Let me first preface what I am going to say with the summary that I am generally against U.S. port operations having anything to do with other government owned companies...period.
Having said that, there are a lot of details here that are being left out and I think to have a true discussion about it, one needs all the facts, (Not just the hand picked ones about the UEA) to have a logical discussion.
First of all the port operations of the 6 U.S. posts in question are currently operated by a British company and have been for many years. So foreign operation of U.S. ports is not a new thing as some in the media would like us to believe.
Secondly, the only reason why the UAE is in the picture is that a UAE gov't run company (in the independant state of Dubai) is buying out the British company mentioned above. It is a British business transaction that is causing this change over. 6 U.S. ports are thus affected. It is not like all of a sudden we are inviting this UAE company to conduct U.S. port operations. On the contrary...a Dubai company (of which Dubai is an independant state in the UAE) is buying a British company and assuming all of their assets and contractual obligations...the same British company that currently runs the operations of 6 U.S. sea ports. In that context, it really is a lot less "sinister" than people are trying to make it out to be.
Thirdly, the Dubai company is not and will never be in charge of security. They are in charge of the day to day port operations. The U.S. and its various resources are always in charge of security at the ports just like they are now...nothing changes from what is happening now in that regard.
Four...the UAE is actually one of our best allies behind the scenes in the "war on terror." We have military bases there. They give us a LOT in intelligence. They are very westerized and have pro democratic ideals. Of all of the arab states in that region of the world...the UAE is one of the ones who is officially on "our side" of what is going on...for the most part anyway. Would it be a good thing to piss off the UAE and not allow this to happen when they are one of our strong allies in the region? Maybe...maybe not. I don't know the answer to that. But it deserves some more thought.
All of the points Ern brought up are valid though. One that sticks out to me more than the others believe it or not is their recognition of the Taliban and their lack of recognition of Isreal.
In general, I think that no foreign companies should be running port operations, British, UAE...or Canadian even. I think it is something we should leave for a U.S. company. Even though these foreign companies are not in charge of security, they are entitled to have access to the port vulnerability assessments that the gov't has conducted on the ports. And that is the information that is (in my mind) just too valuable to entrust to anyone outside of the U.S. Heck...I am sure even a corrupt individual from a trusted NATO ally can even be bought to hand over that info to terrorists for the right price.
The only problem being, there is basically no U.S. company that can do it at the competent level it needs to be done at and I don't think gov't run ports would be the solution either. That's all we need...more beurocracy to scew up port operations even more. The best companies to do this efficiently are all foreign owned. So where does that leave us?
With a lot more to think about...that's where.