"The state of Qatar, a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman), has employed its ample financial resources to try to 'punch above its weight' on regional and international affairs. Qatar has intervened, directly and indirectly, in several regional conflicts, including in Syria and Libya. Qatar also has sought to establish itself as an indispensable interlocutor on some issues, such as those involving the Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas, the Taliban insurgent group in Afghanistan, some Al Qaeda-linked Syrian rebel groups, Lebanon, and Sudan. On Iran, Qatar has generally supported efforts to limit Iran's regional influence while maintaining dialogue with Iran's senior officials. [...] As do the other GCC leaders, Qatar's leaders apparently view the United States as the guarantor of Gulf security. The United States and Qatar have had a formal Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) since 1992, which addresses a U.S. troop presence in Qatar, consideration of U.S. arms sales to Qatar, U.S. training, and other defense cooperation. Under the DCA, Qatar hosts nearly 10,000 U.S. forces at its military facilities, including at the large Al Udeid Air Base, and Qatar also hosts the regional headquarters for U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). U.S. forces in Qatar participate in operations all over the region, including Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) against the Islamic State organization in Iraq and Syria, and in Afghanistan."
CRS Report for Congress, R44533
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html