Thursday, May 05, 2005

UAE Armed Forces mark Unification Day tomorrow - DubaiInteract: "The UAE Armed Forces will remain the protective shield of the UAE security and stability, its staggering achievements and firm principles."

Dubai Crown Prince General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the UAE Defence Minister.

Country Studies "contains the on-line versions of books previously published in hard copy by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Army. Because the original intent of the Series' sponsor was to focus primarily on lesser known areas of the world or regions in which U.S. forces might be deployed, the series is not all-inclusive. At present, 102 countries and regions are covered."

In Handbook of the Persian Gulf States the United Defence Force (UDF) of the UAE is described:

Personnel for the UDF and separate amirate forces were recruited from several countries of the region, but soon after independence enlistments from Dhofar region in Oman and from the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY, also seen as South Yemen) were curtailed out of fear that personnel from these areas might spread dangerous revolutionary doctrines.

As the largest in territory, the most populous, and by far the richest of the amirates, Abu Dhabi has borne the brunt of funding the federation's military establishment. A major step toward unification of forces occurred in 1976 when Abu Dhabi, Dubayy, and Ras al Khaymah announced the merger of their separate armed forces with the UDF. Sharjah had previously merged its police and small military units into the UDF.

Despite the promises and pledges of 1976, true integration and unification of the UAE armed forces has not occurred. The UDF is seen by some, particularly the amir of Dubayy, as merely an extension of Abu Dhabi power. Individual amirs view their forces as symbols of sovereignty no matter the size or combat readiness of the units. The separate forces therefore continue as they had earlier, but they are called regional commands, only nominally part of the UDF. Shaykh Zayid ibn Sultan's attempt to install his eighteen-year-old son as commander in chief in 1978 shook the fragile unity of the UDF. Although the appointment was rescinded, Dubayy's resolve strengthened to maintain the autonomy of the Central Military Command, its own regional military command.

As of 1992, the commander in chief of the UDF was Zayid ibn Sultan. The crown prince, Lieutenant General Khalifa ibn Zayid Al Nuhayyan, held immediate command as deputy commander in chief. The chief of staff with operational responsibilities was Major General Muhammad Said al Badi, a UAE national who replaced a Jordanian general in the post in the early 1980s. His headquarters is in Abu Dhabi. The minister of defense is Shaykh Muhammad ibn Rashid Al Maktum, son of the ruler of Dubayy. The ministry, located in Dubayy, concerns itself primarily with administrative, personnel, and logistic matters and apparently has little influence on operational aspects of the UDF.



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