Etiket arşivi: İran

Discord over the Golan Heights

March 26, 2019

Yesterday was a day of jubilation at the Trump White House, perhaps more than the Inauguration Day. Perhaps, it will be remembered as the beginning of Mr. Trump’s campaign for the 2020 presidential election. Because, the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence that Mr. Trump or any of his aides were involved in Russian government’s 2016 election interference. The conclusion of the probe is likely to lead to many foreign and security policy questions, first and foremost, the future of US relations with Russia.

And, who could possibly be the lucky foreign leader to be there on the spot to share Mr. Trump’s joy other than Prime Minister Netanyahu who cut his Washington visit short because a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, reportedly by mistake, injured seven civilians in north-east of Tel Aviv on Monday morning. The image of a leader returning home immediately to take the helm might help his election campaign, who knows. Okumaya devam et

Reklamlar

The War on Terror

February 12, 2019

Reaction to President Trump’s sudden announcement of troop pullout from Syria and the talks between Washington and the Taliban have reignited the debate on the war on terror.

On February 3, the New York Times editorial titled “End the War in Afghanistan” said:

“But as part of any withdrawal discussions, it should be made clear to the Taliban, the Afghan government and neighboring nations that if the country is allowed to again become a base for international terrorism, the United States will return to eradicate that threat…”

It then mentioned the possibility that the Taliban and regional players like Pakistan, Russia, Iran, India and China might work together on a cooperative solution to stabilize Afghanistan and deny terrorists a regional base. And, it concluded by saying that America needs to recognize that foreign war is not a vaccine against global terrorism. (emphasis added) (1) Okumaya devam et

Middle East Stability Still Faraway

January 18, 2019

It has been a month since President Trump declared victory against ISIS in Syria and said US troops were returning home. It was only to be expected that the decision would lead to questions. Because, this was an abrupt announcement made on Twitter apparently without adequate consultation not only with allies but also within the Trump administration. Thus, the past month witnessed twists and turns between Ankara and Washington regarding northeastern Syria.

Moreover, as statements from Moscow show Russia is unlikely to support Turkish-American understandings/arrangements there. The situation in Idlib also remains high on the Turkish-Russian agenda.

On November 10, 2016 Donald Trump said, “If Putin wants to go and knock the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, 100 percent, and I can’t understand how anybody would be against it.” Okumaya devam et

Syria: Moment of Truth for the West

January 11, 2019

Defeating ISIS in Syria and ousting President Assad are no longer compatible. They never were. The West must make a choice. The following questions can help find the answer:

  • Was the Western intervention in Syria about promoting democracy?
  • Was it about giving the people of Syria a better future?
  • Does the West mourn the loss of life in Syria?
  • Is the West prepared to receive more refugees from Syria?
  • Is the West capable of redrawing the battlefield picture in Syria?
  • Is there any hope that Assad’s ouster will bring to power a truly reformist leadership closer to the West?

The answer to the first three could at best be “not exactly, but …”. For the rest it is “no”. Okumaya devam et

Trump’s Decision to Withdraw from Syria

December 22, 2018

President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria seems to have surprised even shocked many, particularly in Washington. His brief announcement left many questions unanswered. Had he been a consistent leader steering his administration in close consultation with a steady team of senior officials, explaining the rational of his policies using conventional methods instead of tweets, maintaining close consultation/cooperation with allies, the reaction could have been different.

In response to criticism he tweeted: “Getting out of Syria was no surprise. I’ve been campaigning on it for years…”

He was not the only one. This is precisely why David E. Sanger’s New York Times article of December 19 carried the title, “A Strategy of Retreat in Syria, With Echoes of Obama”, whom Mr. Trump has constantly reviled. Okumaya devam et

The Path to Middle East Supremacy

November 20, 2018

Arab spring and the Syrian conflict have led some observers to look at Middle East developments through the prism of regional “rivalry” or “competition”. Countries generally mentioned are Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Israel is also prominently involved in regional affairs but the current emphasis seems to be on confrontations between Muslim countries which can’t even manage get around a table to address regional problems. Thus, all three are said to be in a “fierce struggle” for regional supremacy and the latter two for the leadership of the Sunni world. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi has provided the discussion with additional material.

There can be different paths to regional supremacy. To embark on such a path a country needs power. And, power has economic, military and political components. Okumaya devam et

Iran Sanctions

November 8, 2018

On November 2, 2018 Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin held an on-the-record briefing on Iran sanctions. The former said that these were part of the campaign aimed at depriving Tehran of the revenues that it uses to spread death and destruction around the world. The latter called Iran world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. And a few days later, in responding to a question regarding the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Mr. Pompeo said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been an important partner for the U.S. in attempting to change the behavior of Iran. Okumaya devam et