Security

Turkey might not like the West, but needs it

When President Trump sanctioned two Turkish ministers—an unprecedented measure involving a NATO ally—and announced the doubling of trade tariffs early in August, he further aggravated the steadily deteriorating U.S.-Turkish relationship. Kemal Kirişci Brookings The moves came after the Turkish government refused to allow Pastor Andrew Brunson, who is facing spurious espionage and terrorism charges, to return to the United States. Turkey’s currency, already fragile, went into a tailspin, and has lost nearly half its value compared to the beginning of ... Read More »

EEZ of Doing Watery Business

With ties that go back centuries, the relations between Indonesia and India remain steadfast today. By Sidharto Suryodipuro (The writer is ambassador of Indonesia to India) The Economic Times Both President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have met in various fora. During the visit of Modi to Indonesia last May, the two governments agreed to enhance cooperation in defence, space, railways, science, medicine and health. One aspect of cooperation that tends to be forgotten, however, is maritime boundary delimitation (MBD). ... Read More »

The Erdogan Question: Is It Time To Shrink NATO?

The Turkish president’s thuggish autocracy and reflexive anti-Americanism make him very popular in his country. Philip Terzian Weekly Standard There was once a country in what used to be called the Near East that was much admired in the United States and often regarded as America’s most valuable asset in the region. Although the country was predominantly Muslim, its government was resolutely secular in outlook and committed to “modernizing” its deeply traditional culture: Women enjoyed unprecedented equality, for example, and ... Read More »

Time for President Donald Trump to Bury the U.S.-Turkey Alliance

The alliance was already dead—just not everyone realizes it yet. The U.S.-Turkey alliance is dead. Certainly, as long as Tayyip Recep Erdoğan is Turkey’s president. Doug Bandow The National Interest And probably well beyond that. The current dispute over the imprisonment of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson dominates the news. But more important is an increasing divergence in the two nations’ geopolitical interests. The traditional claim that Ankara was a “vital” partner long reflected the triumph of hope over experience. During ... Read More »

A Preview of Donald Trump’s Next Speech on Erdogan’s Turkey

Reflections on how to Make Turkey Great Again. When Recep Tayyip Erdogan jailed an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, and held him as a hostage, Donald Trump tried to get the fellow released. Ira Straus the Globalist This effort failing, he chose to respond with sanctions. Erdogan struck back with demagogic speeches about this being an attack on Turkey. The man in the Oval Office is unlikely to back down. He is not one to let go if someone locks horns ... Read More »

Sri Lanka joins Indian Ocean strategy talks at Vietnam forum

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is participating in conference to develop regional co-operation in the Indian Ocean held in Vietnam, a country that has suffered from China’s controversial restrictions on resources, free navigation and… The third Indian Ocean Conference is being held in Ha Noi to develop regional architectures to co-operate in security, trade commercial administration in the context of the strategic and economic importance of the… The Indian Ocean Conference was founded three years ago with ... Read More »

Is China Repeating Germany’s World War I Mistakes?

Channeling his inner Kaiser Wilhelm, Xi calls on China’s navy to “aim for the top ranks in the world… John Maurer The National Interest Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military.” At a recent show of Chinese naval might in the South China Sea, President Xi Jinping called for China to acquire a world-class navy, declaring to the assembled officers and crews that there has never been a… This demonstration of ... Read More »

Seafood diplomacy? Erdogan invites ‘dearest friend’ Putin to meet at fish restaurant

Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan may soon be discussing the S-400 anti-air systems deal while eating fish or lobsters, as Putin has been reminded of an arrangement to meet at a… * RT An invitation from Erdogan, delivered to Putin by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu on Friday, said: “Your dearest friend, Mr. Erdogan, has asked to convene his greetings and best wishes, he is hoping for your visit to Istanbul in the near future. You have ... Read More »

Serbia, Kosovo presidents broach border changes for historic deal

Balkan leaders seek to calm fears that plan could reignite ethnic violence. Andrew Gray Politico ALPBACH — The presidents of Serbia and Kosovo made clear on Saturday they are considering border changes to reach a historic peace settlement and called on the European Union to provide crucial… The declarations by Serbia’s Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovo’s Hashim Thaçi at a panel discussion in Austria place the EU in a difficult position. EU leaders have long opposed such changes on the basis ... Read More »

Putin and Erdoğan Knock Again at Merkel’s Door

Sanctions force the two autocrats to negotiate with Germany over Syria. By Josué Michels theTrumpet Germany’s diplomatic relations with Turkey and Russia are warming up again. For several years, these relationships have been frosty. Reuters reported last week “But now, a diplomatic firework erupted” (Trumpet translation throughout). German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a three hour discussion on August 18. A meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is planned for September. Ahead of the meeting ... Read More »

UN meeting on new Syrian constitution set for next month

The United Nations peace envoy for Syria will host Iran, Russia and Turkey for talks on drafting a new Syrian constitution on Sept. 11-12, a United Nations spokeswoman said on Aug. 24. GENEVA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura has been tasked with setting up a committee to write a new constitution for the war-ravaged country. The main foreign powers backing the project are Syrian government allies Russia and Iran, as well as Turkey, which supports some opposition groups. Representatives of the… UN meeting on… Read More »

Naval experts concerned over China’s increasing presence in Mediterranean

The workshop held at the University of Haifa studied and assessed the issues concerning the future and character of maritime warfare in the region as well as various strategic developments. Anna Ahronheim JPost The increasing presence of China in the Mediterranean region as part of the Asian giant’s Belt and Road Initiative should be a cause of concern, experts told The Jerusalem Post this week. “What concerns us is China’s Belt and Road Initiative and its growing role in Israel’s ... Read More »

ISIL chief Baghdadi urges ‘jihad’ in purported new recording

The leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called on Muslims to wage “jihad” in a purported new audio recording released on Aug. 22. BEIRUT – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet He also called for attacks in the West in the Telegram message on Eid al-Adha, which comes as ISIL has lost most of its territory in Iraq and Syria. It is the first purported recording of the ISIL leader to be released since September last year. “Those who forget their religion, patience, jihad against their enemies, and their certainty inthe creator’s promise lose… ISIL chief Baghdadi… Read More »

Turkey will reportedly start getting Russia’s advanced missile defense system in 2019, despite US efforts to block it

Russia will start delivering its advanced S-400 missile defense system to Turkey in 2019, the Interfax news agency cited Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport as saying on Tuesday. Christopher Woody and Reuters Business Insider A Turkish defense official said in April that the delivery of the S-400 batteries had been brought forward from the first quarter of 2020 to July 2019. Turkey and Russia negotiated the purchase throughout 2017, finalizing a deal worth some $2.5 billion at the end of ... Read More »

Is Washington pushing Turkey and Europe toward each other?

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seeking new allies to offset Ankara’s worsening ties with Washington, which have come to a breaking point over Turkey’s continued detention of American pastor… Semih Idiz Al-Monitor Erdogan’s remarks show that his heart is set on Russia and China. Ironic as it may seem, though, Turkey’s crisis with the United States is rekindling its ties with Europe, even though these ties had hit rock bottom not so long ago. Recent European statements of support for ... Read More »

Turkey-U.S. Tiff Shows How Deep NATO’s Problems Run

Europe can’t just blame Trump if everything falls apart. Hal Brands Bloomberg NATO is having a rough summer. Fresh off President Trump’s deliberately disruptive behavior at the alliance summit in July, NATO has suffered a high-stakes blowup between two key members: the U.S. and… That dispute crystallized over the fate of an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, being held in Turkey on spurious charges of supporting a failed coup against Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016. It has been punctuated by economic sanctions, ... Read More »