CIA Director meets with Hamas in Qatar

The Countermeasure
2 min readNov 29, 2023

The CIA Director Bill Burns has returned to Qatar for another round of negotiations with Hamas in the hopes of releasing more hostages.

So far, 62 of the more than 200 hostages have been released by Hamas. This was following rounds of negotiations between American and Israeli leadership, and the political wing of the Hamas terrorist organization. The second group of hostages to be released totaled twelve individuals — none of which, according to a CBS News video, were Americans.

These negotiations have been the diplomatic denouement of a five-day truce. Bill Burns has returned to Qatar, likely with news guidance and a new negotiating approach, to secure the release of hostages. Whether Americans are the priority, shockingly, is not certain. Israel has vowed to continue its military campaign into Gaza once negotiations are through.

There are a few unsavory considerations at work here that need to be addressed:

  • The US has no military option to secure American hostages
  • The US’s needs seem subservient to Israel’s
  • We are openly negotiating with a terrorist organization as the situationally disadvantaged party
  • Negotiations allow for Hamas to prepare in Gaza
  • Negotiations give Hamas a major PR victory and political legitimacy

I would also add that negotiations are likely hindered by the fact that the US and Iran are engaged in a proxy war in Syria, where American personnel are being bombed and aircraft are being shot down.

In the same CBS News video, Olivia Gazis, an intelligence reporter, stated that up to now, the prison release ratio has been 3:1 in Hamas’ favor. Apparently, the remaining hostages include men and soldiers, a demographic Hamas has not been willing to release.

The CBS News report touted Bill Burns as the qualified man “behind the scenes” who dealt with the Afghanistan withdrawal and Taliban negotiations, meeting with Vladimir Putin at the onset of the Ukraine invasion, and rebuilding relations with China after the spy balloon debacle.

Americans do not seem optimistic, to say the least, that their countrymen will be released any time soon. And given the mass support for Hamas and Palestine, it seems a great many couldn’t care less.

Burns is meeting with representatives from Israel, as well as Egypt who historically had the largest role in the Arab Coalition; the organization founded to destroy Israel. You can read about it here:

What do you think? Will American hostages be released and offer the US an opportunity to step away from Israel’s war? Is this a tipping point? Will the US and Iranian tensions increase, and draw the US back into the region with a greater role? Let me know in the comments.

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The Countermeasure

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