A new Reuters story, published by Ha’aretz in Israel, says the CIA does not spy on the United Arab Emirates, a key Middle Eastern ally that is pulling out of the U.S.-backed war in Yemen. If true, its a blind spot at a time when the region is on the brink of war and U.S. allies are turning on Washington in response to Israeli attacks.
And yet, in a highly unusual practice, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) does not spy on the UAE’s government, three former CIA officials familiar with the matter told Reuters, creating what some critics call a dangerous blind spot in U.S. intelligence. The CIA’s posture isn’t new. What’s changed is the nature of the tiny but influential OPEC nation’s intervention across the Middle East and Africa – fighting wars, running covert operations and using its financial clout to reshape regional politics in ways that often run counter to U.S. interests, according to the sources and foreign policy experts.