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What explains Qatar's foreign policy adventurism? For one, the U.S. security guarantee gives it room to play in the region. In addition, some policies -- particularly those that facilitate discussions between the United States and its enemies (Hamas, the Taliban) -- are aimed at making Qatar uniquely important to Washington.
Although Qatar has been an active player in the Middle East for some time, its intervention in Libya represented a dramatic break with its behind-the-scenes diplomacy of the past. Qatar hopes to turn its aid to the Libyan rebels into a role as an invaluable go-between for Western countries looking to engage post-Qaddafi Libya.