America is still the Gulf states' indispensable ally, but the indecisiveness of Obama's policy in the Middle East is starting to foster frustration and concern in the Gulf capital cities. This is where Romney might have a card to play.
The Palestinians rolled out the red carpet for Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, the first head of state to officially set foot on the territory under Hamas' control. The visit essentially legitimized Hamas as the de facto controller of the Gaza Strip.
Whilst there are inevitable irritants to living in such a multicultural society, these are far outweighed by the positive aspects of the interactions that everyone has to experience in their daily lives.
Although Saudi forces are largely untested in war it is doubtful Assad’s forces could withstand a full scale Saudi offensive launched from Jordan. This may well be the key to understanding what Qatar is doing.
The fall of autocratic regimes in the Arab world have led to the inevitable rise to power of Islamist groups who have had no real competition. These groups however are ill-equipped to tackle the economic, social and political problems that these countries face today.
The military conflict becomes more domestic and parochial, while the war of ideas spreads further afield and takes root in countries far outside Syria’s borders. This ideational war is the ‘Silent war’.
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