During last week’s ever-worsening diplomatic crisis surrounding Qatar, President Trump eagerly jumped on board the Saudi move against the tiny nation, taking personal credit for the diplomatic split and later accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism at “high levels.”
This week, however, with that crisis nowhere near resolved, President Trump signed off on a $12 billion arms sale, selling a large number of F-15 fighter jets to Qatar, which Qatari officials say shows that irrespective of Trump’s comments they retain “deep US support.”
That is certainly the way it’s going to be seen across the region, though it’s puzzling that President Trump has kept up his anti-Qatar narrative while making such a massive arms deal, suggesting he’s insincere about the accusations, or just plain doesn’t care so long as Qatar’s check clears.
It must be pointed out that the $110 billion Saudi arms deal faced many of the same questions, as Trump had been accusing them of being a major supporter of terrorism, then casually signed the largest arms deal in US history. Clearly, being accused of supporting terror by President Trump doesn’t mean much in the long run, or even in the very short run.