Qatar is now in the news and we Americans know so little about an important ally in our war with terrorists.
A quick refresher course for those who care enough to read…..
Source: The history of Qatar: From 1700s till now – Khaleej Times
Now for the story as of today……..
President Trump thrust himself into a bitter Persian Gulf dispute on Tuesday, claiming credit for Saudi Arabia’s move to isolate its smaller neighbor, Qatar, which is a major American military partner. – New York Times
For the tiny, oil rich nation of Qatar, Al Udeid Air Base, home to more than 10,000 U.S. service members, has long been something of an insurance policy. Now the Qataris, at odds with their neighbors and under fire from President Trump on Twitter, are anxiously waiting to see if that policy pays off. – Washington Post’s Checkpoint
US investigators believe Russian hackers breached Qatar’s state news agency and planted a fake news report that contributed to a crisis among the US’ closest Gulf allies, according to US officials briefed on the investigation. – CNN
President Trump sided with Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries Tuesday in a deepening diplomatic crisis with Qatar, casting a cloud over a $21.1 billion sale Boeing is counting on to keep open its F-15 production line. – Defense News
An outspoken Emirati ruling family member has raised the prospect of a change in leadership in Qatar, which is embroiled in a major diplomatic crisis with its Gulf neighbors. – Associated Press
Kimberly Dozier reports: Qatar’s brand new ambassador to Washington was already bewildered, along with much of the rest of his country, at dramatic moves by several Arab nations in the past 48 hours to cut diplomatic and trade ties with the tiny Gulf nation. The hate tweets by Donald Trump only made things worse. – The Daily Beast
Editorial: If successful in this showdown, the Middle East’s most reactionary rulers will have taken another step toward shutting down domestic political alternatives, whether moderate Islamists or liberal democrats, and blocking the rapprochement with Iran that ultimately will be needed to end the region’s wars. Worst, they will have succeeded with the help of a U.S. president who seems not to comprehend American interests, nor how he is damaging them. – Washington Post
Just what are the motivations behind these attacks on Qatar…..
Shortly after the heavy guns of the Emirati and Saudi-controlled media fired their salvo at Qatar, their Gulf neighbour lay in a smouldering ruin, unable to host anyone or anything, let alone a World Cup. At least, that was how they fondly imagined it.
The claims were hysterically inflated: Qatar funded all the terrorists; Qatar could not be allowed to “sabotage the region”; Qatar must choose sides over Iran. Finally, the emir of Qatar was reminded of the fate of Mohamed Morsi.
Source: Three potential motives behind the tension between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours | Middle East Eye
This split is something that could be a game changer in the Middle East…….
The move by several Arab states to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday seemed to catch the world by surprise, but it had been in the works for some time, as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, among others, had grown fed up with the meddling of the tiny Gulf state.
Accusing the Qatari government of supporting militant groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, the nations — which include Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen — were emboldened by Donald Trump’s call during his visit to the region two weeks ago to “drive out the extremists.”
Source: Why the sudden split in Middle East relationships? Look to Iran and Sunni vs. Shia – World – CBC News
Lines are being drawn in this situation…..Turkey has weighed in……
Turkish parliament is expected to push through a draft bill to allow troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in the Gulf state of Qatar as tensions between Doha and other Arab states escalate.
Lawmakers from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP party proposed on Wednesday to discuss two bills that would let troops be deployed to Qatar and green light a deal between the two close allies on military training, officials toldReuters.
Source: Turkey parliament to push through troop deployment to Qatar
This situation is fascinating to IR geeks like myself.
Why does this smell like something that will not end well for the US?
Update: News as I was finishing up my post…..
With all diplomatic ties between Qatar and most of its fellow GCC members now severed in an ideological row with Saudi Arabia, the Saudi kingdom has publicly issued an ultimatum, giving Qatar just 24 hours to give in to a litany of major demands, with speculation that they would face immediate military invasion if they don’t submit by then.
Not a good sign……keep in mind 2 years ago the Saudis decided to bomb Yemen into the Dark Ages……will they do it again?