On March 10, 2022, US President Joe Biden formally designated Qatar as a significant non-NATO ally.  Qatar is the 18th state to earn this designation and the third Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) state to take action following Kuwait and Bahrain.   

The designation conformed to a press release that Biden made to His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, throughout his go to to Washington in late January 2022.  Throughout the go to, Biden had despatched a letter to the US Congress indicating his intention to present Qatar the designation of  a significant non-NATO ally. Within the letter, the president acknowledged “Qatar’s a few years of contributions to US-led efforts within the US Central Command space of duty” and acknowledged that the US had a “nationwide curiosity in deepening bilateral protection and safety cooperation with the State of Qatar.” 

BIden’s designation for Qatar has a historic foundation. For years, Qatar has supported US overseas coverage goals. The nation has hosted and supplied substantial monetary help for the Al Udeid Air Base and engaged with the US on problems with strategic significance, together with its current help in relocating hundreds of Afghans and its capacity to function an efficient mediator in vital conditions. The designation  guarantees to deepen US-Qatar ties sooner or later.

What Does This Designation Actually Imply?  

What are the authorized foundations for the designation and its implications for Qatar? Below a federal statute, the US president has the unilateral energy to designate a rustic a significant non-NATO ally with the requirement that Congress obtain discover in writing at the least 30 days earlier than this designation. As aptly famous, the designation alone doesn’t make Qatar a NATO member and thus the collective safety obligations and mutual protection advantages underneath NATO aren’t relevant to this GCC nation.  

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But, along with recognizing the shut navy ties between Qatar and the US, the designation as a significant non-NATO ally ensures protection commerce and safety cooperation advantages. Qatar is now eligible for loans, analysis, coaching, and growth, in addition to gaining precedence entry to US navy tools and the flexibility to bid on sure US Division of Protection contracts. 

Prior to now, different regional gamers have benefitted from the designation. Their expertise highlights the significance of a navy and protection relationship for any GCC state with the US, particularly given current occasions. For instance, Kuwait has benefitted from arms gross sales via the Overseas Army Gross sales Program. This strengthened the capabilities of the Kuwaiti navy and enhanced the nation’s safety. 

The Biden administration has given $1 billion to the US Military Corps of Engineers and different US firms to construct Kuwait’s new protection ministry headquarters. A coaching initiative, the Worldwide Army Training and Coaching (IMET) program, permits Kuwaiti college students to be educated at US navy establishments at a reduced price.

Capability constructing is likely one of the foremost incentives for US-Qatar cooperation, which is of nice significance to this GCC state. Its protection regime is comparatively younger and able to taking part in an influential function as a result of nation’s proximity to each Saudi Arabia and Iran. Qatar also can play a key function as a mediator within the area. Within the mild of the above, the designation as a significant non-NATO ally has vital long-term advantages to the nation.

The brand new growth additionally definitely indicators nearer cooperation between the US and Qatar. Traditionally, these designations are usually mutually helpful. Within the case of Qatar, elevated engagement with the US guarantees to strengthen its standing as a safety chief within the Center East and profit each the area in addition to its superpower pal.

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The views expressed on this article are the creator’s personal and don’t essentially replicate Honest Observer’s editorial coverage.