The UAE has had to protect its wealth of valuable natural resources from the very first moment of its creation in 1971. The protection of the nascent nation from the dangers it faces is of the strategic vision and skill of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan that enabled him to thwart the maneuvers of his potential enemies.
Sheikh Zayed knew that the challenges facing the defense of Abu Dhabi and then the UAE were complex. In the face of these challenges, Sheikh Zayed adopted a three-pronged political vision. First, national security depends on a unified state,where Sheikh Zayed learned From the experience of history that the fortified castles that fell as a result of penetration from the inside exceeds in the number those seized by force incursion from the outside. Therefore, it was intrinsically at the internal level to consolidate the support of the people to the new state and that Sheikh Zayed ensures the commitment of his brothers’ rulers in the unity of the word.
The second axis is the pursuit of Sheikh Zayed to make it clear that any attempt to attack the United Arab Emirates and its resources will cost the aggressor heavy losses. This requires that the nascent State have national armed forces of high efficiency, equipped with the latest weapons and equipment.
The third axis was the desire of Sheikh Zayed to consolidate the status of the state and enhance its credibility in the international arena. So that the UAE occupies the position that deserves in the international community and to be considered by the rest of the world as a force for good and a guarantee of justice and right and thus ensure protection and support through International law and the United Nations system.
Source: “The Power of the Union: His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan …The Leader and the State”, Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, 2005.