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Peace in Our Time
The Kurds, the Kremlin, and the Ceasefire
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  • Ellen

    “While bright minds in the White House”…. Oh please. After almost 8 years of this crowd in the White House, how can you write such a ridiculous comment. This sounds like it’s from Alice in Wonderland. Sometimes one sees a Cat without a big smile, and sometimes a big smile without a cat. But one never sees a cat WITH a big smile. Just as one cannot possibly imagine this White House with bright minds in it.

    • Beauceron

      It’s the Left.

      They will continually remind you of how smart they are– and how stupid anyone who disagrees with them is.

      It’s one of their tactics. They drag a lot of people who just want to appear smart into their camp by doing that. It works.

    • Jim__L

      That phrase may have been used ironically.

      • http://www.the-american-interest.com/ Damir Marusic

        Yes, just maybe…!

  • Pete

    Mead vote for BHO so I suppose he has to put lipstick in that pig of an administration.

  • Rodney

    Another Russo-Turkish war has some potential benefits for Russia. A Montreux Convention rewrite or replacement under Russian terms could accomplish a goal since the days of Catherine the Great, control of access to the Black Sea, and further weaken NATO. Provided he could keep such a conflict from escalating into World War III, Putin would have a lot to gain.

    • Jim__L

      I think there’s about zero chance that Obama would be a party to WWIII. Putin’s got a pretty free hand here.

    • CapitalHawk

      You think that Russia can take and hold the Turkish Straits? Ha! That area is THE CORE of Turkey. They would fight to the last man to hold it. And if Russia looked likely to actually prevail in doing so (which I doubt would ever happen) the US would definitely intervene. Whether the President is Obama or his successor.

      • Rodney

        I never said that Putin would directly attack the Turkish Straits or would succeed; I merely mentioned that control of the Straits may be on the table in the event of war. Perhaps a limited war with a negotiated settlement, provided that the Russians succeeded in occupying a substantial amount of Turkish territory, could force a regime change, withdrawal of Turkey from NATO or even renegotiation of the terms of the Montreux convention.

        With regards to a potential Russian military move against the Turkish Straits, I can think of several points Putin would consider:

        1. Under Putin, the Russian military is more nimble and a lot less cautious than the British Admiral calling the shots in the Gallipoli operation. There would be less opportunity for the Turks to quickly react to their moves.
        2. Do the Turks have any commanders of the caliber of Mustafa Kemal? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I bet Putin does.
        3. At present, the American president is a lot more bark than bite relative to red lines.
        4. The U.S. military is being used as an instrument of social change. Are the current military leaders better at promoting the president’s social agenda than at leading men in battle? I consider this an important consideration. The Soviets got a black eye from the Finns because Stalin had purged his good generals and replaced them with yes-men party hacks. I don’t doubt this was part of Hitler’s calculation in deciding to proceed with Operation Barbarossa.
        5. As described in Robert Gates’ memoir Duty, the Pentagon bureaucracy exhibited a high degree of ossification, resulting in poor responsiveness to the needs of the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. An encore in a major war could be disastrous to the war effort.
        6. While I consider our military personnel to be professional, there are only so many of them. A major war would require recruitment of many more young men. Given the news reports I regularly see about college students melting down as soon as someone fails to agree with them. Can they handle combat or even boot camp. I am presently thinking about that Geico commercial with Ermey as a counselor.

        I know that Putin would be considering many more factors, but I don’t find the above list confidence inspiring.

  • Andrew Allison

    Duh! The Kurds have been the most effective anti-ISIS force in the region but the US refuses to support them. Why wouldn’t they go to Moscow? Another “triumph” of a manefestly incompetent, at best, Adminstration

  • Beauceron

    Considering the role Turkey played in the expansion of IS and al-Nusra, I am not all that interested in protecting them. They played a very large role in arming and letting in recruits. Now that those actions and their long-running oppression of the Kurds is biting back at them, we’re supposed to back them without questions.
    No, no, no.

  • CapitalHawk

    Well, regardless of your view with respect to the Iraq invasion in 2003, the US asked for Turkeys assistance by allowing the 4th Infantry Division to pass through Turkey. The Turks acted like they would permit this and then said no at the last minute. So, the USA asked for Turkey’s help in the past and they refused. Why would the USA back the Turks “with no ifs or buts” in their foreign adventures now? What goes around comes around…

  • gabrielsyme

    Turkey is doing more than enough to undermine NATO without the help of Russia. At this point, Turkey’s membership is far and away more of an embarrassment and a systemic risk to the alliance than a benefit. Turkey recently placed NATO on the razor’s edge of war with Russia for its own extremely narrow interests.

    Look at Turkey objectively. It’s a middle power deeply infected by Islamist extremism, run by an unhinged, antisemitic, and conspiracy theorizing Islamist, which has been promoting Islamist movements in the broader region. It illegally occupies the territory of an EU, constantly engages in genocide denial, refuses to have diplomatic relations with the home state of its victims (Armenia), enforces severe restrictions on religious freedom and prosecutes a vicious internal war against its own people. It’s as if Germany were still occupying the Sudetenland, denied the Holocaust, refused to have diplomatic relations with Israel while running a vicious anti-insurgency against Poles in East Prussia. Such a nation would not just be cast out of NATO, it would rightly be a pariah – Turkey deserves no better.

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