Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies have given Qatar until Monday to comply with a list of demands that are unreasonable at best. So where does it go from here?
- By Ben PaukerBen Pauker is executive editor, online, at Foreign Policy. Ben came to FP in May 2010 from World Policy Journal, where he was managing editor from 2007 to 2010. A native of New York, he grew up in Brazil, Australia, and Thailand and has written for Harper’s, the Economist, and the Chicago Tribune, among other publications. He is the co-founder of the Gastronauts, the world’s largest adventurous-eating club, and, in the course of reporting but mainly to see if it was possible, has smuggled small arms out of Central Africa.
On this week’s second episode of The E.R., FP’s executive editor for the web Ben Pauker is joined by the Council on Foreign Relations’ Steven Cook, the Washington Institute’s Simon Henderson, and FP columnist Beth Dickinson. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (joined by a handful of partners, including Egypt) announced a blockade of Qatar in early June with little warning, catching the international community off guard.
It seemed a sudden and dramatic escalation of regional tensions. And the move has drastic implications for the United States, which has strong military and commercial ties in Qatar. The Saudis and their allies say Qatar has provided financial and material support for the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran, and other proponents of regional instability. But is it as simple as that? Should we have seen it coming? The panel discusses the historical context of the conflict and debates what it means for the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Steven A. Cook is the Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of the new book, “False Dawn: Protest, Democracy, and Violence in the New Middle East.” Follow him on Twitter: @stevenacook.
Tune in, now twice a week, to FP’s The E.R.