UAE employs hundreds of retired US military soldiers and generals
Renowned former general James Mattis worked for the UAE government for several years, including before and after his tenure as US minister of defense
By News Desk - October 19 2022

UAE prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and US President Joe Biden (Photo Credit: The National News via Ali Haider/EPA)

An investigation by The Washington Post revealed that oil-rich UAE has employed hundreds of retired US military personnel as leading positions in its military, alongside thousands of foreign mercenaries who work under their command.

Documents acquired under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) indicated that the Pentagon has over the past few years received 280 requests from military retirees to be employed in the UAE.

However, hundreds of others, who have not sought federal permission for foreign jobs, are estimated to be working in the country.

According to law, only retired personnel are required to submit an application to the Department of Defense (DOD), as the government does not track the employment of those who served under 20 years.

The documents by the FOIA reveal that one-third of those employed are retired officers from the air force and army branches. And while the majority are experienced soldiers, the UAE also employed several retired generals and admirals.

The Washington Post reported that the contractors serve as strategic consultants to Emirati leaders, maintain the country’s aircraft fleet, and operate UAVs.

Additionally, they operate missile defense systems, train the UAE army in artillery, maintain and operate radars, and at the same time oversee cybersecurity operations and plan logistics.

Many of the US contractors are employed by UAE state-owned company, Edge Group, which reported $5 billion in annual revenue – almost a quarter of the country’s annual defense budget.

This was achieved by the efforts of Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, who has since 2010 assisted the UAE in recruiting hundreds of ex-soldiers from Latin America, and eventually the US.

One of the notable US employees is retired Marine Corps general and former minister of defense for the Trump administration, James Mattis.

Back in June 2015, Mattis first applied for federal authorization to be employed by the UAE as a “military advisor,” and after his resignation from his post as defense minister, he applied again in March 2019.

The retired general describes the UAE as a “Little Sparta” and has publicly worked to advance its interests in Washington DC, praising its troops as “equal brothers in arms to the US military, who knew how to fight.”

Similarly, retired lieutenant colonel Stephen Toumajan is currently employed by the UAE and has commanded its special operations aviation unit, before taking charge of the country’s Joint Aviation Command.

Today, Toumajan serves at the UAE National Search and Rescue Center.

Other notable contractors are retired two-star Army general, James Chambers, who served as the commanding officer of the US logistical effort in West Asia, and retired three-star Army general, William G. Webster Jr.

Moreover, the documents revealed that the UAE offers exorbitant salaries of close to half a million dollars per year, tax-free, even for the simplest of tasks.

Army colonel William Mooney was paid $480,000 annually for consultations, whereas a Navy SEAL Team 6 officer was paid $402,000 for managing a firing range.

It was with this Pentagon-sanctioned support that the UAE was able to fulfill its military aspirations in Yemen and Libya.

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