British Military Assistance to Help Establish Abu Dhabi's Air Force, 1967-1971: An Unusual Training, Advising, Assisting and Mentoring Mission

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    Abstract

    Britain has long provided military assistance to help develop and support the local armed forces of its dominions, colonies and other parts of its Empire. This was not done out of benevolence but as part of Britain's efforts to encourage its partners to be responsible for their own security. This article describes an unusual case of such assistance, which was provided to help establish Abu Dhabi's air force in the 1967-1971 period. The Abu Dhabi ruler's decision to only engage contract officers, rather than seconded officers, had a profound effect on the shape of the military assistance provided by Britain. Unlike most training, advising, assisting and mentoring missions, Britain provided no training nor mentoring, and only limited advice. Its greatest contribution was assistance with the recruitment for Abu Dhabi of both soon-to-retire and already retired British officers. These findings have relevance for current British doctrine on military assistance, notably in relation to the more effective use of contract officers.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)1-21
    Number of pages21
    JournalInternational Journal of Military History and Historiography
    Volume2
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2022

    Keywords

    • advise
    • assist and mentor missions
    • military assistance
    • security assistance
    • train
    • United Arab Emirates

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