US Intel Report Shows UAE Tries to Meddle in American Politics

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has engaged in an extensive effort to influence US political decisions and foreign policy in ways that would benefit the UAE, intelligence officials have reportedly claimed in a classified report.

The report says that the UAE, arguably one of Washington’s most trusted Arab allies, has used legal and illegal measures and tactics to game US foreign policy by meddling in the American political system.

According to three people who have read the classified report, the activities in question – some of which resemble espionage – spanned multiple US administrations and exploited the American system’s vulnerabilities, including reliance on political contributions, its predisposition to lobbying firms, and lax enforcement of disclosure laws designed to prevent foreign interference in US affairs.

The report compiled by the National Intelligence Council illustrates how foreign money distorts the US political system the report and top US policymakers were recently briefed on it in an effort to help their decision-making in Washington’s policy toward the UAE and the Middle East.

However, as Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said, it’s unusual for US intelligence agencies to issue this advisory because it pertains to a close ally, rather than an adversary like Russia, China, or Iran – which has interfered in US elections and the political system – and, as such, this report could be interpreted as delving into domestic politics.

Yet, one Washington lawmaker argued that the report obviously pointed to the need of establishing a very clear red line against the UAE playing in American politics, noting he believes these facts have never been raised with the Emiratis at a high level.

Since 2016, the UAE has spent over $150 million on lobbying and hundreds of millions more on donations to US universities and think tanks that create papers that support their interests.

They’ve also hired three former US intelligence and military officials to provide UAE with sophisticated hacking technology helping them conduct surveillance on dissidents, politicians, journalists, and American companies.

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