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SECURING AMERICA, STRENGTHENING ISRAEL

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Distinguished Fellow and Gemunder Center Iran Task Force Co-Chair Gen. Charles Wald, USAF (ret.) and JINSA President & CEO Michael Makovsky in The Wall Street Journal on the Two Faces of Qatar

The Two Faces of Qatar, a Dubious Mideast Ally
Doha undermines U.S. security by sponsoring Islamic radicalism
By General Charles Wald, USAF (ret.) and Michael Makovsky, PhD - The Wall Street Journal

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited several of America's Middle Eastern partners last week-including a dubious one. Qatar hosts an important air base but also undermines American security by sponsoring Islamic radicalism.

Nearly all coalition airstrikes against Islamic State are commanded from America's nerve center at Qatar's al-Udeid Air Base, which also supports missions in Afghanistan. The U.S. Air Force stations many of its larger aircraft there-refueling tankers, advanced surveillance and early-warning aircraft, and heavy bombers. Al-Udeid also houses the Combined Air and Space Operations Center, which commands all coalition air operations in the region. With all these key assets in one place, the Pentagon expects to stay through 2024.

But the host nation supports some of the groups the base is used to bomb. According to the State Department, "entities and individuals within Qatar continue to serve as a source of financial support for terrorist and violent extremist groups," including al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate. Qatar has also supplied advanced weaponry to militants in Syria and Libya.

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