The UAE`s growing capabilities give it an alternative to reliance on U.S. military support. Obama administration officials sought to reassure GCC countries that the JCPOA has not reduced the U.S. commitment to Security in the Gulf. In a joint statement issued after the Camp David meeting in 2015, a new strategic partnership between the United States and the GCC was announced and reaffirmed that U.S. policy was to use all elements of U.S. national power to deter and combat external aggression „against our allies and partners.“ „In an appendix to the declaration, it is stated that the United States will strengthen security cooperation with GCC countries as follows: (1) facilitate arms transfers from the United States to GCC countries; (2) strengthen cooperation between the United States and the GCC on maritime security, cybersecurity and counter-terrorism; (3) the organization of large-scale additional joint military exercises and training in the United States; and (4) a new commitment to a concept of ballistic missile defence in the Gulf that the United States has sought to promote in recent years. `45` A fact sheet released by the government at the U.S. and GCC summits in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on April 21, 2016, indicated that these measures had already been implemented and that additional measures had been agreed, including U.S. and GCC military exercises (March 2017) and GCC special forces training in the United States.
`46` UAE officials say they have been further reassured by statements by President Donald Trump, including during his visit to Saudi Arabia in late May 2017, that Iran is a major threat that must be countered. To address the labour shortage, the United Arab Emirates has taken measures including the establishment of a reserve force, military training and the employment of private security companies. Like other GCC countries, the UAE`s armed forces have a considerable number of expatriates serving in their ranks, including countries such as Pakistan. The UAE confirmed in May 2011 that it had retained the U.S. private firm Reflex Responses to provide „operational, planning, and training support“ to the UAE military. This follows a New York Times report that the United Arab Emirates commissioned the company of Eric Prince, who founded Blackwater`s security contractor, with a $529 million contract to build a foreign battalion to defend the United Arab Emirates from internal revolts or related threats.