missile Defender of the Year Award Ceremony held last Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, has released a statement calling for a Phased Adaptive Approach-style missile defense program to be crafted and implemented for the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

“It is essential for the United States, the UAE, and the GCC to pursue a common, long-term strategy to build out the region’s missile defenses. An Arabian Phased Adaptive Approach type model should be adopted, with Phase 1 starting in the UAE, and building out that common architecture in other GCC nations.” Mr. Ellison said.

A “Phased Adaptive Approach” in the Arabian Gulf “would be much more capable and less costly for the United States than the current program in Europe, since all of the GCC countries are already acquiring air and missile defense systems and contributing heavily to the overall architecture.” said Mr. Ellison.

The MDAA Chairman said that enhancing missile defenses in partnership capacity with UAE and the GCC countries is a more reliable solution to deal with the threat of Iranian nuclear breakout than the current negotiations led by the Obama Administration.

“With or without an agreement in place, Iran would still likely retain a nuclear breakout capability, which would lead to strategic imbalance that could ignite a nuclear arms race in the region.” said Mr. Ellison, referring to the Obama Administration’s efforts to get a deal with Iran to slow down its nuclear development in exchange for easing sanctions.

“Based on past experience, any agreement would at most slow down Iran’s development, but not ultimately prevent Iran from acquiring or developing nuclear weapons. It is just too strategically risky for any of the six GCC countries or the United States to rely on such agreements with Iran to prevent nuclear proliferation and to defend their populations and territories.” Ellison added.

More diplomatic and military work between the United States and the GCC needs to be done to implement a robust GCC missile defense system. In particular, Ellison emphasized the need for better integration between UAE and U.S missile defense forces to enhance efficiency and minimize the risk of friendly fire.

Enabling the UAE with a U.S. Link-16 military data exchange network similar to NATO would facilitate this interoperability. Mr. Ellison noted that the Link 16 can be “configured bilaterally to minimize the risk of U.S. Link 16 networks being compromised.”

“The UAE is the country most receptive and most able to begin this partnership of interoperability.” Ellison added. The UAE currently employs nine Patriot Advanced Capability-3 batteries, along with two cutting-edge Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Batteries.

About Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance

MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.

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