Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Keep an eye on developments in Qatar


The current crisis in and over Qatar has serious implications for the entire Middle East.  If you haven't been following it, see these articles for an overview:

Larry Lambert, a former SEAL who has extensive experience with many of the 'players' in the region, has posted two blog articles providing interesting background information:

The crisis there has a direct bearing on the USA's 'War on Terror' - we have a large military base in Qatar, of which Wikipedia reports:

The Al Udeid Air Base now serves as a logistics, command, and basing hub for U.S. operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nearby Camp As Sayliyah houses significant U.S. military equipment pre-positioning and command and control facilities for the CENTCOM's area of operations. Both Qatar and the United States have invested in the construction and expansion of these facilities since the mid-1990s, and they form the main hub of the CENTCOM air and ground logistical network in the area of responsibility. As a result of ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. and partner nation facilities in Qatar and elsewhere have received higher use in recent years and may require further investment to meet current and potential future needs.

There's more at the link.

Basically, Qatar has been supporting radical Islamic movements and allying itself with Iran, despite being an Arab and Sunni state.  The other Arab states in the Persian Gulf are now shutting down access to it, barring food and other imports from and through their territory to Qatar, and blocking its aircraft from using their airspace.  In so many words, they're giving Qatar an ultimatum:  abandon its support for Iran and radical Islamist movements, or be ostracized by its peer nations.

If Qatar submits, all well and good - but Iran can be expected to move swiftly to make up for the problems caused by the Arab states.  If it succeeds, and if the Emir of Qatar stands firm, there may come into being a more radical than ever Islamic axis of terror in the Persian Gulf.  That would threaten the USA's primary military base in the region, and therefore also affect its operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The ripple effects could be very far-reaching indeed.

Peter

5 comments:

August said...

It is much more pathetic than that. They are using Qatar as a scapegoat, hoping Trump will see this as a move against funding terrorism, even though Qatar isn't any different than the rest of them.

HMS Defiant said...

I remember as a naval officer in Bahrain that the US Mil Attache in Qatar was an Air Force LtCol, promoted while I was there. He used to routinely deny country clearance to muckity mucks who wanted to visit our POMCUS site in Qatar. He was unique. The only man I knew who routinely told visiting dignataries of State and DOD to f off. His messages made it clear, it was him and a captain of Army and they were stretched to the limit.

We parked an entire Brigade Combat set of equipment plus another there for future use if the middle east proved 'frisky' again.

For some reason, the ruling family remind me very much of Al Qaboos et al in Oman. I'm still surprised that the kingdom slammed the land frontier closed. It's not like them. They make a great saga about how they are all arab brothers.

Borepatch said...

The Saudis don't want Qatar to give up Islamist support, just not align with Iranian Islamists.

Dwan Seicheine said...

Read this:

http://acecomments.mu.nu/?post=370093

Dwan Seicheine said...

The Qatar "Crisis"

I asked an informed source about this "crisis" that seems to have recently erupted without warning. This is what I learned:

First of all, though there's some recent news which seems to be sparking this -- leaked documents showing cooperation between the UAE and Israel, leaked documents showing Qatar cozying up to Russia -- in fact, those are just shots being fired in an information operation war that has been going on for years. Those are not the cause of the tensions, just the recent signs that the Gulf States are no longer willing to paper over its problems with Qatar.


This is from here:

http://ace.mu.nu/

Although states like Saudi Arabia are frequently charged with inciting terrorism or permitting their citizens to fund terrorism, they are, at least officially, anti-terrorist-uprising/anti-Islamist-takeover, if only for reasons of self-preservation. States that align against destablilization by Islamists are Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait.

And Egypt, which was briefly given to the Islamists, gift-wrapped by Barack Obama.

Also Jordan, a fairly friendly country, and also, kind of secretly, Israel. The Gulf States do not openly brag about their cooperation with Israel, and Israel keeps it quiet so as not to embarrass them, but Israel is a quiet secret partner against the Islamists.

Meanwhile, there's a pro-Islamist slate of powers in the region: the once secular, now Islamist Turkey, the Mohammad Brotherhood (not an official power, but can't say Obama didn't try), and... Qatar, which openly supports Islamist movements itself, and propagandizes for them through its Al Jazeera network.

Meanwhile, not only is Qatar funding and fueling Sunni Islamist movements, but they're also cozying up to Obama's favorite country Iran, against which most of the Sunni Muslim world is allied.

Recently members of the Qatar royal family were kidnapped while in Iran, likely by Iranian agents or Iran-supported groups, and Qatar paid more than $700 million in ransom to have them back. This money is now in the hands of Iran and its various terror sects.

So the other members of the non-openly-Islamist-supporting coalition have demanded that Qatar announce it is one one side of the line or the other -- with the Islamist terrorists and Iran, or with the other Sunni Arab states -- and stop funding the terrorist-friendly Al Jazeera. Several countries have shut Al Jazeera's local offices down as part of this effort.

One more thing: We have an airbase in Qatar, and some claim that this is a major complicating factor. However, I'm told the UAE actually would like to host a US airbase, so if we were to isolate Qatar (and cause them to demand we depart their nation), it would be a temporary problem rather than a long-term strategic loss.

Also, expect the elements of the Iran Echo Chamber to begin pumping out pro-Qatar propaganda. Qatar is looking to have leftwing "think tanks" provide the same support that Iran got under Obama, and have just agreed to pump millions of dollars into the leftwing Brookings Institute.

Can a leftwing "institute" be corrupted by foreign terror 'n oil money? Only time will tell.

But the answer is Yes.