The new film “Blood Money” deals with how the tiny Gulf Emirate of Qatar funds lobbyists, media outlets, think tanks to advance its agenda in Washington at the expense of the US and our allies. It explains, through this case study, how the foreign influence game works inside the Beltway. It also deals with a subject that’s particularly close to my heart, the emergence of a new, anti-Islamist Middle East and how it came about. I am featured in the film, alongside my old colleague, Dr. J Michael Waller, a professor of political warfare and one of the nation’s experts in information and influence operations. The finished product is remarkably well-made, fast-paced and is guaranteed to be provocative. Watch it below.
Since 2017, at the Security Studies Group, we have covered Qatar, its dispute with its regional neighbors, and the implications for US national interests and that of our allies. Below is a sampling of some of our research in this area, with a special focus on information warfare.
David Reaboi: “Why Should We Care About Qatar’s Influence?” Arguably, there’s not another country that’s even half as aggressive in the foreign influence game as Qatar. Americans should be aware of its dangerous information and influence efforts.
Brad Patty & Nick Short: “Khashoggi Case- Analysis of an Information Operation” The killing of Qatari asset Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey caught the attention of the entire world for an extended period of time, much longer than the news of one murder would normally do. Security Studies Group decided to examine why.
Jim Hanson: “Is Qatar really an ally?” Secretary of State Pompeo just returned from a trip across the Middle East and one of his stops was in Qatar. He announced a number of initiatives including an expansion of al-Ubeid Air Base where the US has a major contingent. What was not mentioned was Qatar’s continued support for terrorism or its many other malign activities throughout the region or their effects on the US and our interests.
David Reaboi: “Khashoggi: Qatari Asset in Life; Qatari Asset in Death” Thanks to the Washington Post, we now know that Jamal Khashoggi was never a journalist; he was a highly-partisan operative who worked with a handler to publish propaganda at the behest of Qatar. He was, in other words, an agent of influence.
David has spent the last decade as consultant in national security and political warfare. He works at the intersection of communications and policy, specializing in Sunni Islamist movements. He received a BA from George Washington University in International Affairs, with a concentration in the history of the Cold War. He is a Claremont Fellow, His work has received formal commendations from the 30th Heavy Brigade, the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, the 3rd Infantry Division and the 1st Cavalry Division. Dr. Patty holds his PhD in Philosophy ….