Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Ph.D., an affiliate professor at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, recently wrote an article for The Atlantic discussing the recent standoff between Qatar and its neighboring states in the Middle East. In a closer look at the history of this conflict, he writes:
The rupturing of diplomatic relations between Qatar and five regional states—Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the internationally recognized Yemeni government-in-exile—has brought to a head a long-simmering dispute about the country’s distinctive approach to regional affairs.
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, last cut ties with Qatar in 2014, withdrawing their ambassadors from the country for nine months. But this latest standoff has gone markedly further. For one thing, it includes economic sanctions—and given that Qatar’s only land border is with Saudi Arabia, any disruption to the flow of goods and people by air, land, or sea, could cause rapid economic dislocation and lead to social or political unrest.