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Monday, May 10, 2021

Qatar’s status as ‘most peaceful nation’ at risk

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qatar flag!

Qatar is still the most peaceful country in the Middle East, but a new report has asserted that the nation’s “frequent” diplomatic squabbles is putting its ranking in danger.

The 2014 Global Peace Index ranked Qatar 22nd out of 162 states worldwide based on the country’s safety and security, domestic and international conflicts as well as the degree of militarization.

That’s down three spots from last year, and a drop from the 12th-place spot Qatar held in 2011 and 2012.

The Institute for Economics and Peace, which prepares the annual study, asserted that Qatar is likely to slide further down the rankings, saying it is among 10 countries that are most likely to see deterioration in peace over the next two years.

It’s the only high-income nation on that uneviable list, which generally encompasses countries with social factors and institutions that are unable to absorb a potential shock.

Behind the numbers

Qatar’s high ranking in recent years is due largely to its domestic stability, specifically the lack of violent demonstrations and violent crime, among other factors.

Global Peace Index 2014

The country received good marks across many of the 22 indicators used to compile its score, including homicides, terrorist activity and involvement in external conflicts.

However, it fared poorly for its large volume of imported arms and recently strained relations with neighbors.

Earlier this year, Qatar was embroiled in a spat with the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia that, while officially resolved, has contributed to those countries keeping their ambassadors out of Doha.

According to the report:

“This has led Qatar to a point of isolation in a region torn by rivalries. Difficulty in developing peaceful relations with regional powers is among the greatest threats facing the country at present … (and) could undermine Qatar’s efforts to become a regional financial and business hub.”

Peace Index 2014

The report also highlighted Qatar’s tensions with Egypt, fueled by the Gulf state’s support for the ousted Muslim Brotherhood regime and Al Jazeera’s coverage.

It doesn’t mention the conflicts in Syria or Iraq, where Qatar’s involvement continues to be highlighted by analysts.

Qatar also receives special mention as a country with a high peace ranking that is ruled by an authoritarian regime. In contrast, most other nations at the top of the list have democratic governments.

The main explanation for the political stability, according to the report’s authors, is the royal family’s commitment to providing Qataris with a high standard of living.

Another factor leading to the relative stability is the government’s low tolerance for dissent from Qataris – as indicated by the 15-year prison sentence to poet Mohammed Rashid al-Ajami – as well as from expats:

“An abundance of cheap labour in developing countries means that the Qatari government can easily replace domestic foreign labour, should labourers protest their working conditions in public.”

Regional rankings

The six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council were all among the nine most peaceful countries in the Middle East and North Africa, which as a whole ranked poorly in large part due to conflicts stemming from the Arab Spring, as well as violence in Syria, Iraq and Egypt.

Still, there were considerable gaps within the respective positions of GCC countries: (2013 ranking in parentheses):

  • #22 – Qatar (19)
  • #37 – Kuwait (37)
  • #40 – UAE (36)
  • #59 – Oman (45)
  • #80 – Saudi Arabia (97)
  • #111 – Bahrain (95)

While no analysis of the Gulf countries was provided, the diplomatic spats that negatively affected Qatar’s score also brought down some of its GCC neighbors.

Furthermore, a recent Deloitte study highlighted the large defense budgets of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman and Kuwait – a factor that could weigh against a country’s score.

Overall, the global peace index declined for the sixth year in a row. Among individual countries, Iceland once again topped the rankings with Denmark, Austria, New Zealand and Switzerland rounding out the top five.

At the other end of the scale, Syria was ranked the least-peaceful country in the world, followed by Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq and Somalia.

Here’s the full report:

Thoughts?

27 COMMENTS

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Ms. Hala
6 years ago

Surprised Palestine and Israel aren’t at the bottom of that list.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

I guess accepting 5 Taliban members of which two are implicated in the mass murder of muslims in Afghanistan in the 1990s does help on the peace index.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Well they have already an American military base here so it can’t get any worse.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Yep, 10,000 soldiers and enough hardware to blow most of Iran’s military to pieces is hardly a peace camp….. however it does stop Saudi and Iran attacking Qatar.

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Would you prefer a Saudi base perhaps? If Qatar doesn’t like the base, the leadership can always instruct that it close. That hasn’t been done, so the people of Qatar must be quite happy to have it there.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago

I don’t know. I have not seen too much (any) protesting in the streets in the few years I have been here. I don’t believe that it goes down well with the powers that be.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago

I do not prefer a Saudi camp, but I do not think having 5 Talibans in semi-captivity here is likely to threaten peace in Qatar, as suggested by @mimh:disqus
🙂

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Agreed with you on that. Neither do I see the American base as threatening Qatar’s peace, but rather securing it. Clearly the Qataris must feel much the same, or else they would have ordered it gone long ago rather than renewing the lease.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Stops Saudi having any grand plans….

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

I wonder if it does though. The Saudis are happy enough to run with the US on many things so I wonder if the Saudis called Obama and said “Barack mate, (or the Arab equiv.), we have decided that we need more space in the north but don’t worry, you can double the base size when its over” what would be said.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

Interesting point…I’ll start packing.

Myrddin
Myrddin
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

All Western Forces booted out of Saudi – the bridge is on fire if, not actually burned?

US will side with Qatar!

KSA has all the latest kit, but no idea how to use it – it’s all photo opportunity regalia.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Myrddin

??

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

If the Saudis rolled in I have no doubt the US would not lift a finger so long as they pledged to honor the based agreement and the oil contracts. Everyone else could be thrown under a bus. Just look at Bahrain.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Did I mention that I would prefer to hang out with Americans than Taliban?

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

Indeed, the Americans are pretty sucky neighbours, except for, well, 70% the rest of the choices.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

This is racism. I hang out with good people irrespective of their color, nationality, ethnicity or tribal origins. 🙂

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

You go and find the biggest hilltop you can and wave that racism flag all day long if you like.

Good people. – Wow – that takes some beating.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

You do realise that Americans have a very diverse racial mixture and the Taliban are not a race? However I would tend to agree with him, although I find Americans loud and annoying , 😉 hanging out with the Taliban would be worse. I have little in common with a bunch of murderous thugs driven by a religious fantascim that oppresses women and drags society back to the stone age.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Thank you.

Corbomite
Corbomite
6 years ago

Are crimes factored in on the report?

Guest
Guest
6 years ago
Reply to  Corbomite

yep.

Corbomite
Corbomite
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

Sorry but I’m a bit noob on the statistics. Does a higher score in each field indicate a negative or a positive?

greg
greg
6 years ago

among 10 countries that are most likely to see deterioration in peace over the next two years.?????

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago

Is that supposed to read unenviable list instead of uneviable? – It’s the only high-income nation on that uneviable list, which generally encompasses countries with social factors and institutions that are unable to absorb a potential shock.

Corbomite
Corbomite
6 years ago

“Qatar’s high ranking in recent years is due largely to its domestic stability, specifically the lack of violent demonstrations and violent crime, among other factors.”

-because demonstrations are not allowed and violent crimes are not exactly made public… just my two cents…

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