However, nothing is eternal in this world. For some time now, Washington is less and less meeting the security needs of the Gulf monarchies. And recently, also manages to make advances to Iran, a sworn enemy of the oil monarchies of the Gulf.
Given the current situation, the Gulf countries are trying to compensate for underrecieved safety from the United States. Various kinds of measures are taken from their side - intensification of military contacts with China and France, the strengthening of cooperation between the armies of the Gulf countries, and a number of other political and military measures.
In a situation where a superpower cannot meet the needs of their satellites, the regional powers can take the stage. In the Middle East there are three regional powers: Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Since the military potential of Saudi Arabia is more modest than the other two and Qatar by default cannot form an alliance with Tehran, so the best option for Doha is Turkey. Especially, because, fortunately for Qatar, military potential of Turkey is in times superior to military capabilities of Saudi Arabia and Iran.
In the middle of this month, the Turkish Ambassador in Doha Ahmet Demirok announced the intention to establish a Turkish military base in Qatar. It is expected that the base will accommodate several thousands of Turkish infantrymen, military instructors, as well as the Air and Navy Forces of Turkey. As we can see, this is quite serious military outpost of Turkey in the Persian Gulf, right next door to Iran.
It should also be considered that Qatar already has a significant contingent of US troops (this country has the largest US military base outside the United States). Thus, the presence of Turkish forces in Qatar looks very interesting. On the one hand, it should be assumed that this issue had been agreed with the US; on the other hand, the Turkish military base gives Qatar's emir more room to maneuver.
Against the backdrop of weakening US attention to the oil monarchies of the Gulf, Qatar became the first country to attempt to replace Washington in terms of security providement. I do not rule out, that Qatar`s example may be followed by the countries such as Kuwait, UAE.
The emergence of several or even one Turkish military base in the Persian Gulf will spoil the game for Tehran, which lustfully contemplates the tiny Arab monarchies. Wherein, public and non-public actions by Iran should be expected, aiming to prevent or reduce the Turkish military presence in the region.
Iran itself cannot spread its influence through the establishment of military bases, as Tehran`s image does not help in emergence of the desire of other countries to get an Iranian base on their territories. Therefore, Iran chooses another path for expansion. It is a semi-legal way, envisaging support for sorts of terrorist or other illegal groups, mainly Shiite kinds.
Time will show, which benefits Ankara will receive from its military presence in Qatar, but it is indisputable that for Turkey it is a completely new stage in relations with the Gulf countries.
Ali Hajizade, political analyst, head of the project “The Great Middle East”