WaPo Investigative Piece on the UAE: U.S. intelligence report says key gulf ally meddled in American politics

Focus on the UAE’s role in Washington grew following the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey. The CIA concluded his killing was done at the behest of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, a revelation that caused Washington lobbying firms and think tanks to sever their financial ties to Riyadh. Though the UAE had no involvement, the crown prince’s status as a protege of Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the ruler of the United Arab Emirates known as MBZ, invited greater scrutiny.

“MBZ was a big part of the crowd who said the Saudi crown prince would be a reformer, make Saudi Arabia a more normal country, give women the right to vote — all of which crashed when Khashoggi was killed,” Riedel said.

Concerns about the UAE among human rights groups grew with its military involvement in the brutal war in Yemen, from which it has since withdrawn. The gulf state also angered U.S. officials after the Defense Department’s watchdog said the UAE may have been financing the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary army close to the Kremlin that has been accused of atrocities in Libya, Ukraine and Africa. The UAE denies the charge.

Further down in this article we read about military contractors who take the money from UAE.

Last month, The Post revealed the UAE’s extensive courtship of retired high-ranking U.S. military personnel. The investigation showed that over the past seven years, 280 retired U.S. service members have worked as military contractors and consultants for the UAE, more than for any other country, and that the advisory jobs pay handsomely.

Instrumental to the UAE’s success in Washington has been Otaiba, an ambassador who has forged strong connections with powerful politicians and business leaders across the political spectrum.

The intelligence report is careful not to identify specific individuals, according to people who have read it, but it mentions several meetings and conversations involving U.S. and Emirati officials. One passage refers to a meeting of a senior U.S. and senior UAE official who commended each other for “single-handedly” salvaging the U.S.-UAE relationship. One person who read the report said it was an unmistakable reference to Otaiba.