November, 2016 Geopolitics

 Trump’s NATO

By Dr. Tsilla Hershco 
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 381

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: US President-Elect Donald Trump has toned down the anti-NATO rhetoric he employed on the campaign trail, but it remains uncertain whether he appreciates the value of the organization for American interests. NATO provides security insurance not only to Europe but also to the US. Trump should be cautious about weakening its deterrence and power projection.

Economy Russia US

 By Jacob L. Shapiro
Regionalization can reveal much about countries’ economic structure and relative power.
Power is a relative concept. To say that one state is powerful means nothing. Power only derives meaning if it is evaluated in comparison. Two of the states whose powers we constantly re-evaluate are Russia and the United States.

 America  Russia Partnership

by Jiri Valenta with Leni Friedman Valenta

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 380

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: A pragmatist like Reagan, President Trump will face three urgent foreign policy issues: renegotiating the Iran nuclear deal with a US-Israel military option and Russia’s acquiescence; resolving the human catastrophe in Syria in partnership with President Putin; and a Great Bargain with Putin on the Ukraine. 

 Putin Syria


Al-Monitor
Putin wastes no time in Syria

Although US President-elect Donald Trump has signaled his willingness to work with Russia to end the war in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking nothing for granted.
Trump said in an interview with The New York Times on Nov. 22, “We have to end that craziness that’s going on in Syria.” 

Globalization’s second wave


Laurence Chandy Fellow - Global Economy and Development, Development Assistance and Governance Initiative
Brina Seidel Research Assistant - Global Economy and Development, The Brookings Institution

After two decades defined by growing integration, the global economy appears to be at an inflection point. This judgment has been prompted both by structural changes in the global economy, especially since the Great Recession, and political events over the past year illustrative of a backlash against past integration. Following one such event—the U.K.’s Brexit vote in June—The Economist magazine reported, in a funereal tone, that globalization now seems to be receding, inspiring comparisons with the rise and fall of globalization a century ago.[1]

Russian intervention

 The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst

Few people think about trends in the Caucasus with reference to or in the context of Russia’s Syrian intervention. But Moscow does not make this mistake. From the beginning, Moscow has highlighted its access to the Caucasus through overflight rights and deployment of its forces in regard to Syria, e.g. sending Kalibr cruise missiles from ships stationed in the Caspian Sea to bomb Syria. Therefore we should emulate Russia’s example and seriously assess military trends in the Caucasus in that Syrian context.

 Europe Planned Marriage Turkey


by Burak Bekdil, The Gatestone Institute
Visiting Minsk, the capital of Belarus, in the first week of November for the opening of a mosque in a dictatorial country where there are 100,000 Muslims, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Western Europe of "intolerance that spreads like the plague."

 Turkey Iran

Burak Bekdil
A few days ago, columnist Nevşin Mengü wrote an excellent piece in this newspaper, “Iran’s Turkish question,” (HDN, Nov. 22). Ms. Mengü wrote that she was wandering around a historic caravansary outside Kashan in Iran where a young man said there was no such language as Turkish as “Turkish was a dialect of Farsi.”

Turkish-Russian Rapprochement


F. Stephen Larrabee 

Geostrategically, the collapse of the Soviet Union removed the main rationale for the U.S.-Turkish security partnership Many Western officials worry that the strengthening of ties between Russia and Turkey signifies an increasing “eastward drift” in Turkish policy and a weakening of Turkey’s ties to the West. 

Unicorn


BY STEPHEN M. WALT

On magical creatures and the promises of politicians.
Have you ever seen a unicorn? Me neither. Unicorns are mythical beasts, supposedly imbued with many attractive, even magical, qualities — but, alas, they are not actually real. Nor have I seen any orcs, basilisks, balrogs, or any of the other evil creatures dreamt up by fiction writers: Here, the good news is these don’t exist and never did. Apart from CGI-enhanced movies, anyone who claimed they could find or create one of them would be regarded as something of a crackpot.

Merkel Renzi


As the German chancellor stands for re-election, she must grapple with the rising tide of nationalism.
By Jacob L. Shapiro

The U.K. is leaving the European Union. Donald Trump, he of the threats to pull U.S. support from NATO and the ambiguous relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, is president-elect of the United States. Marine Le Pen is doing well in French polls, and even if she loses (which in light of the recent performance of opinion polling should be regarded as a healthy possibility), upcoming French elections are already centering around issues of French identity and immigration. 

 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan


In full interview with Israel's Channel 2, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks of Israel and Turkey's reconciliation, the 2010 Mavi Marmara crisis and his relations with Hamas.

 

by Tyler Durden
Submitted by Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk via Bawerk.net,

A Brave New World is coming? Perhaps. We had a recent discussion with a group of people in the hopeless business of doing long term forecasting. This made us think about what the world will look like over the next 20 to 40 years. A pretty thankless task, but the bottom line is without a damn good war, Asia will be the way of the future.

