Behind the smiles, Qatar’s ruler is an enemy of the United States

The emir of the Gulf state of Qatar is in the United States this week, meeting President Trump and signing huge business deals.

Behind the smiles, handshakes, and multibillion-dollar deal-signing in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Emir Tamim bin Hamad al Thani is an enemy of the United States.

Tamim has played a good game keeping its friends close and its enemies closer – and the US is not its friend. Qatar hosts an important military base for the United States, leading many to consider the regime an ally. Meanwhile, Qatar alone remains a state sponsor of global jihadist subversion, extremism, and terrorism – including those who target Americans. Qatar is growing closer to the Islamist regime of Iran.

Ideology requires constant war against ‘infidels’

Qatar’s conduct is logical when considering the regime’s Wahhabist ideology, a fundamentalist form of Sunni Islam unique to the Arabian Peninsula which demands total warfare against “infidels” while working with those same enemies in order to build, maintain, and increase its wealth.

The Saudi Arabian kingdom is also Wahabbist, but a rival form. In recent years, Saudi Arabia, under new leadership, has moved away from its state sponsorship of jihadist subversion, extremism, and terrorism after decades of playing off the US and its allies against other jihadists.

The Saudis, neighboring Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt consider the tiny but super-wealthy Qatar under Tamim as a mortal enemy and as one of the greatest dangers to their interests. They severed diplomatic relations with Doha in 2017.

Qatar has prevented the United States from taking action against it by hosting the vital Al-Udeid military base that is critical to CENTCOM and USSOCOM. Qatar has also joined the US and other coalition partners on joint offensive military combat operations when circumstances suit it.

The Qatari government has been adept at maintaining a paid cadre of surrogates, advocates, and agents of influence in Washington, DC, employing public relations shops, law firms, political operatives, and policy groups with millions of dollars per year in funding. It targeted American Jews to improve its image, and has hired agents close to President Trump. It dangled huge business deals with Boeing, Chevron, General Electric, Gulfstream, Raytheon, and others, in effect to bribe or buy the US into taking no action against its support for subversion and terrorism.

Key points about Qatar

About J. Michael Waller

J. Michael Waller is Vice President for Government Affairs at the Center for Security Policy. His areas of concentration are propaganda, political warfare, psychological warfare, and subversion.

Dr. Waller is the former Walter and Leonore Annenberg Professor of International Communication at the Institute of World Politics, a graduate school in Washington, DC.

A former instructor with the Naval Postgraduate School, he is an instructor/lecturer at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg.

He is a founding editorial board member of NATO’s  Defence Strategic Communications journal.

He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the George Washington University, was the first John M. Olin Fellow at the Center for Defense Journalism at Boston University, where he received his Master’s in international relations and communication; and holds a PhD in international security affairs from Boston University, where he was an Earhart Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology, and Policy under Professor Uri Ra’anan.

An adaptation of his doctoral dissertation was published as Secret Empire: The KGB In Russia Today (Westview, 1994), in which he warned of the rise of a KGB-gangster state in Russia and predicted the rise of a KGB officer to control Russia.