Opinion: Trump’s Wise Turkey Policy - PressFrom - US
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Opinion Trump’s Wise Turkey Policy

10:40  10 october  2019
10:40  10 october  2019 Source:   nationalreview.com

Erdogan, Trump to meet next month in Washington amid Syria tensions: Turkey

  Erdogan, Trump to meet next month in Washington amid Syria tensions: Turkey President Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have agreed to meet in Washington in November amid tensions over Syria, Reuters reported Sunday.The agreement came during a phone call Sunday where the two leaders discussed a "safe zone" east of the Euphrates River in Syria from which Kurdish fighters would be withdraw, Ankara reportedly announced.The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.Conflict between the U.S. and Turkey over Kurdish fighters in Syria has been brewing for years.America is allied with the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which the U.S.

The practical effects on the ground will depend on the extent to which Turkey adheres to its word in the informal agreement that has apparently been reached between President Trump and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Trump ' s Turkey policy will have little or no effect on the Kurds' safety but could pay big dividends in the multinational struggle against Iran. Kemal Ataturk modernized and revived Turkey after World War I, and it wisely abstained from World War II but joined the Allies at the end, “to be at the table

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House, September 9, 2019.© Erin Scott/Reuters President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House, September 9, 2019.

There are three angles for assessing President Trump’s announcement of an agreement on Syria with Turkey, even though, like the similar announcement that apparently caused the resignation of former defense secretary James Mattis last year, it has been qualified ambiguously. The ambition to reduce the American presence in Syria should be seen in the context of domestic American politics, its practical effects on the ground, and its broader strategic implications. On domestic politics, it was certainly the correct decision. As the president has finally slipped a couple of points in the polls under the battering of the spurious (and hopeless) Democratic fantasia that the Ukraine non-event may actually threaten the president’s hold on his office, it is a wise and timely move to strengthen his supporters’ morale by delivering on another campaign promise. There is a widespread fatigue in the U.S. over its 18 years of steady involvement in Middle Eastern war, with its principal accomplishment of delivering influence over the Shiite 60 percent of Iraq from Saddam Hussein to the Iranian ayatollahs, about the last objective sought by George W. Bush. The U.S. casualties aren’t now heavy, but the spectacle, year after year, of the human tragedy in the disintegration of Syria and Iraq, although it has made Israel’s life easier, has helped to create a consensus in the United States that despite the role it played in creating some of these circumstances, the United States does not indefinitely belong there.

Trump defends U.S. relations with Turkey after bipartisan backlash

  Trump defends U.S. relations with Turkey after bipartisan backlash Trump defends U.S. relations with Turkey after bipartisan backlashCritics fear the move will open the way for a Turkish strike on Kurdish-led forces long allied with Washington who have led the fight against the Islamic State militant group in Syria. Turkey says those forces are terrorists because of their ties to Kurdish militants who have waged a long insurgency in Turkey.

WASHINGTON — President Trump threw Middle East policy into turmoil on Monday with a series of conflicting signals after his vow to withdraw American forces from the region touched off an uprising among congressional Republicans and protests by America’ s allies.

Mr. Trump announced his decision as an act of military restraint, long overdue now that ISIS has been But Trump ’ s abrupt announcement to withdraw from northern Syria and endorse Turkey ’s Christian Britschgi writes that Mr. Graham’s criticism of Mr. Trump ’ s Syria policy “says a lot more

The practical effects on the ground will depend on the extent to which Turkey adheres to its word in the informal agreement that has apparently been reached between President Trump and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. If Turkey contents itself with eliminating Kurdish infiltration on its border with Syria, does not release the 10,000 ISIS prisoners detained there (Turkey has no more affection for ISIS than the U.S. does), and does not employ its position to further oppress the Kurds, who, at 14 million, are about 18 percent of the Turkish population, there will be no downside to these arrangements. The Kurdish problem vastly transcends the skirmishing along the Turkish border. There are about 35 million Kurds in the world, the largest concentration being in Turkey, where they have frequently manifested a desire to secede and have often been an oppressed minority. There are broadly 6 million in each of Iraq and Iran, and just 2 million in Syria, and the rest are scattered, including almost 2 million in Germany. The area where Americans are being withdrawn is a small piece of the puzzle, and while there is no doubt that Kurds have been trying to support Kurdish secessionists in Turkey, they have also been valued allies against ISIS in particular, and were no fonder of the Assad regime in Syria than they had been of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. As a practical matter, the Kurds have no prospect of gaining independence anywhere except in the remains of Iraq, where the current rioting confirms the almost complete failure of the George W. Bush post-Saddam nation-building policy.

