Column: Negotiation is key for Qatar’s future

Posted on Jun 22 2017 - 8:07am by Woody Dobson

The Middle East is a controversial place for some. Most untapped resources and commodities like oil and natural gas originate here, causing a scramble for highvalued resources, regardless of the outcome.

This makes self-reliance and trade a common theme, but nations’ around the Middle East have become extremely powerful and sometimes greedy. The nation of Qatar is at the height of this controversy.

Some might ask, “Why is Qatar surrounded in controversy and what’s the importance?” It’s very simple, as I will explain from a young left liberal perspective.

Qatar in recent years, has been a tremendous help with fighting radical groups and accompanying the U.S. on its mission to eradicate ISIS/ISIL. But the neighboring nationstate of Saudi Arabia has imposed harsh implications on Qatar, in regards to the sovereign state possibly funding ISIS/ISIL groups.

Knowing this, Qatar’s multiple allies gradually severed ties and induced sanctions on the state, crippling diplomatic negotiations with just about anyone the country tries to reach for help. This is an economic crisis zone and help is a priority for the country. Who would want this kind of fate for Qatar, yet alone anyone for that matter?

Some see Qatar in a different light.

American conservatives see Qatar as an escalating crisis that’s none of the U.S.’s concern and must be handled mostly by the Middle East. This reasoning focuses on past war in the area with ISIS, and simply put, it’s time to stop interfering. This powerful right stance brings an important question. Should the U.S. let Qatar be responsible for itself, entirely?

Qatar is a major concern to international security due to economic sanctions from local-area abandonment. But Qatar can’t militarily defend itself to their larger neighbor Saudi Arabia, who was the ultimate catalyst for recent sanctions on Qatar. This places them in need of dire help due to conflict escalation.

Differing stances on how to help Qatar is a debatable issue, however, let’s look at why the liberal perspective is the best choice. Would you rather let this turn into another war-torn area like Syria? Or, would you rather step carefully into it without conventional U.S. involvement, by reconstructing Qatar’s foreign policy?

Negotiating sounds way better than death.

The question of Qatar affects the entire world, and this could possibly turn into the next hot-zone in international politics. Aleppo, Syria, and Iraq are just a few examples of what Qatar could become if not carefully evaluated.

Healthy foreign policy reform of Qatar must be looked into, otherwise it could damage the economic ties to the rest of the world, and death of a culture may result. A liberal approach is the best hope in many foreign policy alternatives to Qatar. Hopefully, the young left liberal perspective has explained the question of Qatar, it’s certainly for the best.

Woody Dobson is a junior political science major from Tupelo.