NATO Finds Arab
Backdoor to Arm Kiev
By Finian Cunningham
July 09, 2015 "Information
The announcement this week that the Kiev regime
struck a major deal with the United Arab Emirates for military
weapons raises strong suspicions that the US-led NATO alliance has
found a new backdoor into Ukraine. We say «new» because it is
believed that the US and its NATO allies, Poland and Lithuania, are
already covertly supplying weapons to the Kiev regime.
Kiev President Petro
Poroshenko hailed the new strategic partnership with the Persian
Gulf kingdom while attending the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX)
in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi. Poroshenko, who was royally received
by UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nayhan, declared himself a
«president of peace» but that Ukraine, or rather the rump state that
his regime commands, needed strong defence because of its «Russian
A giveaway to the real
significance of the surprise development is that Poroshenko and his
Arab hosts also reportedly held discreet meetings with Pentagon
officials and US weapons manufacturing executives during the weapons
exhibition. That indicates that Washington is coordinating the
expected arms transfers.
Although the Kiev-UAE
partnership lacked any public detail, one can safely assume that the
Arab supply of weapons to Ukraine is simply a conduit for American
and NATO military support to the Western-backed junta, which seized
power in Ukraine last year in an illegal coup. Its war of aggression
on the separatist eastern Ukraine has inflicted at least 6,000
deaths, mainly among the ethnic Russian civilian population.
Earlier this month it
soon became clear that Washington and its NATO allies would pay a
heavy political price for an audacious move to openly increase their
military involvement in the Ukraine conflict. When Washington
announced that it intended to go ahead with Congressional provisions
to send «lethal aid» to Kiev there was much international
consternation over such a reckless move.
Washington that any further military support to the reactionary,
anti-Russian Kiev regime on its western border would constitute a
«disastrous escalation». US President Barack Obama then appeared to
back off from the proposal to supply lethal munitions.
servile European allies also baulked at the Washington arms move.
Germany, France and even Britain indicated disproval by stating that
they would not be following suite by sending arms to Ukraine.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel was perhaps the most forthright
in her reservations. While on an official visit to Washington she
reiterated her «no weapons» position to US media while being
received in the White House by Obama.
No doubt a disgruntled
European public reeling from economic austerity, unemployment and
seething contempt for unaccountable EU leaders had a concentrating
effect on the various political capitals to not throw more fuel on
an already raging Ukrainian fire. The idea of going along with
incendiary American militarism in Ukraine and further antagonising
Russia would provoke a political storm across Europe. Hence the
usually trusty European «yes men» had to defy Washington’s
divergence between the US and EU appeared to unnerve Washington,
with the latter fearing that its anti-Russian axis and sanctions
tactics might be unravelling. President Obama and his Secretary of
State John Kerry were at pains to emphasise American-European
«unity» over Ukraine and alleged «Russian aggression» – in spite of
the fact that European leaders were, publicly at least, repudiating
Washington’s weapons policy.
So, rather than
risking an open split in the NATO ranks, Washington and its allies
seem to have found an ingenious way around that problem – by getting
the UAE to be the front end for weapons supplied to the Kiev regime.
Several media reports
have talked up a «new defence industry» in the UAE. But whatever new
industry there may be in the oil-rich kingdom, it is largely a
value-adding or marketing platform for established Western
manufacturers. The UAE defence sector is dominated by US military
imports and American weapons giants, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and
Raytheon. The Emirati «partner» operations are a way for the royal
rulers to claim kudos for diversifying the kingdom away from its
economic dependence on oil exports by seemingly creating hi-tech
sectors. For the Western weapons firms, the Arab retail image can
provide a convenient public relations cover for global arms-dealing.
American and European weapons can thus be sold to parts of the world
where it might otherwise be viewed as unethical – thanks to these
sales being booked as originating from the UAE.
The fact remains,
however, that the United Arab Emirates is the world’s fourth biggest
arms importer, according to the Stockholm International Peace
Research Institute (SIPRI). That is an astounding record considering
that the UAE population is some nine million, with only one million
of those being Arab nationals, and the rest being expatriate cheap-labour
workers from Asia and Africa. Expressed on a per capita basis, the
UAE is by far the world’s biggest weapons importer. And this is a
country that has never been at war since its founding in 1971 after
Britain granted formal independence.
In its latest global
trends report, SIPRI notes that the Persian Gulf Arab states have
doubled their imports of weapons in recent years, from an already
high base. Saudi Arabia is now the fifth biggest importer globally.
Qatar, Bahrain and Oman are also major sales destinations for the
Western arms industry.
The Arab Gulf weapons
market is dominated by the US, with some 40 per cent of all sales.
Other major exporters to the region are Germany, France and Britain.
Russia has also a strong presence in the market. But the lion’s
share goes to US and its NATO allies. Germany in particular has
stepped up its arms exports to the Persian Gulf, which has caused
political problems among the German population for the Merkel
government as it is being seen to prop up autocratic and repressive
regimes. Leopard tanks and armoured personnel carriers are lucrative
The Persian Gulf arab
regimes are thus in effect NATO arsenals. And the tiny UAE with its
$13 billion military budget is a NATO arsenal par excellence.
The Kiev regime’s new
contract with the UAE for military weapons supply is thus a front
for NATO supplying weapons to Ukraine. Conveniently for Western
governments, the arrangement tends to obscure a NATO link in the
eyes of their public, but only superficially.
That bodes badly for
the shaky ceasefire that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin helped
broker earlier this month. Putin has already deprecated the
continuing hostile attitude of Poroshenko and other Kiev leaders,
who routinely accuse Russia of aggression and talk with bravado of
fighting a «total war». Washington and the EU are indulging this
inflammatory rhetoric with renewed sanctions on Moscow and laying
the blame for the conflict on Russia.
taxpayers bail out the Kiev regime with a $40 billion loan from the
International Monetary Fund, the junta is evidently using the money
to go on a weapons spree and to crank up its NATO-supplied war
machine. The UAE weapons sales deal is just a backdoor for NATO to
embark on further warmongering in Ukraine and toward Russia.
© Strategic Culture Foundation