The United States have struck a deal with the United Arab Emirates of the sale of $2 billion worth of Patriot missiles. The sale is intended to bolster the defense of the Middle Eastern country and to secure US influence in the area. This is a major addition to UAE's defense as they already purchased military equipment from Germany as well.

Why does a small Middle Eastern country need Patriot missiles?

According to local sources, the UAE is slowly building up their military defenses to protect the country from its possible enemies. According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the sale will contribute to the national security of the United States by improving the security of a major ally.

This will also boost, in the long run, the economy of the country and the Middle East.

The Pentagon, however, stated that the deal must be approved first by Congress, though it is already supported by various branches of the military of both countries. However, many are skeptical as to the true nature of the purchase, as UAE is a major participant in Saudi's conflict with Yemen.

How does the Saudi-Yemen conflict influence the UAE missile purchase?

Saudi Arabia and UAE are both actively participating in the toppling of the current government in Yemen. The aim of the destabilizing effort is to reinstate the previous administration, which has pro-Riyadh sentiments. The Patriot missiles being purchased can easily hit Yemeni targets, especially if UAE's ally Saudi Arabia orders it to do so.

The Yemen conflict that started in 2015, has resulted in the death of thousands and the displacement of almost seven million people in Yemen. The conflict has destroyed much of the infrastructure in the country and is slowly descending into a major humanitarian crisis. The United States is a major ally of Saudi Arabia and openly supports its aim to create a pro-Riyadh ring of countries in the Middle East.

What will be the effect of Saudi dominance to US policy in the Middle East?

The United States is working hard to firmly establish its influence in the Middle East. At the moment, the major crises in the area are the Syrian conflict and negative reaction of Turkey over the arming of Kurd rebels that will fight ISIS and Assad.

It is important for the United States to have a Muslim ally in the Middle East and not focus its priorities in only safeguarding the existence of Israel. Because of this, the US maintains its warm relationship with Saudi. The UAE, on the other hand, is a friend of Saudi, which also becomes a friend of the United States.