The biannual five-day International Defense Exhibition and Naval Defense Exhibition (IDEX and NAVDEX 2021), which features more than 900 exhibitors from 59 nations with 35 national pavilions, kicked off this week. But there was one notable absence. 

The United States had no high-level official delegation at the big Abu Dhabi defense show, which it has traditionally attended with American officials from U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). 

In a piece by Breaking Defense, event organizers, who asked not to be identified, noted the lack of U.S. participation.

“The U.S. delegations used to be the biggest of all delegations that showed up at IDEX, which is hosted by one of the most important clients to the U.S. defense industry,” one official said.