February, 2017 Security-Intelligence

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe


By Christian Nünlist for Center for Security Studies (CSS)

 

According to Christian Nünlist, Austria faces a daunting task while chairing the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) this year. After all, redirecting Europe back on the path to collective security will be difficult. Nünlist nevertheless believes that Vienna has the necessary mediation skills to restore the lost trust between Russia and the West, among other tasks.

NATO, the Middle East and Eastern Europe

 By George Friedman

NATO's mission has shifted, but are its members willing to meet the new challenges?
Over the past week, American officials have attended meetings of NATO and the Munich Security Conference. The topic has been the future of NATO, with the United States demanding once more that the Europeans carry out their obligation to maintain effective military forces in order to participate in the NATO military alliance. 

Turkish tanks

AARON STEIN AND RAO KOMAR
For special access to experts and other members of the national security community, check out new the War on the Rocks membership.
After months of halting and costly progress, the Turkish military and allied Syrian rebels are in a good position to take the Syrian city of al-Bab from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). With the capture of al-Bab, Turkey will have accomplished the clearly defined goals of its “Operation Euphrates Shield” intervention in northern Aleppo governorate: driving ISIL from the Turkish border and blocking hostile Kurdish forces from linking their territory to Turkey’s south.


Mutual Assured Disruption

Mark Leonard

This piece first appeared in the Munich Security Conference's Security Times in February 2017.

As the liberal order frays and geopolitical competition returns it is natural that people turn to Henry Kissinger. No one has a more finely-grained understanding of power politics, and his treatise on World Order sits on the bed side tables of many global leaders (even if few have actually read it).

 Ankara’s dilemmas in Syria and Iraq

Semih Idiz
Statements from Ankara regarding developments in Syria suggest that things are moving in a direction that Turkey wants. Take the operation against al-Bab in northern Syria for example. The head of the military recently announced that it has been completed and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been defeated.

America China


A blueprint for American policymakers to improve the U.S.-Chinese relationship.
Joe Renouard

Sino-American relations seem to be at a crossroads, though exactly where the relationship is headed is anyone’s guess. President Trump’s scattershot approach to public diplomacy and policymaking has thus far sparked more questions than answers. Is he acting irresponsibly and provoking unnecessary conflicts, or is he shrewdly testing Beijing’s resolve before he challenges it on trade and security matters? 

Yahya Sanwar

Ron Ben-Yishai
Analysis: Yahya Sanwar’s election is bad news for Israel. The terrorist who was released as part of the Shalit deal has set inadmissible conditions for a future prisoner and body swap deal and is interested in tightening Hamas’ relations with Iran while preparing for the next round of fighting.

Fall of Aleppo

by Fabrice Balanche
Fabrice Balanche, a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and associate professor at the University of Lyon 2, briefed the Middle East Forum on the Syrian crisis in a conference call on January 31, 2017.

 Al-Bab

Deniz Zeyrek
There are two weak links lying behind the delay in advancing the al-Bab operation.

The first is the disorder in the groups that form the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which seriously troubles the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), to the extent that if the TSK had been able to plan and conduct the Euphrates Shield operation alone it would have chosen a different path. Commanders, who know their capacities, would have been able to analyze “the enemy,” executing plans with an adequate number of units and equipment under a tactic formulated in the operations center.

Trump's Pentagon

Daniel R. DePetris
President Donald Trump has spoken: he wants his secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to get to work immediately on a plan to aggressively confront the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. And according to an executive order he signed last week, he wants that plan on his desk by late February.

Fake defense news?

 
Author Metin Gurcan, TranslatorTimur Göksel
As the United States is plagued by a politically motivated "fake news" epidemic, it seems there's been an outbreak in Turkey as well.

Ahmet Davutoğlu


Ahmet Davutoğlu, former Turkish PM, writes on the legacy of Obama's foreign policy and the challenges ahead for Trump.

Former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkey and a Member of Parliament from the AK Party, Turkey

There are few Western politicians whose election aroused as much excitement and hope both in the West and East, in the north and south, as Barack Obama. But there are also few politicians that have caused as much dismay and disappointment worldwide as Obama. Therefore his legacy will certainly be controversial.

Turkey-Greece confrontation


AUTHOR, Cengiz Çandar

This week's revival, after two decades, of the Kardak rivalry between Turkey and Greece is less about those countries' relationship and more about Turkey thumbing its nose at the European Union.

 Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Author Semih Idiz

Developments in Syria may once again be slipping through Turkey’s fingers. The new Donald Trump administration in Washington has already disappointed Ankara. Rather than being welcomed, Trump’s advocacy of safe zones in Syria — an idea first proposed by Turkey — has ruffled official Turkish feathers. Ankara now fears that such zones will be a step toward granting Syrian Kurds autonomy. Turkish officials have been noticeably mute on the matter, saying they need to see a full proposal before commenting.

Hulusi Akar

Yusuf Kanlı
It appears that there are efforts to reactivate the Kardak (Imia) issue between Turkey and Greece… Will, like the 1996 case, the islets bring the two countries to the verge of war in 2017, 21 years later?

 Islamization in France


by Michel Gurfinkiel
Excerpt of an article originally published under the title "Latest Survey Finds 25% of French Teenagers Are Muslims."

 Fight over Nationalism


President Trump needs to start caring about the war of words.
James Jay Carafano

The storm is gathering. The next great battle in the world war of ideas will be over the meaning of nationalism. It’s a fight the United States cannot afford to lose—and one that the Trump administration will have to go “over there” to win.