UAE is becoming a serious geopolitical player, says ex-British army chief

The emergence of the United Arab Emirates as an influential geopolitical player providing stability and security in the region is “good news”, said the former head of the British armed forces.

“It’s great that the UAE is starting to become a serious player in the geopolitical arena,” said Sir Nick Carter, Britain’s former chief of defense staff. Khaleej times in an interview ahead of the three-day Intersec to be held in Dubai from Sunday.

Having served in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Germany, Iraq, Kosovo, Sir Carter is renowned for his in-depth knowledge of the Middle East. After serving in the Balkans, he toured Iraq as a brigade commander in 2003-04 and repeated tours in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2013.

During his first assignment, he was responsible for the initial design of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams and the Afghan National Army. He commanded 55,000 NATO troops in Regional Command South during the Afghan ‘push’ and, on his last tour, led the transition process with former President Ashraf Ghani as the mission’s deputy commander. of NATO.

Sir Carter said the West’s dramatic withdrawal from Afghanistan and the collapse of the Afghan government was a “shock”.

“It was a huge surprise. I don’t think anyone could have predicted how it happened. At least from all the Taliban. I think most of us expected the Afghan government to be able to stay in power until spring when the next fighting season would have started. No, I can’t think of anyone who would have predicted that it would have fallen as quickly as August,” he said.

Sir Carter, who was the senior uniformed military adviser to the UK’s defense secretary and prime minister, noted that the Taliban must govern in an “inclusive” manner.

“The challenge of the Taliban is that they are not a homogeneous entity. And there are different factions within the Taliban. Therefore, they are going to find a modus operandi between these different factions so that they can govern Afghanistan effectively,” he said. “The challenge, of course, is that they don’t govern as inclusively as Afghans would like. governing or indeed how the international community would like them to govern”.

Sir Carter urged the world to engage with the Taliban as Afghans face starvation this winter.

“The international community must dialogue with the Taliban. He must not recognize the Taliban because, of course, they do not govern as we would like them to govern,” he said. “But we must engage because 90% of Afghans are at serious risk of a humanitarian crisis over this winter given the number of droughts the country has experienced over the past five years, given the severe winter, lack of food and of course the fact that the economy is collapsing .

Sir Carter stressed that Afghans need foreign aid to survive this crisis situation.

“Similarly, we need to engage with the Taliban to make sure they understand there are bottom lines and they need to govern much more inclusively.”

Asked about the frosty relations the West shares with Russia and China, and whether a Third World War is looming, Sir Carter said he had no such expectations.

“No, we’re not going to see World War III. Nobody wants to cause that. And indeed most of the competitors in this new era of global state-to-state competition that we’re seeing are frankly not trying to ‘encouraging a hot war to occur, they seek to achieve their goals short of a hot war.

Speaking publicly for the first time since retiring from the military, Sir Carter will share insights from his extraordinary 44-year military career at Intersec 2022, taking place at the Dubai World Trade Center from January 16-18.

“I will talk about the global strategic context and the evolving nature of politics, war and security. I’ll draw a few inferences from this, which I hope those attending the event will find useful.

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