President Donald Trump took a giant leap backward this week in the fight to defeat the Islamic State.
Trump unexpectedly sent out a series of social media posts meant to provoke tensions with Qatar, accusing the country of supporting terrorism. Reporters learned after Trump’s outburst that he did not know that Qatar is a major U.S. military ally and thousands of U.S. troops are stationed there.
According to the latest reports, Trump’s dangerous Twitter storm caused a “rapid escalation” of military tension with “arguably America’s most important military outpost in the Middle East.”
Here are the social media posts that started this whole fiasco (via Twitter):
Donald Trump “may not have known” that Qatar is home to the biggest U.S. military base in the Middle East when he praised Gulf nations for severing diplomatic relations with the nation, MSNBC reports.
Trump on Monday praised the decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain , Egypt, Yemen, Libya and the Maldives to cut off ties with the Doha, a move reportedly sparked by a fake news story Qatar officials have emphatically denied.
The president appeared to champion the severed diplomatic ties in a series of tweets on Tuesday.
That tweetstorm prompted a rapid escalation as Qatar feared a military incursion from Saudi Arabia.
Analysts have pointed out that Trump is stirring up a situation that is already tense. Absolutely nothing good could come from Trump’s involvement, as we saw this week.
President Trump thrust himself into a bitter Persian Gulf dispute on Tuesday, taking credit for Saudi Arabia’s move to isolate its smaller neighbor, Qatar, and rattling his national security staff by upending a critical American strategic relationship.
In a series of tweets, Mr. Trump said his call for an end to the financing of radical groups had prompted Saudi Arabia and four other countries to act this week against Qatar, a tiny, energy-rich emirate that is arguably America’s most important military outpost in the Middle East.
… Qatar has long been accused of funneling money to the Muslim Brotherhood — which has officially forsworn violence but is still accused of terrorism by some countries — as well as to radical groups in Syria, Libya and other Arab nations. But it is also home to two major American command posts, including a $60 million center from which the United States and its allies conduct their air war on Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.