Turkey's 1923 Borders

by Burak Bekdil, The Gatestone Institute
Last month, President Erdogan called Turkey's borders laid down under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne "the greatest injustice to be done to the country and to the nation."
Speaking at a public rally on October 22, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that "We did not accept our borders voluntarily." He went on to say, "At the time [when the current borders were drawn] we may have agreed to it but the real mistake is to surrender to that sacrifice." What does all that mean?


 Israel-Jordanian-Syrian border

DEBKAfile Special Report

Israel, Jordan and Syria have embarked on secret discussions for the stabilization of their borders in southern Syria by restoring the status quo ante that reigned on the Golan prior to the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

Israel Turkey gas pipeline

 Meeting builds on October meeting between Israel's energy minister and Turkish counterpart
A delegation from Israel's Foreign Ministry and Department of Energy last week held a secret meeting with Turkish representatives to discuss the construction of a gas pipeline between the two countries, Israel's Army Radio reports.

 Can Turkey and Israel Reconcile?


Pinhas Inbari
Institute for Contemporary Affairs

Turkey’s entry into Gaza has several implications: challenging Turkey’s enemies in the Middle East, Egypt and Iran; and placing Gaza’s rehabilitation in Turkey’s hands, which pulls the rug out from under Europe’s patronage.

Turkey's Islamist Leader

 FOREIGN POLICY
Eli Lake

Many people are delighted by Donald Trump's election last week. There are (some) Republicans. Some Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. Alt-right online trolls and opponents of free trade. Add to this list Turkey's Islamist president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

TURKEY FAIT ACCOMPLI IN SYRIA

AARON STEIN
Just days after the U.S. presidential election, newspapers allied with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) published stories alleging that elements of the U.S. government would conspire to prevent Donald Trump from governing. Trump, the consensus in the pro-government media held, was a better choice for Turkey: As a billionaire who is outside of the Washington mainstream, he is above influence from members of the Gulen Movement, some of whom gave money to Hillary Clinton’s super-PAC.

Russia Middle East

 

A briefing by Anna Borshchevskaya
Anna Borshchevskaya, the Ira Weiner Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and a fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy, briefed the Middle East Forum in a conference call on November 3, 2016.

Erdogan-Trump honeymoon


Author Semih Idiz
Donald Trump’s election as president may have sent shock waves across the world, leaving many countries deeply concerned, but it has had the opposite effect in Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are pleased with this turn of events.

 Trump International Security


by Richard Kemp

It is the EU, not Donald Trump, that threatens to undermine NATO and the security of the West. An EU defence union will present a direct threat to NATO, competing for funds, building in duplication and confusion, and setting up rival military structures.

Mont Pelerin rendezvous


Yusuf Kanli
The Mont Pelerin rendezvous of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders was slated to be an “end game” but it turned out to be an almost “game over.” Upon request of the Greek Cypriot leaders, the deadlocked talks were suspended for one week and are scheduled to resume, this time in Geneva, on Nov. 20.

Obama’s Arms-Export Tally


BY MARCUS WEISGERBER, CAROLINE HOUCK

Most of the $278 billion in approved sales have gone to Saudi Arabia and other Mideast allies.

The Obama administration has approved more than $278 billion in foreign arms sales in its eight years, more than double the total of the previous administration, according to figures released by the Pentagon on Tuesday.

Trump  Iran


DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis 

Donald Trump's ratings soar in Iranian media too
In more than one campaign speech, President elect Donald Trump declared that his number priority was “to dismantle the disastrous deal” with Iran, which he said was “the worst deal ever” He was referring to the 2015 accord negotiated with Iran by the 5P+1 (five Permanent Security Council members plus Germany), which the Obama administration presented as putting the lid on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

New, level-headed Trump


Ron Ben-Yishai

Analysis: Forget about the election campaign’s provocateur and chatterbox. The US president-elect’s victory speech made it clear that he feels the full weight of responsibility hanging on his shoulders. So in what direction does he plan to navigate America, and where do Israel and the Palestinians come in?

 Medvedev in Jerusalem


DEBKAfile Special Report 

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his prime minister Dmitry Medvedev to Israel Wednesday, Nov. 9 as a gesture to mark the 25th anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

 China Turkey


Altay Atli
ISTANBUL – Over the past year and a half, the relationship between China and Turkey has gone through serious ups and downs. In the summer of 2015, claims of a Chinese ban on Ramadan fasting in the country’s Muslim-populated Xinjiang region, which later turned out to be fabricated, snowballed in the Turkish Twittersphere, leading to anti-Chinese demonstrations, and souring the relations between the two countries.

