by Salman Rafi Sheikh, with New Easteron Outlook, Moscow, and the Institute of Oriental Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a analysis establishment for the examine of the nations and cultures of Asia and North Africa.
[ Editor’s Note: It was no surprise to see Mr. Erdogan’s delight once again to be the deal maker or breaker in the NATO expansion of Sweden and Finland. His main purpose in being in NATO was always to milk it for all it was worth, and he has.
When an issue is on the table near and dear to them, we find that these high and mighty international organizations are open to extortion and bribery, both in offering and agreeing to it.
Erdogan made agreements during the Syrian War with Russia to decrease hostilities and help build conditions for new elections for Syrians when the war had cooled down, but he ended up sending his army to occupy northeast Syria in Idlib, and the NW Kurdish area.
This killed the election prospects, smothered in the crib so to speak, and Syria continues to be raped and robbed by anyone with the military power to do so. And what do the mighty international organization paper tigers do about it… Nothing!
Look at the UN now. How often do we see coverage of it in the MSM? The UN has become its own version of paycheck grifters, enduring to continue getting funding. Its conduct during the JCPOA deal was a disgrace when the US refused to abide by it, and the EU nations jerked Iran around with promises of trade fulfillment that were never concluded.
At the end of the day, this shows just how powerless ‘we the people’ are to effect any change, because our representatives have their own priorities that come first. Thus ends my cheery missive for today. Let me know what you think in the comments… Jim W. Dean ]
First revealed June 2, 2022
Inner divisions in NATO aren’t a brand new phenomenon, with tensions between Turkey, attributable to its ties with Moscow, and the US and the remainder of NATO being its main manifestation.
Turkey’s latest objections to NATO’s enlargement by together with two Nordic states of Sweden and Finland reveals, but once more, that the organisation is way from a home united internally.
But, Turkey’s core functions behind its objection are extra political than geopolitical. In different phrases, not like how some western media shops have reported, Turkey’s objections aren’t tied to its ties with Russia, though a disaster inside NATO will surely profit Russia insofar as NATO’s main goal has all the time been Moscow itself.
In truth, Russia’s Vladimir Putin really downplayed the importance of each nations becoming a member of NATO, though he harassed that this becoming a member of will invite Russian counter-measures, which is simply a logical step to anticipate.
Subsequently, removed from being Russia’s so-called “secret weapon” jeopardising NATO from inside, Ankara has, within the latest previous, supported NATO’s enlargement on a number of events. The query is: why is Ankara objecting now?
Turkey’s objections are tied to some political pursuits that it desires to safe from the West in alternate for its help to broaden NATO. In impact, Ankara, following its personal nationwide pursuits, is exploiting NATO’s consensus-based mannequin to its personal benefit.
Most of all, Turkey desires the West to vary its coverage vis-à-vis Kurds. The core motive for Turkey’s particular objection to Sweden and Finland is their help for sure Kurdish leaders that each nations have been defending for a few years.
On Could 16, each Sweden and Finland rejected Turkey’s request to extradite 19 individuals with hyperlinks to the PKK and Gülenist group. Turkey, due to this fact, sees Sweden’s and Finland’s bid to hitch NATO as a helpful alternative to focus on two teams it has been struggling to regulate – and remove – for a few years.
A second – and extra nuanced however much less talked about and mentioned – a part of Turkey’s objection is Ankara’s bid to extract concessions from the US, particularly its inclusion within the F-35 jet programme.
Following Ankara’s cope with Russia to buy the S-400 missile defence system, the US threw Ankara out of the F-35 programme. Ever since then, Ankara has been doing the whole lot it may well, diplomatically, to persuade the US to incorporate Ankara within the venture.
Now that the US is in a full-blown battle with Russia in Ukraine (the US Congress lately authorised US$40 billion for Ukraine) and Washington has fairly keenly utilised the continuing disaster to strengthen and broaden NATO, Turkey, too, is making an attempt to ensure to make use of the disaster in ways in which serve its core nationwide pursuits.
In addition to kicking Ankara out of the F-35 venture, the US additionally imposed sanctions on the Turkish defence trade. These sanctions had been imposed below the 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Via Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a regulation that was particularly enacted to stop the Russian arms trade from increasing and difficult the US/NATO.
Turkey’s objections fly within the face of the US help for each Sweden and Finland. On Could 19, Joe Biden hosted each Swedish and Finnish leaders within the White Home and prolonged “full, complete, full backing of america.”
Because it stands, a serious impediment for the US to beat to truly lengthen that help and make each Nordic states part of NATO is to supply Turkey a deal that it can’t refuse. However will the US settle for Turkish demand for its share of 100 F-35 jets? Given the continuing battle with Russia in Ukraine, that is unlikely to occur.
Particularly, the position that Ankara has performed ever for the reason that starting of the Russian army operation in Ukraine makes it extraordinarily troublesome for Washington to simply accept Ankara’s calls for.
Not solely has Ankara refused to hitch US/EU sanctions on Russia, however it has additionally hosted, on a number of events, talks between Russian and Ukrainian officers to discover a peaceable answer to the disaster. This position, nevertheless, has been as an anti-US/anti-West geopolitics within the US/EU.
On different hand, the failure of those talks to provide a ceasefire and a sturdy final result has led Turkey to truly accuse sure NATO members of sabotaging the entire course of to maintain the warfare going in opposition to Russia. “Some NATO nations don’t want the Ukraine warfare to finish”, mentioned the Turkish overseas minister final month with out mincing any phrases.
In different phrases, Turkey’s significance and position, following its ouster from the F-35 programme and US sanctions, has been very marginal with NATO. On this context, by utilizing its prerogative to object – and block – NATO’s enlargement, Turkey is definitely asserting itself throughout the organisation to power the remainder of the alliance to recognise its significance as a key geopolitical participant throughout the alliance and past.
This verify can be tied to Turkey’s home political economic system. The Turkish economic system is teetering towards a disaster. Inflation fee is at an all-time excessive, reaching virtually 100 per cent in April. Elections are due subsequent 12 months. Subsequently, it will be important for Erdogan to extract concessions from the West, particularly if it may well make the US elevate sanctions, to win the subsequent elections.
With ready-made help accessible from pro-Erdogan media in Turkey, the regime can venture its success in extracting some concessions from the West when it comes to Ankara’s capability to carry the “West to its knees.” In Turkey, Erdogan is already being portrayed as a “strongman” who can look the West immediately within the eye.
If the West agrees to handle a few of Erdogan’s pursuits, it should give him an vital leeway in opposition to the opposition events which might be mobilising to construct a big anti-Erdogan alliance forward of the 2023 elections.
There are, due to this fact, a number of causes for Ankara to play its card inside NATO. Not like western mainstream media’s recurring – and oversimplified – portrayal of Erdogan as “Russia’s man,” the actual fact stays that the continuing disaster of NATO’s enlargement attributable to Ankara’s objections is kind of immediately tied to Turkey’s personal marginalisation throughout the alliance.
Salman Rafi Sheikh, research-analyst of Worldwide Relations and Pakistan’s overseas and home affairs, completely for the web journal “New Japanese Outlook”.