Pentagon Praises Qatar as US Tries to Stay Out of Split With Saudis

Tillerson Says Split Won't Effect ISIS War

The host of the largest US military base in the Middle East, Qatar is suddenly facing hostility from all of its neighbors in the GCC, centering around long-standing disputes about Qatar’s lack of hostility toward the Muslim Brotherhood and its state media not always towing the Saudi line on regional policy.

Still, the Pentagon really likes having that huge military base in Qatar,, and was eager to reiterate today how much they like Qatar and their “enduring commitment” to having a huge American base on their soil, saying that base will be fine amid this diplomatic row.

That huge base is a big part of the ISIS war, and some analysts are warning this could be a huge problem for the US war effort that Qatar is suddenly being vilified by its neighbors, suggesting Qatar’s lack of hostility toward Iran, another thing the Saudis are complaining about, might ultimately mean they’ll align with Iran.

That’s unrealistic, and the bigger problem is likely to be that the Saudis et al. might expect the US to go along with their attempts to isolate Qatar, and get really mad at the US when they ultimately don’t, because it would get in the way of the war.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson doubted this, however, insisting that the world remains united against terrorism and that this would be seriously changed by the sudden split with Qatar. Since the main US priorities in the region are keeping the war going and selling weapons to the Saudis, anything that doesn’t threaten either of those goals is likely to be ignored.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.