Defence

Turkey’s Erdoğan sticks with Putin, defies U.S.

Another month, another meeting between Erdoğan and Putin. Dimitar Bechev Ahval We have grown accustomed to this double act. From Syria, to Europe’s energy geopolitics, to what pundits label “the rise of illiberalism”, the two strongmen roll on and on, to the consternation of European Union and U.S. policymakers. Monday’s summit in Moscow gave Erdoğan an opportunity to strike a defiant pose vis-à-vis America. He declared, for the umpteenth time, that Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defence system was ... Read More »

World powers demand halt to Libya advance

Libyan forces under Khalifa Haftar battled their way to the south of Tripoli on April 5, prompting the U.N. Security Council and the G7 to demand a halt to the military advance on the capital. TRIPOLI- Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Haftar, commander of the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA), launched an offensive on April 4 to take the capital, held by a U.N.-backed unity government and an array of militias. The lightning assault was ordered as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was in Libyafor a ... Read More »

It Is Time to Revise Russia–Turkey Relations for a More Stable Future

With ongoing debates on Russian-made S-400 deliveries to Turkey, fate of continuing cooperation of Russia, Turkey and Iran in Syria and future of Ankara’s relations with the European Union and NATO, it is high time to make an honest review of Russian-Turkish relations, define weaknesses of bilateral cooperation and try to sketch a framework for a… Timur Akhmetov ModernDiplomacy Inspection of historical legacy and nature of current ties may be of big value for those who want to grasp contours ... Read More »

Another Country Just Fell In Love with the F-35 (China Won’t Be Happy)

But will Singapore really go ahead with a purchase? Michael Peck The National Interest F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin will have to demonstrate that the Lightning II can operate in Singapore’s tropical climate. Singapore’s next fighter jet may be the F-35 – and China won’t like that. (This first appeared several months ag0.) Singapore’s Ministry of Defense recently announced that the F-35 is the best candidate to replace the island-nation’s 60 aging F-16 fighters. “The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) ... Read More »

Why We Stand With NATO

“There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies, and that is fighting without them.” Tim Kaine and Cory Gardner The Atlantic On April 4, 1949, Johannes Kaiv, the acting consul general of Estonia’s government-in-exile, sent a letter to Secretary of State Dean Acheson, which read: I have the honor to offer my best wishes to the signatories of the North Atlantic Pact, and to express my confidence that they, inspired by the ideals of democracy, of individual liberty, ... Read More »

Pompeo: There will be ‘devastating’ consequences if Turkey attacks Syria

April 4 (UPI) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Turkey of “devastating” consequences if it attacks Syria. Darryl Coote Pompeo gave the warning to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu Wednesday in Washington during the first day of the two-day NATO Ministerial, State Department Spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement. “Secretary Pompeo expressed support for ongoing negotiations regarding northeast Syria, while warning of the potentially devastating consequences of unilateral Turkish military action in the region,” Palladino said in ... Read More »

Erdoğan’s Four Challenges

Turkey’s president suffered a frustrating setback in local government elections as democratic resilience prevailed. Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe Watch out for the impact on the economy, the rule of law, defense, and Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s campaigning was vintage AKP electioneering: playing a nationalist fiddle; hiding economic realities with creative accounting and cosmetic measures; equating low interest rates (again) with low inflation; accusing foreigners of weakening the currency; threatening the opposition; continuing the crackdown on free speech and ... Read More »

Pence Takes Germany to Task Over Defense Spending

US vice president also warns Turkey against purchase of Russian missile defense system Ashish Kumar Sen Atlantic Council US Vice President Mike Pence on April 3 chastised Germany for not spending enough on defense, warned Turkey against going ahead with the purchase of a Russian missile defense system, cautioned against the rise of China, and sought to reassure NATO allies that they will always have the United States’ support. US President Donald J. Trump has led the charge against NATO ... Read More »

Turkey’s marriage of F-35 and S-400 ‘absolutely unsustainable,’ says EUCOM nominee

WASHINGTON — The U.S. general nominated to lead American forces in Europe said Tuesday that if Turkey buys the Russian S-400 air defense system, it “should not get” the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from the United States. Joe Gould DefenseNews At his Senate Armed Services Committee nomination hearing to lead U.S. European Command, Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters called the co-location of the F-35 and the S-400 “absolutely unsustainable.” “I concur with this committee’s belief that the S-400 and the ... Read More »

Understanding Israel’s Role in The F-35 Dispute Between the US and Turkey

The United States has just cut off its nose to spite its face by announcing that Washington will halt delivery of equipment related to the F-35 fighter jet to Turkey. Adam Garrie EurasiaFuture This makes life more difficult for both Turkey and the US as Turkey played a key role in the development of the F-35. Is this about Russia or is it about Israel?  Throughout 2018, the US threatened to halt delivery of the F-35s to Turkey due to ... Read More »

Europe is spending more on its defence. Can Trump take credit?

Europe is spending more on its defence. But the spree may be more cyclical than the result of US pressure, analysts say. Dana Lewis Al Jazeera Browbeating European NATO countries to spend more on their own defence has become a staple of US President Donald Trump‘s foreign policy. So too has his administration’s “Buy American” drive to boost US arms exports to allies around the world. The tandem push has thrown the United States’ commitment to NATO into question and tarnished the notion ... Read More »

‘The world stands disgraced’ – Israeli shelling of school kills at least 15

• UN condemns IDF attack on sleeping children as violation of international law • Strike on crowded market in Shujai’iya during ceasefire kills 17 • Death toll now more than 1,300 after three weeks of fighting Harriet Sherwoodin Jerusalem and Hazem Baloushain Jabaliya The Guardian United Nations officials described the killing of sleeping children as a disgrace to the world and accused Israel of a serious violation of international law after a school in Gaza being used to shelter Palestinian families was shelled on Wednesday. ... Read More »

UN Strengthens Peacekeeping Despite U.S. Scepticism

This Friday, the UN hosts the 2019 Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference, an opportunity for politicians and diplomats to fill gaps in blue helmet missions. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s UN Director Richard Gowan previews the agenda. What is the point of the conference? This is the latest edition of a series of conferences that former U.S. President Barack Obama kicked off with other leaders at the UN General Assembly in 2015. Vice President Joe Biden had chaired a trial run the ... Read More »

Stopping an Unwanted War in Gaza

As in 2014, Hamas and Israel appear close to a conflagration that neither party desires – though now a shaky ceasefire seems to have taken hold. Tareq Baconi Crisis Group’s Israel/Palestine analyst Tareq Baconi explains how the parties got to the brink and how they can step back. What happened? In the early morning of 25 March a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in Mishmeret, north of Tel Aviv, destroying a family house and wounding seven Israelis, including ... Read More »

US and NATO must stand up to Russian aggression on the seas

Five years ago, masked Russian troops in unmarked green uniforms disembarked on the Crimean shore. By Cmdr. Tony Chavez The Hill Within days, Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in the most brazen military land grab since World War II. Much of the focus in the intervening years has been on the ongoing conflict in Donbas in eastern Ukraine. But what has yet to be fully appreciated in the West is that this is, in motives and actions, as much or ... Read More »

David McWilliams: Europe is glued to energy-rich Russia

As Putin marks 20 years in power, he knows how much the world needs his country David McWilliams The Irish Times As the train screeches to a halt, the young man, in his slim-fit Tom Ford suit, alights energetically. This is Revolution Square station, deep beneath Moscow’s congested boulevards. Built in 1938, the station is one of the gems of the Moscow metro system, itself one of the finest pieces of public transport infrastructure in the world. Stalin understood symbols. ... Read More »