In a response to a New York Times report about UAE hiring the founder of the company formerly known as Blackwater, to build a standing force of 800 foreign troops, General Juma Ali Khalaf Al Hamiri, Head of HR and Administration, GHQ, UAE Armed Forces, has made a statement. The statement , published by the official news agency WAM, states:
“The United Arab Emirates armed forces have been through an accelerated and extensive process of development and Emiratisation since their creation at the founding of the UAE four decades ago. The result is that the UAE armed forces have been able to make meaningful and significant contributions in theatres of operations such as Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently Libya.
At the heart of the successful approach has been strong alliances within the international community and in part the sourcing of expertise through the private sector. International contractors providing planning, training, development and operational support have been integral to the successful development of what is a robust military capability of over 40,000 Emirati personnel at a high state of readiness.
Importantly these third parties have also played significant roles in supporting the UAE Armed Forces in training Iraqi and Afghani security forces with the aim of contributing to the stability of both countries.
The UAE armed forces currently engage a number of third parties, such as Spectre, which delivers academy training capabilities; Horizon, a pilot training partner and R2 which provides operational, planning and training support.
As you would expect of a proactive member of the international community, all engagements of commercial entities by the UAE Armed Forces are compliant with international Law and relevant conventions.”