White House Threatens Turkey With Crippling Sanctions

  White House Threatens Turkey With Crippling Sanctions The Trump administration on Friday belatedly threatened new sanctions against Turkey that officials said could cripple Turkey’s economy in response to its military offensive against Kurds in northern Syria. President Trump will sign an executive order giving the Treasury Department new powers to punish Turkish government officials if Turkey targets ethnic and religious minorities in its operations against the Kurds. The White House also warned that if any Islamic State fighters being held in prisons in the area were allowed by Turkey to escape, the United States would respond forcefully.

President Trump on Tuesday said that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey would be visiting the White House in mid-November, an invitation added to the calendar amid Mr. Trump ’ s abrupt and widely criticized decision to clear the way for a Turkish military operation against American-assisted

President Trump issued a blunt warning to Turkey ’ s Recep Tayyip Erdogan this week: Go too far in Syria and I will destroy your economy. The threat came after Sunday’ s surprise announcement that the United States would be pulling troops out of northeast Syria, leaving America’ s Kurdish allies open to

There is no solution in sight to the general Kurdish problem, and it is true that the world has failed the Kurds, especially after the successful Gulf War in 1991, when we had the opportunity to ensure autonomy for the Iraqi Kurds and instead condemned them to another decade of the barbarous brigandage of Saddam Hussein. Iraqi Kurdistan is the most politically coherent Kurdish region and, because of its extensive oil reserves and facilities, the most prosperous. To hear the opponents of President Trump’s policy, you might think he was withdrawing a whole division from a mission of protecting millions of Kurds from genocide. In fact we are speaking of 400 U.S. servicemen, and if the Turks can replace them adequately and without brutalizing the Syrian Kurds as they do so, this is a viable solution. If they carry their mistreatment of the Kurds into Syria, President Trump has pledged to respond economically. Unless Erdogan has taken complete leave of his senses, this should be a sufficient deterrent.

Trump halting trade negotiations with Turkey, raising its steel tariffs to 50%

  Trump halting trade negotiations with Turkey, raising its steel tariffs to 50% President Donald Trump announced Monday that he would "soon" issue an order sanctioning Turkish officials, hiking tariffs on Turkish steel up to 50% and "immediately" halting trade negotiations with the country. © Thomson Reuters Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters hold the Syrian opposition flag at the border town of Tel Abyad, Syria, October 14, 2019.

Mr. Trump asserted in his statement that “ Turkey has committed to protecting civilians, protecting religious minorities, including Christians, and ensuring no humanitarian crisis takes place.” Michael Crowley is a White House correspondent, covering President Trump ’ s foreign policy .

The Trump administration’ s “get tough” policy , initiated this month, is a welcome change. Unfortunately, however, the policy has been late in coming and clumsily implemented. A “get tough” policy with Turkey was long overdue. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has botched the job.

The larger strategic question is: Whither Turkey? It was one of the original great states of the modern world in the 16th century: Suleiman the Magnificent was one of the greatest rulers of the time, with England’s king Henry VIII, France’s king Francis I, and the Holy Roman emperor (Spain, Austria, and the Netherlands), Charles V. It continued to be an important power thereafter, and even when the Ottoman Empire was in decline, with the Russians, the Austro-Hungarians, and even the Italians picking pieces off it, and it was reviled as the “Sick Man of Europe,” and the “Abominable Port,” when it entered World War I, it soundly whipped a British and French invasion force at Gallipoli — inflicting over 300,000 casualties and the greatest defeat in Winston Churchill’s career — and more than held its own with the Russians, outlasting that country in the war, as Lenin and Trotsky seized control and signed a humiliating peace with Germany. Kemal Ataturk modernized and revived Turkey after World War I, and it wisely abstained from World War II but joined the Allies at the end, “to be at the table and not on the menu,” as Ataturk’s successor, Ismet Inonu, put it. Turkey was a founding member of NATO and a staunch ally for more than 50 years, accepting the deployment of medium-range nuclear-tipped missiles (which President Kennedy agreed to withdraw as part of the Cuban Missile Crisis resolution in 1962, to the irritation of the Turks).

