Aylık arşivler: Temmuz 2017

Middle East’s Failures and External Meddling

July 31, 2017

On April 4, 2017, toxic substance spread after Syrian warplanes dropped bombs on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in the rebel-held Idlib province. The West and Russia offered conflicting explanations for the tragedy. Three days later, US cruise missiles struck Al Sharyat airfield.

Five days later, President Trump’s fire-breathing Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said, “In no way do we look at peace happening in that area with Iranian influence. In no way do we see peace in that area with Russia covering up for Assad. In no way do we see peace in that area with Assad as the head of the Syrian government.” Okumaya devam et

Arab World in Disarray

July 24, 2017
The competition between Tehran and Riyadh for regional supremacy attracts a lot of international attention. Precision forecasts in today’s turbulent and unpredictable Middle East remain risky. However, in retrospect, one cannot but observe that the trend has been Iran’s ascendancy particularly since the coming to power of President Rouhani and his choice of Javad Zarif as foreign minister. Okumaya devam et

Diplomatic Realignment in the West?

July 16, 2017
Dissolution of the Soviet Union marked the end of the Cold War. The profound changes in structures which had governed East-West relations for five decades led to a unipolar world at the center of which was the US. However, American intervention in Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq, the cost and the difficulties of remaining on perpetual war footing did not allow this to last. With a steadily rising China and a resurgent Russia came the multipolar world. Ever since, “global realignment” has remained a current topic. And, last week’s G-20 summit in Hamburg, Chancellor Merkel’s “deploring” the decision by the US to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement and President Trump’s somewhat surprise visit to France for Bastille Day led some to look at relations between Washington and its Western allies. Okumaya devam et

Moving Towards Post-ISIS Iraq and Syria

July 9, 2017

During his first visit to Moscow in July 2009 President Obama tried to “reset” US-Russia relations. It did not happen. The Arab Spring led to a new set of confrontations. Snowden affair became an irritant and lead to the cancellation by Washington of an Obama-Putin meeting that was to take place during the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg. Yet, their brief encounter there on September 5, 2013 led agreement on the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons only to be followed by the crisis in Ukraine. Okumaya devam et

Gulf Crisis and Turkey (3)

July 2, 2017
After a few days of make-believe mediation between the parties, Turkey has become Qatar’s staunchest supporter in the Gulf crisis. Because, the thirteen-point ultimatum presented to Qatar also includes the immediate termination of Turkish military presence in Qatar and the ending of any joint military cooperation with Turkey in Qatar. President Erdogan called this an act of disrespect towards Turkey. Apparently, Turkey also approached Saudi Arabia for building a military base there, but the offer was rejected. Okumaya devam et