Fracture


Ben-Dror Yemini

Op-ed: Western democracies are struggling with questions of national identity, solidarity, a shared ethos, the place of religion, etc. In European countries, the battle is between an old, corrupt and rotten establishment and populist and demagogic politics. In other words: Clinton vs. Trump.

Tayyip Erdoğan

Murat Yektin
It was an election where the American voters did not choose who they wanted more as president, but who they disliked less. Donald Trump eventually won against Hillary Clinton despite all support from the establishment and the media.

Battle for Raqqa


Author Fehim Taştekin
Following the operation launched to liberate Mosul from the Islamic State for Iraq and Syria, an expedited operation code-named Wrath of the Euphrates was initiated to liberate the IS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria. Ankara has been perceptibly upset since it became known that the Raqqa operation was initiated by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces despite earlier optimistic predictions that Ankara, which was sidelined from the Mosul operation, would be in partnership with the United States at Raqqa.

IranTurkey Iraq


by Jonathan Spyer, The Jerusalem Post
Iran and Turkey are engaged in a contest for supremacy in northern Iraq, even as the fight against Islamic State continues.

Erdogan alienates all


Author Semih Idiz

Upon assuming office in May, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim promised that he would “increase the number of Turkey’s friends and reduce the number of its enemies.” Today, however, Ankara is losing friends rapidly, especially in Europe where there are calls for sanctions against Turkey. 

Buddies

REUTERS
Mahir Zeynalov

Turkish journalist and analyst
This post is hosted on the Huffington Post’s Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and post freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
“We all saw who our friends and enemies are,” Turkish president said after the failed coup attempt. He is referring to Russia.

 US promises Turkey role in Raqqa


Author Amberin Zaman

US efforts to appease Turkey over its collaboration with Syrian Kurdish-led forces to take Raqqa, the self-declared capital of the Islamic State, appeared to have yielded some progress over the weekend following an unannounced visit by Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Ankara.

Turkish Posturing in Iraq


FRITZ LODGE The Newsletter

As Iraqi Army forces enter Mosul proper and anti-ISIS coalition forces encircle the city, the complex and bloody operation to safely wrest a city of approximately one million people from the grip of ISIS militants will continue to dominate headlines. However, for the region’s power players, the question of what comes after Mosul’s fall may be more important than the conduct of the campaign itself.

Erdogan laicist


Burak Bekdil
Some observers have lately been advising foreign governments not to worry too much about Turkey’s (President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s) increasingly aggressive irredentist rhetoric because it is largely targeted at domestic consumption rather than addressing the relevant foreign audience. Well, yes and no.

Turkey unrest

Author, Kemal Kirişci

TÜSİAD Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Center on the United States and EuropeDirector - The Turkey Project

 

The noose around Turkish democracy’s neck tightened further on Monday, when the police raided the offices of yet another newspaper—this time Cumhuriyet—and detained a number of its journalists on accusations of facilitating terrorist activities.

Erdogan greedy


by Burak Bekdil, The Gatestone Institute
Why is Turkey's Islamist regime reviving century-old Ottoman territorial claims?
Each time in recent history that Turkey's pro-Sunni neo-Ottomans opted for assertive foreign policy in this turbulent part of the world, there were more casualties and no happy ending for any state- or non-state actor, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkey.


 Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum


ISTANBUL

Turkish officials have expressed strong interest in boosting economic and trade relations with Africa at a key joint forum in Istanbul, where their African counterparts welcomed the call.

 Clinton and Trump


DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis 
Whoever is elected US president on Nov. 8, he or she will land in the middle of a foreign policy shambles and face a pressing need to rebuild America’s fences in most parts of the world, including the war-ridden, messy Middle East. The Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump, whose approaches are so different in every respect, will both find it impossible to isolate America from the Middle East

Incirlik airbase


BY CHARLES F. WALD

As U.S.-Turkey relations cool, retaining access to the air base will require ending our dependence on it. Turkey’s Incirlik airbase has supported America’s most vital strategic needs for more than a half century, first during the Cold War and more recently in the fight against terrorists. Now, as its host country becomes less stable and less friendly to the United States, the best way to ensure continued access to this large and well-located base is to prepare to do without it.

Turkish invasion Syria


Barcin Yinanc
“We never believed it was the decision of the president to shoot down the plane. We know that outside forces were involved with that decision,” said Leonid Reshetnikov, the head of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS).

Pipeline War


By Gaius Publius

Summary first: We have been at war in Syria over pipelines since 1949. This is just the next mad phase.

Pro Erdogan rally


Author Ali Bayramoglu
TranslatorSibel Utku Bila

“No issue in the Middle East can be discussed without Turkey.” So spoke Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in March 2013 as he boasted how the Justice and Development Party (AKP) had transformed Turkey from a country that “sought help from others 10 years ago” to a country that leads “an active foreign policy” and sees “the whole world” as the domain of its diplomacy.