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The UAE National Power against Daeesh in Iraq and Syria Report


Terrorism has seen some of the greatest countries fall. Over the years, several strategies have been employed in an attempt to reduce the impact of terrorism. For example, talks with terrorists regarding what they want and military action have been used to no avail. Many now claim that the world has to take a different approach to deal with terrorism. This essay looks at the relations between the UAE, Iraq, and Syria in terms of dealing with the Daeesh terrorist group.

Interest and goals to guide the fight against Daeesh

Terry Deibel created a model that is used to analyze national security. He argued that logic and strategy are fundamental in such a process. These strategies are to be formed from interests and goals that the country possesses. All strategies to fight the Daeesh have failed. This can be attributed to the lack of solid interests and goals that should guide the process. Niu (2013) argues that one of the main interests that should motivate the use of the UAE national power against the Daeesh in Iraq and Syria is the access to vital geographical areas, like the Mediterranean Sea, Jordan, and even Israel. These geographic areas should be of interest to the UAE, as any form of imbalance caused by the Daeesh will affect the economy of the region significantly. Securing Jordan is crucial for the UAE because the Daeesh can use it to get into the UAE.

In the same breath, the UAE should also consider the Sunni Muslims, who appear to support Daeesh (al Otaiba, 2014). The Sunni Muslims have been identified as key supporters of the Daeesh and other terror groups. Indeed, there are a good number of Sunni Muslims in different parts of the UAE. It is arguable that the Daeesh might use the relationships they have with the Sunnis to penetrate the UAE.

Even though the fight with the Daeesh is currently in Iraq and Syria, the UAE should also consider the fact that they are in the foreign soil. Thus, the UAE should work closely with the local authority in the attempt to weed out the Daeesh and their supporters. Yordan (2009) explains that the UAE should learn from the mistakes made by the US during the fight against Al Qaeda in Iraq. The US did not work with the local authorities; thus, the US was blamed for trying to exploit the country. The UAE should also consider the benefits that they get from fighting the Daeesh. Henne (2014) asserts that the economic benefits are significant; thus, the benefits can act as good motivation for war against terror.

Assumptions guiding the UAE policies against Daeesh

There are several assumptions that are guiding the UAE policies against the Daeesh. One such assumption, as Niu (2013) points out, is the idea that military force is the best approach to international warfare against terror. Alani (2008) goes further and explains that this assumption has several flaws. He explains that the military solution has been used the world over to no avail because the terrorists believe in ideologies. Ideas cannot be destroyed using military force. Using this argument, it is clear that the UAE is going about fighting the Daeesh in Syria and Iraq in the wrong way. As mentioned, the Deibel model states that logic and strategy should be used in forming a national security strategy. Using military power to force out an idea does not seem logical.

Another assumption being used by the UAE is that only the Sunni Muslims support the Daeesh. Henne (2014) argues that terrorism is all about the buying of an ideology or a premise, but not necessarily the buying into a religion. Additionally, the scholar adds that people join terrorism for different reasons. Therefore, making the assumption that only the Sunni Muslims are responsible for terrorism is a poor strategy.

Objectives the UAE should set to confront Daeesh in Iraq and Syria

The UAE needs to focus on diplomatic relations to fight the Daeesh in Iraq and Syria. These relations should also include links with the local government. It is true that some local government officials have had to seek asylum due to fear, but the UAE should still consult them on how to best deal with the terrorists.

Additionally, the UAE should push the UN to help with ending the civil war in Syria. This falls under strategy in the Deibel model. Indeed, this civil war can put Syria into the hands of terrorists, which will not be good for both Syria and the UAE. The UN can force interested parties to help stop the civil war in Syria. Many scholars have argued that the civil war has dragged, and no support is being provided because it benefits some influential world leaders.

The UAE also needs to forge coalitions and border agreements with all the countries it borders. This is more of a precaution just to make sure that the borders are not breached. According to Alani (2008), containment is the easiest, fastest, and most efficient way of dealing with terror. The scholar argues that the containment of the problem to a particular area makes it easier to handle. Also, identification of the common area will help the forces to know the push and pull factors for people who want to join such terror groups.

