International Relations

The UAE has withdrawn from the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)

The UAE has announced its resignation from the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a maritime alliance tasked with securing Gulf waterways vital to global oil traffic.

What exactly is the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)?

ObjectivePromoting security, stability, and prosperity across maritime regions
Member NationsOver 30 member nations
Primary Task ForcesCombined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151), Combined Task Force 152 (CTF 152)
OperationsCounter-terrorism, counter-piracy, maritime security, and cooperation
CollaborationsUnited Nations, European Union, NATO, and regional partners
ContributionsNaval assets including warships, aircraft, and maritime patrol vessels
Focus AreasArabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf, and surrounding areas

The reasons behind the UAE’s withdrawal

  • In the official statement, the UAE did not give any specific reasons for its withdrawal from the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).
  • One possible factor is a desire to separate themselves from perceived reliance or entanglements with the United States.
  • This could be part of the UAE’s larger effort to exert its regional dominance, pursue autonomous foreign policy, or rebalance its relationships with China and Iran.

Recent occurrences and tensions in the Gulf of Mexico

  • Iran captured two tankers in late April and early May, one of which was empty and cruising between the UAE ports of Dubai and Fujairah.
  • Iran was also accused of carrying out a drone strike on an Israeli-owned tanker in November 2022, further aggravating relations with the US.
  • In reaction to increased Iranian harassment, the United States announced the deployment of forces to the Gulf, a critical conduit for a substantial amount of the world’s sea-borne oil.
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