The War on Terror Was Never Turkey’s Fight

September 09, 2021

Do you know where you were on August 14, 2001? Perhaps not, since it isn't a defining day in world history in quite the same way as September 11, 2001, or 9/11, as it’s become known. Yet in the Turkish political landscape, August 14, 2001, can now be seen as something of a watershed...

Turkey’s Plan in Syria: Squash Dreams of Kurdish Autonomy
November 12, 2019

Turkey's Plan in Syria: Squash Dreams of Kurdish Autonomy

Can Iraq’s New Foreign Policy Approach Succeed?
October 30, 2019

Can Iraq’s New Foreign Policy Approach Succeed?

Turkey’s Syria Gamble May Be a Losing Game
October 29, 2019

Turkey’s Syria Gamble May Be a Losing Game

The Art of the Back-Pedal

The Art of the Back-Pedal

October 25, 2019

It is a hallmark of right-wing populists to make a preposterous policy and then be forced — by opposition, by circumstance, by the laws of physics — to retreat. Three very recent examples involve US President Donald Trump, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Turkish President Recep Tayyip...

Facing the Consequences of Trump’s Decision to Abandon the Kurds

Facing the Consequences of Trump’s Decision to Abandon the Kurds

October 25, 2019

The sad tragedy of US President Donald Trump’s precipitous decision to suddenly abandon the Kurds of northern Syria is that it may have been inevitable. Turkey had long warned the Americans that it viscerally opposed its partnership with the People’s Protection Units (YGP) — a Syrian Kurdish...

Russia Turns Trump’s Middle East Blunder to Its Advantage

Russia Turns Trump’s Middle East Blunder to Its Advantage

October 23, 2019

The Americans call the five-day halt to Turkey’s military incursion into northern Syria a ceasefire, while the Turks prefer to call it a pause. The Kurds call the incursion something else. For them, and for American soldiers who fought with them in the war against the Islamic State (IS), as well...

It’s Time to Bury the Myth of Trump the Dealmaker

It's Time to Bury the Myth of Trump the Dealmaker

October 18, 2019

Donald Trump loves to talk about ending the endless US wars that he inherited as president. He tweets about it. He endlessly criticizes his predecessors for their martial mistakes. But like the old saw about the weather, Trump talks a whole lot about endless wars but doesn’t do...

We May Be Better Off Without a Clear Definition of Terrorism

We May Be Better Off Without a Clear Definition of Terrorism

July 23, 2019

In all likelihood, you have an ambiguous understanding of “terrorism.” The average individual can recognize an event as terrorism but, when asked to define the term, is able to offer only the most general of definitions. The reason for this is that terrorism is undefined or, more accurately,...

Turkey’s New Role in the Middle East Divides the Arab World

Turkey’s New Role in the Middle East Divides the Arab World

July 12, 2019

When Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) ascended to power in 2002, Ankara’s foreign policy in the Middle East was extremely different from what it is today. From the founding of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 until the beginning of this century, the ideology and stances of Mustafa...

What Does Turkey’s Election Result Mean for Its Ruling Party?

What Does Turkey’s Election Result Mean for Its Ruling Party?

April 02, 2019

While the AKP's electoral base has been loyal to the party this time, there is no certainty this will happen again in the future. The results of the Turkish local elections appear to be quite clear as of now —  at least when it comes to the actual numbers emerging from the polling stations....

The Forever War in the Middle East Is Far from Over

The Forever War in the Middle East Is Far from Over

January 18, 2019

US involvement in Syria — hesitant, misguided, quixotic — has been benighted from the beginning. Donald Trump wants to pull US troops out of Syria as quickly as possible. Well, it’s Friday, so that’s what the president wants now. Tomorrow, who knows, maybe he’ll insist that Syria pay...

Why the US Is Still Losing Turkey

Why the US Is Still Losing Turkey

January 15, 2019

Reliably narrow definitions of national self-interest continue to drive Turkey and the US further apart. There’s one thing Turkey and the US can definitely agree on these days: Unreliability is now the bedrock of their relationship. It’s perhaps not surprising when the two powers are led by...

Syrian Kurds: The New Frontline in Confronting Iran and Turkey

Syrian Kurds: The New Frontline in Confronting Iran and Turkey

January 15, 2019

In the Middle East, frontlines and tactics may be shifting, but US and Gulf geopolitical goals have not. Donald Trump’s threat to “devastate” the Turkish economy if Ankara attacks Syrian Kurds serves his broader goal of letting regional forces fight for common goals, like countering...

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