Turkish Breakup with the U.S. and NATO: The Illogical Logics

Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 7, No. 5, May 2019 

During the ceremony, Brig. Gen. Clarke assumed command of the 82nd from Maj. Gen. John W. Nicholson who is slated to take command of Allied Land Command, NATO, Izmir, Turkey. Source: U.S. Army via Flickr.

Dr. Jahara Matisek
U.S. Air Force Academy

Dr. Buddhika Jayamaha
U.S. Air Force Academy

Abstract: With decades of debate about Turkey leaving NATO, the Turkish purchase (and delivery) of a Russian air defense system may be crossing the Rubicon. The Syrian Civil War, combined with how the U.S. and NATO decided to back Kurdish proxies in the fight against the Islamic State, has fed into the domestic logic of survival for Turkish political elites. With President Erdoğan and his revisionist political party ruling over Turkey the last decade, they appear to have finally refashioned the Turkish state by purging secularists from the government and military since the coup hoax of 2016. This new consolidation of political power has created a Turkish state with values incompatible with the West and strategies irreconcilable with NATO. However, these efforts by Erdoğan are undermining the long-term economic viability of the Turkish state, as established norms concerning the rule of law and property rights deteriorate, risking Turkey’s status as a reliable and stable ally in the region. We make these judgements on Turkey provoking its own expulsion from NATO based on interviews and fieldwork in Kurdistan and Turkey.

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A Chaotic Start: Foreign Affairs in the New U.S. Congress

Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 7, No. 2, February 2019

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. On January 9, 2019, he meet with Nechirvan Barzani, outgoing Prime Minister of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), in the province’s capital Arbil during a Middle East tour. The eight-day tour comes weeks after the US President announced that the United States would quickly pull its 2,000 soldiers out of Syria, declaring that IS — also known as ISIS — had been defeated. Source: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

William R. Hawkins

International Economics and National Security Consultant

 

It is widely held that the direction of foreign policy has shifted almost wholly to the executive branch. The only issue being under which president did this happen? Ronald Regan? Franklin Roosevelt? Woodrow Wilson? Teddy Roosevelt? Or even George Washington as the inherent result of the creation of the presidency itself. The Constitution was created to correct the lack of national leadership in the prior Confederation period when there was only a Congress. But one only needs to look at the first actions of the 116th Congress to understand why a major factor in this evolution of power has been the confusion and institutional flaws that render Congress unsuited for the conduct of international affairs. Its role is limited to being a forum for supporting or opposing the policies set by the Commander-in-Chief.

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Senate Undermines America as an Alliance Partner: The Resolution to Ban US Military Assistance in Yemen

Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 7, No. 12, December 2018 

Rebels brandishing weapons rally in Sanaa, Yemen, 2015. Source: Flickr.

William R. Hawkins

International Economics and National Security Consultant

Those who pushed the U.S. Senate to adopt Senate Joint Resolution 54 (S.J.Res.54), “A joint resolution to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress” in mid-December sought to avoid any mention of the strategic importance of Yemen, the nature of the civil war that has been raging there, or the support Iran has been giving the Shia Houthi rebels who started the conflict. Instead, the resolution aimed only at the U.S.-Saudi alliance and the Saudi-led coalition that is fighting to defend the internationally recognized Yemen government. No American combat units are involved in the Yemen conflict. The U.S. has been providing intelligence and logistical support to give a critical edge to the coalition forces that are doing the actual fighting.

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Khashoggi was Not a Friend of America

It would be ironic if his death led the U.S. to take actions harmful to itself

Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 7, No. 10, October 2018 

Iran’s Navy Commander Admiral Habibollah Sayari, 2016. In 2010 on December, 22, in Tehran he announced at a press conference that Iran will launch 10 days of naval drills from December 24, covering east of the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman to the Gulf of Aden. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

William R. Hawkins

International Economics and National Security Consultant

Returning from his trip to Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told President Donald Trump on Thursday that the Saudi Arabian government needs s “a few more days” to investigate the fate of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi writer and activist who disappeared on October 4 while visiting a Saudi consulate in Turkey. It has been alleged that Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi agents because of his criticism of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the young reform-minded de facto leader of the country.  Pompeo told the press, “We made clear to them that we take this matter very seriously.” As a sign of this, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin withdrew from an investment conference in Riyadh and President Donald Trump threatened “severe consequences” if Khashoggi’s murder was state sponsored. Yet, Pompeo also reminded his audience, “We have a have a long strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia. We need to be mindful of that.” And well we should, as it provides the larger strategic context in which the fate of Khashoggi must be placed.

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