On June 7, 2017, the Turkish National Grand Assembly voted to authorize the deployment of its troops in Qatar.

By virtue of an agreement signed in 2014, Turkey has built a military base which can host 3,000 men in Qatar. However, it has never been explained why Turkey envisaged deploying such troops in the Gulf, an area which is beyond Turkey’s current zone of influence.

Furthermore, Qatar is host to the most important US military base in the enlarged Middle East, the base at Udeid, which accommodates 10,000 men and the CentCom headquarters. It forms the pillar of the Carter Doctrine under which the United States views its hydrocarbon supply from the Persian Gulf as a matter of national security. However, for many years, the United States has stopped needing oil and gas from the Gulf because it has increased its own production and has seized the reserves of the Gulf of Mexico. From the start of the week, 10 States have broken diplomatic relations with Qatar. On 1 June 2017 (that is, after Donald Trump delivered his speech at Riyadh but before the diplomatic crisis), Dennis Ross (the former special envoy to Middle East of both President Bush and President Clinton), assured on Sky News that “he would not be surprised” if the Trump administration signalled to Qatar that it was getting ready to leave the Al-Udeid base. When questioned by Al-Jazeera, the Pentagon commented that from “a military point of view”, such a withdrawal has not been envisaged.

A total shake up of alliances in the Middle East is under way.

Translation
Anoosha Boralessa