ASSESSMENTS

Qatar Grapples With a U.S. That Needs It Less and Less

MIN READSep 15, 2021 | 21:23 GMT

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks with Qatari government officials before boarding an aircraft in Doha on Sept. 8, 2021.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks with Qatari government officials before boarding an aircraft in Doha on Sept. 8, 2021.

(OLIVIER DOULIERY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Qatar’s recent diplomatic maneuvers in Gaza and Afghanistan are designed to maintain close ties with the United States. But with Washington now working to reduce its presence in the Middle East, Qatar’s regional security will be anchored instead by how it manages its relationships with allies like Turkey, as well as rivals like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Qatar’s diplomats have been at the center of several regional crises. After playing a key role in securing the Hamas-Israel truce in May 2021, the Arab Gulf country has also been facilitating evacuations and negotiations with the Taliban following the recent collapse of the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan. These displays of Qatari soft power have been designed to both boost Doha’s regional role as a diplomatic facilitator and, more importantly, display the country’s value to the United States, its key strategic ally. ...

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