Qatar's Dangerous Game: Switzerland of the Gulf, Patron of Islamists

The Doha skyline Photograph by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

Has Qatar overplayed its hand? The emirate, with 300,000 citizens who enjoy the highest per-capita GDP in the world, has a reputation as the Switzerland of the Persian Gulf: small, wealthy, and dogged about maintaining good relations with its quarrelsome neighbors. Qatar has strong ties with Iran, with which it shares a massive offshore gas field. It also hosts CENTCOM, the U.S. military’s central command in the Middle East. After the Oslo Accords in 1996, Qatar became the first Gulf state to establish trade ties with Israel.

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