What Trump's Qatar Tweets Revealed

The limits of going it alone in the fight against terrorism

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Media Outlet: The Atlantic

Joshua Geltzer wrote for the Atlantic about President Trump's transactionalist approach to dealing with Qatar:

 It’s not entirely clear what prompted Qatar’s neighbors to turn on it so swiftly. Reports suggest frustration with its support for certain Islamist groups, and some point specifically to an apparent billion-dollar payment made by the Qataris to an al-Qaeda affiliate and Iran, allegedly to free members of the royal family who were captured on a hunting trip. There’s even the suggestion that Russian hackers deliberately manufactured the crisis by planting fake news with Qatar’s state news agency. All in all, it’s hard to know exactly how to evaluate the breach, and thus gauge the appropriate American response to it, without knowing precisely what prompted it.
Whatever the impetus, Trump’s all-in reaction is worrisome. My experience as a counterterrorism official in the Obama administration drove home the inescapable fact that the world of counterterrorism is rarely suitable for black-or-white, you’re-with-us-or-you’re-against-us treatments of our partners.


Joshua Geltzer is an ASU Future of War Fellow at New America. He is writing a book exploring challenges associated with modern communications technologies such as social media platforms, file-upload sites, and internet search engines.