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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Is Qatar’s bold stance on Libya putting us in danger?

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Qatar was the first Arab country to send fighter jets to Libya and to recognize the rebels as the legitimate government of Libya*.

Its intense efforts in Col. Moammer Gaddafi’s country has been lauded, analyzed, criticized and analyzed again.

But few people have brought up, or perhaps whispered, the possibility of retaliation.

In a post this week, the Gulf blog’s David Roberts takes a stab at the subject.

He starts out by saying Qatar may be a tiny nation, and thus not the strongest player in world politics, but its size also gives it the ability to move quickly.

He continues:

I am flying on Qatar airways tonight back to London. Gaddafi is a despicable man with a lot money, a loose grasp of reality, a clear history of stoking terrorism and, I would suggest, a burning hatred of Qatar. One need not be a professional risk analyst to note that the risk of an attack on Qatar Airways has, therefore, elevated in recent weeks.

So did the Qatari elite take this into account in their decisions? Did they appreciate the potential retaliation that Gaddafi could inflict?

…Or perhaps the key corollary of this is was any risk analysis done in the wake of Qatar’s interactions in Libya? Did anyone below the elite level dare suggest that such a step was necessary?

Or were/are people aware of the need for an analysis or extra security at, say, Doha International Airport but afraid to suggest this fearing that this might be construed as someone questioning the decisions of the elite?

..At the level of something like Qatar Airways I am sure that there are/must be weekly risk assessments et al in place to provide for such situations. After all, not to have such practices (or something similar) would be criminally stupid…no? Yet what about other Qatari targets: embassies around the world; soft targets here in Doha; ships paddling their way hither and thither?

Read his full post here

And tell us what you think! Should Qatar be concerned about attacks from a vengeful leader? Or is this giving said leader and his followers too much credit?

*Corrected statement. Previously incorrectly stated that Qatar was the first country in the world to recognize the rebels. Thanks @adamsemir!

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