Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Don’t Blame Turkey for NATO’s Woes- NATO's UK Summit Begins Today

NATO is holding it's summit today and tomorrow in London

Press Release : NATO Leaders Meeting - Updated media advisory
London, UK – 3-4 December 2019

Hence the blog's focus the past couple of days...

Earlier today:
 The NATO summit is certainly stirring some memories. Interesting that this incident is being covered by TASS today.
A different view: 

Erdogan, Trump and Macron
Don't Blame Turkey for NATO's woes

More in line with the views held here. Much of this information has been previously covered.
"The traditional raison d’être of NATO was territorial defense. The alliance used its conventional and nuclear capabilities to deter attacks against the territory of its members.

But at the end of the Cold War, NATO faced an identity crisis. Gone was the existential danger of a total war between the Warsaw Pact and the NATO alliance. The Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, which took place in the heart of Europe, demonstrated that the alliance was still useful—albeit in a different way

The 2010 Strategic Concept has underpinned this shift, which saw NATO overstepping its traditional boundaries and engaging in such areas as Afghanistan and Libya, which were previously considered “out of area” or no-go zones. This became possible as NATO members developed a more holistic view of their national security to match the globally evolving threat landscape.

This more sophisticated outlook required an overhaul of NATO’s defense plans, to match the strategic assessment of the alliance and to develop the capabilities required for all contingencies.

These updated plans were prepared for the eastern flank—covering the Baltic states and Eastern Europe—and separately for the southern flank, with a focus on Turkey, in order to better adapt NATO’s response to the realities on the ground.

Although it has not been publicly disclosed, NATO reportedly adopted these plans in early 2016. There were no major issues then in reaching the required unanimity within the North Atlantic Council and the plans received the political backing of all allies.                                   

Since then, however, NATO has had a harder time managing the diverging national-security priorities of its members, including NATO’s leading member, the United States. The derisive rhetoric often used by Trump toward NATO has started to raise questions about Washington’s commitment to the security of its European allies, which undermines both the cohesion and the deterrence capability of the alliance.

The fight against the Islamic State became a core priority not only for the national-security establishment, but also for the political leadership in Washington. U.S. policymakers formed a tactical alliance with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria to fight the Islamic State, preferring to remain oblivious to the danger that this partnership posed for Washington’s bilateral relations with Turkey. For Ankara, the YPG was an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and was therefore considered a security threat just like the PKK.

It is under these circumstances that Washington moved to block the implementation of the NATO defense plan covering Turkey that had already been agreed at the political level.
 This failure to implement the defense plan covering Turkey was reported years back here at the blog. This was the reason that Turkey purchased the s-400's.  Though the signs of betrayal have been apparent for some time, the message, making the betrayal obvious, was received.  Loud and clear.
The reason was that the plan as it was adopted in early 2016 had, reflecting Turkey’s legitimate concerns, labeled the YPG a terrorist entity.
But the plan for the southern flank was much more ambitious than that: Its objective was to prepare NATO to better respond to the variety of actual and potential threats that could potentially destabilize the region. The YPG issue was essentially a side note and not even a core element of the defense plan.
Yes, the plan for the southern flank was much more ambitious. There was the coup in the summer of 2016.  The plan to divide Turkey and create a more suitable to regional interests partner. Usrael's Kurds. In other words the so called Defense Plan that was agreed to was never going to be kept. It was the carrot distraction as the US wielded the big stick against Turkey.
"Yet the United States prioritized its own interests in a way that was diametrically opposed to the interests of one of its NATO allies—even going the extra mile to block a political-military plan to which it had given its prior consent. Washington also remained aloof to arguments by the Turkish side that the bilateral disagreement over the YPG should not become a broader NATO issue, turning it into a dispute that could divide and weaken the alliance.

As the United States became more recalcitrant, its bilateral relationship with Turkey rapidly deteriorated. The list of grievances grew on both sides—including the U.S. administration’s refusal so far to extradite the exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, Turkey’s rapprochement with Russia and purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system, Ankara’s alleged violation of Iran sanctions, and the United States’ ongoing partnership with the YPG.

With the U.S. government unwilling to lift its veto on the implementation of the plan for Turkey, Ankara also hardened its position and is now threatening to veto the plan for the eastern flank, covering the Baltics and Poland."
How come no one writes about the US "blackmailing " Turkey?  Such emotionally manipulative language, so telling....
"Ankara’s argument relies on the old dictum of the indivisibility of security. NATO cannot and should not discriminate between its members. An effort to improve the security of its members in the north and in the east should be accompanied by a similar effort for the south. Turkey’s stance has understandably irked countries in the eastern flank, such as Poland and Estonia                                            

Yet this episode is more about than just Turkey or the United States. It epitomizes one of the most significant challenges that NATO faces as it prepares to celebrate its 70-year anniversary—namely, how NATO can manage to retain its political cohesiveness in an environment where threats have proliferated and diversified?

The repositioning of NATO in the post-Cold War years as an alliance to address threats that don’t call for traditional armed conflict has created this dilemma for NATO leaders. Each NATO nation now has a different perception of the salience of various asymmetric threats—such as violent radicalization and terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and state failure in neighboring regions.

In short, the task of ensuring policy cohesion within an alliance which has been entrusted to respond to these threats has become more complicated. It was far easier to manage the consensual politics for a limited number of recognized “existential” threats than a greater number of smaller security challenges.

The diplomatic episode with Turkey should remind NATO leaders that this week in London, they will need to address these disparities in threat perception constructively. A possible formula could be to expand the scope and frequency of Article 4 consultations. Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty allows NATO members to exchange views on any developments that could affect transatlantic security. A failure to do so is more likely to confirm that NATO is comatose than the armchair diagnosis of the French president."
 Article 4 was mentioned just the other day when a years old post was linked back to:


  1. I read your previous comment to me and I am sorry about your loss. Hope you are recovering well and thank you for still continuing to post during these tough times. Erdogan's in London again. Hope he stays safe as we need him to defeat this North Atlantic Terrorist Organisation.

    1. Posting keeps my mind off of all that's going on still

      Keeping an eye on the NATO summit- I see Trump and Macron doing their 'good cop/bad cop' routine.

      today is day 2
      thanks for your good thoughts :)