As the world has reeled from the coronavirus outbreak, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has welcomed yet another new … More
In 2017, I gave a lecture at the Institute of World Politics about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s dreams for … More
In 2013, the Turks, a NATO partner, wanted access to U.S. Patriot missile defenses to protect against any spillover from the Syrian Civil War. The Obama Administration refused. Since that point, U.S.-Turkish relations have collapsed and NATO has quietly broken because of this. The recent Turkish invasion of Syria merely highlights this fact.
The Syrian Kurds worked with the US against ISIS. That alliance ended the moment the fight against ISIS did. As England’s Lord Palmerston said, “Nations have no permanent friends or allies; they only have permanent interests.”
Turkey’s return to a small strip of northern Syria is not historically new. And Turkey’s presence just might complicate Iranian ambitions for expanding beyond their territory into the Levant.
The elite in America and Europe are whinging about Trump’s July Fourth parade in Washington, D.C. They don’t understand: they are not the intended audience. Ordinary Americans who are generally pro-military and America’s autocratic enemies, who believe America is weak, are the intended audience.
“I have firm faith that the Kurds will one day get their independence. The day for that is not now. The best solution for the benighted Kurds would be to hunker down in their enclaves and lie in wait until their host nations – particularly those in Syria, Iran, and Turkey – become weak and unable to prevent the call for Kurdish independence. President Trump has made the right decision to acquiesce to the brutal autocrats in Turkey on the matter of the Kurds, if only because the United States needs autocratic Turkey to balance against Russia, China, and Iran more than it needs the Kurds at present.”
“If Iran is the threat that many in the Trump Administration believe it to be, and if American military power is no longer as effective in the region as everyone previously thought, then why not step back, reserve the right to attack any foe that may arise in Syria at a later date, and seek to make nice with the weaker members of this new Russo-Iranian-Turkish alliance?”
“A similar descent is in store for the United States today—though very few recognize it. Just as the airy assumptions of the last world order (the European-led one) came crashing down on the heads of those who believed them the most, so today are the assumptions about our current world order about to come caving in on us.”
“”With the loss of Saudi Arabia as a viable partner in blocking the spread of Iranian power, the Trump Administration would be forced to revisit the oft-repeated notion that Iran is a rational actor. President Trump would have to renege on his campaign promise of ending the terrible Obama era Iran deal. He would have to reverse course and effectively reinstitute the Obama deal with Iran, in order to gain new leverage over Tehran. In other words, Trump would have to surrender the Middle East to Iran, selling out Israel in the process, just as Barack Obama did.”