Turkey, which keeps targeting the U.S. allies, is up to pretend it has taken one of the leading roles in the Middle Eastern geopolitical arena.
The conflict between the traditional and new political powers that began at a pretext of fighting the terrorists of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ is gaining momentum. The center of the friction between the West and East remains in Syria but the conflict’s geography and character are changing their shape. A routine U.S. operation on regime change in yet another ‘oil state’ and Washington’s attempt to deprive Moscow of the last ally in the Arab world jeopardized the century-old world order.
It is evident that now the Syrian conflict is not about tackling the terror threat as all the parties are pursuing their own military, political and economic goals. Along with this, the world witnesses the breakup of traditional military & financial and economic alliances, transforming ideas and ideologies.
During his electoral campaign, the current U.S. president Donald Trump called NATO ‘obsolete’, which ignited fierce debates in journalist and expert communities as well as in western political circles. The media were full of screaming headlines about the organization’s upcoming collapse against the background of the growing ‘Russian threat’.
Trump may have meant the financial issues and blame the U.S. allies for refusing to pay for their security but after he swore in, the president changed his opinion. However, Trump’s words turned out to be true, and not only for NATO but for the EU. Both organizations failed to adapt to the changing world and to cope with their main goals. The collapsing European Union is attempting to refrain the impoverished Europeans tired of the inflow of migrants and prone to nationalism and Euroscepticism – while the Brexit news are still trending, a far-right candidate loses just a couple of percent to a ‘traditional’ European at the French presidential elections.
In its turn, NATO has been preparing to defend Europe from the mythical ‘Russian tanks’ for so long that it neglects real problems and the EU again and again has to mourn for the victims of terror attacks and to puzzle over the issue of migrant criminal activity.
It’s no surprise that in these conditions, Turkey, a traditional U.S. ally and the only NATO member in the Middle East, defiantly throws down a challenge not only to Washington but also to the whole Western world. Referendum on proposed amendments to the constitution has shown the Turkish authorities are set to revoke the EU integration, which has been seen by Brussels as a leverage. More importantly, using impunity as a NATO member, Ankara has increased efforts in fighting against the Kurds and turned it into a barefaced genocide. Turkish airstrikes in northern Iraq and Syria, which killed a number of U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters, sparked deep concern of the White House.
In other words, the United States is in panic. The Pentagon can launch as many Tomahawks as it wants to the desert and pile terrorist holes with millions of dollars in TNT equivalent, but it still has no substantial leverage on Turkey. Washington is losing control over its allies and is suffering enormous image loss. Some American experts have already suggested that Ankara should be excluded from the alliance.
Refusing to recognize that the U.S. has obviously lost its positions in the Middle East and its control over the allies in the so-called ‘Anti-Assad’ coalition as well as being wary to show NATO as a paper tiger, the Department of State “pocketed its pride” and stated that despite the incident “Turkey remains a key U.S. ally in the fight against the Islamic State”. The only question is how long the U.S. Administration will be able to make a good face at a bad game while Erdogan is deliberately provoking Washington.