2 thoughts on “Qatar: what is the endgame?”

  1. Patrick Theros

    An excellent and well-documented analysis by Alastair Newton. One can quibble on details but I have only one significant difference. I believe the assertion of a Russian hack to be a red herring, introduced perhaps by US sources, in order to give the UAE and the Kingdom an excuse to back out without losing face. The confluence of the hacking, the preplanned and beautifully choreographed Qatar-bashing conference by the the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a small neoconservative think tank (funded by Sheldon Adelson and according to hacked emails by the UAE Embassy in Washington), immediately followed by the proposal of legislation casting Qatar as a supporter of terrorism and preceded by three months of carefully placed anti-Qatari articles in the American press funded by JINSA, a right-wing pro-Israel group and FDD make the coincidence of Russian hacking a bridge way, way too far. Perhaps one of the protagonists hired a Russian group to do the actual hack but it could not have been an accident.

  2. An excellent and comprehensive piece, for which thank you.
    While not being a natural MbS defender, I do note that in 2008 – so under King Abdullah – the then Sa’udi Foreign Minister is reported to have proposed an intervention force against Hizballah in Lebanon (https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/08RIYADH768_a.html) The proposed format in the cable – using ‘cannon-fodder’ from the peripheral Arab States, and US logistics and intelligence support – is almost identical to the operation in Yemen, as is the belief in the simplicity and kinetic nature of the solution. (Given what was going on in Iraq at the time, that belief seems surprising.)
    The urge to mount high-risk interventions therefore seems to pre-date the current ruling line (although from memory the al-Faisal tended to align with the – now ruling – al-Sudairis, so this may be a factional policy.)

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