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Are Autocratic Allies Damaging U.S. and EU Credibility?


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From Equatorial Guinea’s leverage over Washington to Qatar’s scandal in Brussels, small resource-rich states are flexing their diplomatic muscle.

By Emma Ashford, a senior fellow with the Reimagining U.S. Grand Strategy program at the Stimson Center, and Matthew Kroenig, deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

Emma A.: Good thing you didn’t put your money where your mouth was—you’d have lost it all! But gambling isn’t the only way to get rich off the World Cup. Have you been following the European Union corruption scandal that has been rocking Brussels in recent days?

Matthew K.: Indeed. It was scandalous news. There are reports that Qatar bribed several European officials in order to influence EU policies in advance of the World Cup.

It raises an interesting and broader policy problem. We have known that U.S. enemies, such as China and Russia, have been using “sharp power” tools against wide-open Western democracies in order to secure their interests. China bribed an Australian politician and Czech academics, for example, to follow a pro-China agenda.

The United States and its allies have woken up to this threat and are putting in place policies to curtail it.

But how do we handle relatively friendly autocracies, such as Qatar, engaging in similar tactics?

You can read the full article here with the rest of the discussion: 

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