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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Qatar needs to stop 'playing a double game and' funding Islamists: Dennis Ross.

Qatar needs to stop 'playing a double game and' funding Islamists: Dennis Ross. (usatoday).

President Trump is looking anew at American allies and partners. While saying he will preserve these relationships, he wants them to pay their fair share and uphold their side of the relationship. Whether it is South Korea or Saudi Arabia, they are subject to his calls for them to contribute more and defray our costs in deploying forces to defend them. Burden-sharing is not a new concept, but he is placing a premium on it.

It is an important measure, and it should be given greater weight, but it must also be kept in perspective. Consider that one country that would do well on this measure is Qatar. Qatar permitted us to build and operate a massive air base, al-Udeid, and has helped meet the costs of operation. From al-Udeid, the U.S. conducts all coalition air operations for the entire region — from Afghanistan to Syria. It is a critical base for protecting our national security interests in the Middle East, and viewed from this perspective alone, one might judge Qatar to be an American ally.

However, allies at a minimum share our interests, support our basic policies, and see common enemies. They don’t give support, especially material support, to those who threaten our interests and the interests and well-being of our friends and partners. By this measure, Qatar is most definitely not an ally. Few countries have done more to promote the Muslim Brotherhood, including its Palestinian offshoot Hamas, than Qatar.

The mindset and beliefs of the Brotherhood-affiliated preacher, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who resides in Qatar and conveys his views on a weekly show on the network Al Jazeera. Qaradawi, who is anti-American and considers all attacks against Israeli civilians to be legitimate, is especially pernicious because his weekly guidance on how to live as a good Muslim has produced a large following in the region. Qatar can only have it both ways so long as we permit it.Read the full story here.

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