Erdogan says Turkey will never declare ceasefire in northern Syria -NTV

  Erdogan says Turkey will never declare ceasefire in northern Syria -NTV President Tayyip Erdogan told U.S. President Donald Trump that Turkey will never declare a ceasefire in northeastern Syria, and added that he was not worried about U.S. sanctions over Ankara's offensive, broadcaster NTV reported on Tuesday. © ASSOCIATED PRESS In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, smoke and dust billows from targets in Ras al-Ayn, Syria, caused by bombardment by Turkish forces, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019.

Mr. Trump asserted in his statement that “ Turkey has committed to protecting civilians, protecting religious minorities, including Christians, and ensuring no humanitarian crisis takes place.” Michael Crowley is a White House correspondent, covering President Trump ’ s foreign policy .

Although most reports from the White House deal with the ongoing prospects of impeachment of the President, there is other news coming out of the Oval Office.On Wednesday, the President signed two executive orders

The current ambiguous status of Turkey is in considerable part the responsibility of the Europeans, in cavalierly rebuffing Turkish attempts to join Europe. The desire not to be swamped with Turkish immigrants was understandable, but Europe has received large numbers of Arabs while driving Turkey halfway into the arms of Russia and Iran, and, as President Trump pointed out on Monday, left Syria almost entirely to the Americans to deal with. U.S.–Turkish relations must be seen in the wider arc of legitimate American interests in the region. Europe has rejected the Turks and largely abdicated any serious or coherent foreign-policy role, apart from the U.K., Poland, and the Baltic states, which for obvious reasons feel the Russian presence nervously and are pulling their weight in the alliance. The Europeans, even the otherwise magnificent Margaret Thatcher, never had any Middle Eastern policy except to await American proposals and then put forward something more favorable to the Arabs.

Now that Syria and Iraq have imploded, while Turkish encroachments and, more seriously, Iranian promotion of radical Islam — especially Hamas (Gaza), Hezbollah (Lebanon), and the Houthi (Yemen) — have caused Egypt and Saudi Arabia to ditch the Palestinians, cooperate with Israel, and take the lead in repelling Iran, there is a diplomatic opportunity for the United States. The president seems to be moving in the direction of creating a cooperative framework with the principal Middle Eastern countries to assist in the containment and deterrence of Iran. Turkey is a natural and historic rival of both Russia and Persia (Iran), and President Trump is right to give Turkey the incentive required to treat the Syrian Kurds reasonably, and to welcome it into an arrangement that constitutes an extension of NATO. Turkey should be embraced as an ally in keeping Iranian influence out of the Middle East and discouraging its support of terrorism, and should be paid the courtesy due to such a vital associate state. Apart from economic and other incentives, any such action would flatter Erdogan’s affectations of great-power status. The greater the Turkish influence in Syria and Iraq, the better (they’re all Sunni Muslim countries). The West can reinforce the Kurds where they are strongest and richest, in Iraq. Ultimately, the Middle East must be governed by its principal countries, with only the subtlest possible American intervention.

President Trump appears to be assembling an informal coalition of interests between Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Jordan, and the United States. He is on the right track, and most Americans sense this, despite hip-shooting overreactions on Capitol Hill and in the anti-Trump media, which are generally even more ignorant of the Middle East than they are of that incidental part of United States that lies between Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.

Sen. Mitt Romney raises a troubling theory about Trump and Turkey .
Romney suggested that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan might have given Trump an ultimatum — and that Trump caved on withdrawing from Syria.But while that line will get a lot of play, there’s something else Romney said that shouldn’t escape notice. He also floated a theory about how Trump arrived at the decision: that he got bullied into it by Turkey and that he backed down.

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