Qatar crisis

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Re: Qatar crisis

Postby Cardlinger » 14 Jul 2017, 16:01

Personally, I think that so long as the Qataris continue to flow gas to the UAE and Oman through the Dolphin pipeline we can assume that the crisis has not escalated to alarming levels. Should Qatar cut off those exports and/or the UAE refuse to make payments, then Abu Dhabi and Dubai would have to power their air conditioners on diesel. Not sustainable - and potentially catastrophic for the local economy. Equally, if the GCC decides to blockade Qatari LNG tankers from leaving we would see LNG prices more than double around the world and cause crises in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China. Qatar currently exports ~80 million mt of LNG per annum, about 30% of the global market.


Nice stuff, Guns! I guess this is what it comes down to - is it a blockade if it's not both ways, and is it just posturing if it's not escalated to the point where it affects global things (like LNG prices)?

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Re: Qatar crisis

Postby Guns of Brixton » 26 Jul 2017, 16:39

We had a senior analyst (Dr, Neil Quilliam https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/dr-neil-quilliam) from the international Think Tank Chatham House (https://www.chathamhouse.org/about) come into our work today to brief us on developments in the GCC Crisis. Some interesting nuggets:

  • He likened the origins of the conflict back to a speeches [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/otaiba-ambassador-uae-leaked-emails_us_5932bf04e4b02478cb9bec1c] by Dennis Ross and Robert Gates at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (a pro-Israeli lobby group http://www.defenddemocracy.org/about-fdd in May as part of a 3-year effort by the Saudis and Emiratis to discredit Qatar
  • they regard the Trump administration as an opportunity to shake up the order in the Gulf and take 'ownership' for maintaining far greater control over Middle East politics
  • the Crown princes of UAE (Mohammed bin Zayed) and Saudi Arabia (Mohammed bin Salman or MBS) are two young leaders behind the shakeup
  • Qatar's support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and closer ties to Iran were regarded as threats to the Saudi/UAE hegemony in the region and gave the tiny country too much power above its 'station'
  • The ultimatum was well-prepared and executed but there was no contingency plan for what would happen if Qatar did not immediately roll over and capitulate
  • The goal of the ultimatum was regime change within Qatar though not necessarily deposing its ruler - coercing him to oust key ministers would be seen as a triumph
  • Qatar has proven to be far more resilient and far better at managing world opinion than the plotters expected
  • The Qataris claim to be taking the high road but quietly imply that they have and will release 'files' proving complicity in the 9/11 attacks by key Saudi officials should they be backed into a corner
  • The GCC demands are slowly being moderated - e.g. instead of banning Al Jazeera they now would be happy with an 'international editorial board' overseeing content, instead of ending all ties to the Muslim Brotherhood they now talk about only the 'extremist elements' at the periphery of the MB
  • If Qatar were to capitulate (now seen as unlikely) Oman would be next
  • Ultimate goal for Saudi/UAE is the "Bahrain-ization" of Qatar - i.e. independence domestically but no independent foreign policy - become a vassal of KSA
  • Iranian are 'enjoying the show'
  • Worst case scenario other than actual war would be a dissolution of the GCC into two factions with Qatar, Iran, Oman and Turkey on one side and Saudi, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain on the other
  • Qataris work through the State Dept (which is slow and ineffectual due to still missing key appointments) while the Saudis/Emiratis go through the White House (but Trump is unreliable and seemingly has lost interest)

Bit of a disjointed list but it was a fascinating meeting.
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Re: Qatar crisis

Postby Cardlinger » 27 Jul 2017, 10:18

Nice stuff, Guns! What do you do to get such interesting folk round to chat?

Interesting how the list has been moderated by the Saudi side as you would have thought that they had the leverage from the get-go. Interesting when the aggressor has to moderate themselves as part of the process. I guess it just goes to show how there are different ways to negotiate/consensus build!

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Re: Qatar crisis

Postby Guns of Brixton » 27 Jul 2017, 10:29

I work for an oil/gas trading company - we're private (employee-owned) but quite large so we have the clout to bring these kind of guys in. One of the most interesting things of the job is trying to figure out what's going on in some of the world's hot spots and positioning ourselves for it. I'm the Head of Risk here so I have to be on my toes to challenge the traders when they expose us too much.
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Re: Qatar crisis

Postby Cardlinger » 28 Jul 2017, 09:54

What's Head of Risk doing playing Diplomacy ;)
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Re: Qatar crisis

Postby Guns of Brixton » 28 Jul 2017, 10:31

Cardlinger wrote:What's Head of Risk doing playing Diplomacy ;)


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Re: Qatar crisis

Postby WarSmith » 28 Jul 2017, 11:52

One thing which started before the recent situation was the mass exodus of skilled western expats, replaced by low cost alternatives. But many left of their own volition anyway (like me).
Talking of 'Risk'. Many of our neighbours who left had risk, saftety and major project roles in big building projects - replacing them with lower cost alternatives is one reason i wont be riding on their metro in a hurry, for example.
"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth even has a chance to put its pants on”
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Re: Qatar crisis

Postby Guns of Brixton » 28 Jul 2017, 13:01

I was just in Kuwait a couple of weeks ago. The planeloads that arrive hourly from Pakistan to work construction in the 45C heat is astounding. Not that they're filling managerial roles or anything.
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Re: Qatar crisis

Postby Cardlinger » 31 Jul 2017, 20:03

More from the Grauniad on Qatar approaching the WTO to complain about the economic practices of the blockading nations:

Qatar makes legal complaint to WTO over Gulf trade boycott

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Re: Qatar crisis

Postby Antigonos » 06 Aug 2017, 22:20

I have been more or less off the forum debate threads for a year and am only now returning to play after a long period in the hospital. But I just started to check out this thread and it was quite interesting and worth reading. Keep it up.

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