November, 2016 Security-Intelligence

Absurdistan


Burak Bekdil
Turkish politics is struggling harder and harder to go beyond the title of “Absurdistan.” Sadly, not even the sky is the limit.
It is no secret that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan worships the notion of the “national will,” the sanctity of elected officials and, therefore, their decisions. But he only worships the will of the Turkish nation - and only when he wins at the ballot box. 

 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.” 

Shiite militias


Rekindling sectarian rivalries at a sensitive time, Iraq's parliament on Saturday voted to fully legalize state-sanctioned Shiite militias long accused of abuses against minority Sunnis, adopting a legislation that promoted them to a government force empowered to "deter" security and terror threats facing the country, like the Islamic State group.

Fake News

 By Finian Cunningham

 "Information Clearing House" - "Sputnik" - You really know that masses of people are living within a mind-control matrix when the greatest, most pervasive purveyors of fake news denounce others for the practice. And yet they do so without the slightest hint of awareness about their own monstrous hypocrisy.

 Trump Gen. Flynn


DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

Unlike most US president elects, Donald Trump is not waiting to be formally sworn into office on Jan. 20. DEBKAfile’s exclusive military and Washington sources reveal that he has already plunged unannounced into managing America’s military role in the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. 

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.

Islamic-military alliance


Fatih Yaşlı in Birgün writes that the alliance between the supposed “vanguard of secularism” – the military – and political Islam, which historically was motivated by a shared desire to beat the left, has a long pedigree. The military entered into a pragmatic relationship with the political representatives of religion during the Cold War. 

 Turkey authoritarianism

Editorial
Turkey’s sad slide away from freedom is not just a tragedy for that country. It’s a warning that democracy is fragile and can be quickly undermined if a society loses the will to fight for it.

 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.

 “Gun for Hire”


By David L. Phillips

 "Information Clearing House" - "Huffington Post" - Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, a Trump national security adviser, has been paid by Turkish money laundered through a Dutch company to lobby on behalf of the Turkish government. More than bad judgement, Flynn’s egregious conduct raises ethical questions. It also casts doubt on his suitability for public office.

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.

INADVERTENT WAR

 In 1914, Austria-Hungary launched what it thought would be a short punitive war against Serbia. The next thing it knew, it was involved in a war against Russia, Italy, France, Britain, and then the United States. Four years later, Austria-Hungary ceased to exist. If the Austro-Hungarian government had known where its Balkan intervention would lead, it would never have launched it. But it didn’t know. World War I was an inadvertent war.

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.

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.

 Hulusi Akar


Officials in Moscow say Russia and Turkey are resuming military cooperation and plan to hold a meeting of an intergovernmental commission before the end of 2016.

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.


 Chemical warfare


Alex Fishman

Analysis: Israel is facing a situation in which its potential enemies – radical Islamic states or organizations – have turned chemical weapons into legitimate warfare.
James Clapper, the American director of national intelligence, relayed a public strategic warning to countries in the Middle East last week: The United States is not really capable of influencing nuclear proliferation. We cannot help you against a nuclear enemy, and each country is on its own.

Muslim democracy

Burak Bekdil
Every new day adds fresh validation to the adage that “Turkey is fun unless you have to live in it.” In one recent speech, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described himself as an enemy of interest rates “because interest rates are a means of abuse.”

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).