How elements of national power should be coordinated domestically and internationally

Niu (2013) defines national power as the resources used by a nation in the pursuit of national goals. In this case, it is the resources that are used in trying to eliminate the threat posed by Daeesh. In the case of the UAE, national power is a bit complicated because it is being used to fight in other countries. Many would argue that the UAE should preserve its national power to fight the Daeesh if they enter the country or protect the country’s borders, but not to help other countries fight the Daeesh. However, as Yordan (2009) explains, the UAE has to coordinate national power domestically and internationally to be secured from the terrorists.

The importance of helping Iraq and Syria fight the Daeesh and other terror groups cannot be overstated. The UAE has to ensure that enough resources are allocated in the fight against terrorism in Syria and Iraq in an attempt to ensure that the terrorists do not get closer to the UAE borders. At the same time, the UAE should have enough resources to fight any terrorist activities that might bloom inside the country.

It suffices to mention that the UAE can also coordinate elements of national power domestically and internationally by showing accountability amongst its people. Issues between fighting terror domestically and internationally arise when the public believes that the government is swindling money. Accountability and transparency can avoid this situation.

How my recommendation differs from current practice

My first recommendation is to forego military action and focus more on containment and prevention. It is impractical to argue that governments will kill all terrorists and make Syria and Iraq safe. The current practice is the adding of boots on the ground. This strategy aims to instill fear in the terrorists by adding more soldiers to the affected areas. There are several problems with this strategy. The first is that more soldiers will lead to more social issues. Soldiers have been known to terrorize not only the terrorists but also the public. The curfews installed make it difficult for the public to go on with their daily lives, which affects the economy.

My recommendation is more practical as it will limit the terrorists to a particular area, thereby making it difficult for them to interact with the public and recruit more people. After containment, governments and all the interested parties should focus on prevention. The containment process will allow governments to know some crucial facts about the terrorists. They will be able to understand the communities they most identify with, and why. In the same vein, during prevention, the governments and interested parties will know the push and pull factors to consider. They will then be able to equip youth that are most likely to be radicalized with the necessary information and skills to avoid such a possibility.

Indeed, there are other strategies that can be used alongside the recommended one. My recommendation does not rule out the boots on the ground concept, but they should be kept to a minimum. The soldiers should be used to ensure that security prevails.


In conclusion, the fight against terrorism is not an easy one. However, it can be won using diplomacy and the right strategies. Over the years, developed countries like the US have used military force to push out extremists. However, this plan has not been working, and the terrorist groups have only been getting bigger and more pronounced in their terror and agenda. Several countries, including the UAE, have come up and given a helping hand to countries that have been hit by terrorism. The UAE needs to adopt containment and prevention to fight the Daeesh and other terrorist groups that may interfere with peace and stability in the country.

Reference List

Alani, M 2008, ‘The Gulf NW and WMD free zone: A track II initiative’, International Relations, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 358-362. Web.

al Otaiba, Y 2014, ‘The moderate Middle East must act’, Wall Street Journal – Eastern Edition, vol. 264, no. 60, p. A13. Web.

Henne, PS 2014, Religion and Counterterrorism: What explains the difference in counterterrorism policies between Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates?, APSA 2014 Annual Meeting Paper. Web.

Niu, S 2013, ‘The strategic partnership between South Korea and the United Arab Emirates’, Security Strategies Journal, vol. 9, no. 17, pp. 23-48. Web.

Yordan, CL 2008, Enacting counter terrorism financing laws in the UAE and Bahrain: The fusion of global pressures, regional dynamics, and local interests, Mediterranean Programme, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute Workshop No. 6, Florence, Montecatini Terme, March 12-15, 2008. Web.

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IvyPanda. "The UAE National Power against Daeesh in Iraq and Syria." May 15, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-uae-national-power-against-daeesh-in-iraq-and-syria/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "The UAE National Power against Daeesh in Iraq and Syria." May 15, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-uae-national-power-against-daeesh-in-iraq-and-syria/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'The UAE National Power against Daeesh in Iraq and Syria'. 15 May.

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