Pat Buchanan asks, ”But in this war against “radical Islamic terrorism,” who is the real ally: Erdogan, who has been aiding and abetting Islamic jihadists in Syria, or Putin, who has been bombing them?”
Mr. Buchanan also wonders, “What do we do should Erdogan provoke a Russian attack on his aircraft, and then invoke Article V and call on all NATO nations to come to Turkey’s defense against Putin’s Russia in Assad’s Syria?”
Is Turkish strongman President Recep Erdogan trying to draw the United States in on his side in the war in Syria, and into a confrontation with Vladimir Putin’s Russia?
A little history is in order. Not until 1952 did Turkey join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, all but two of whose original 12 members were on the Atlantic or North Sea.
Yet bringing in Turkey was a ten-strike, putting NATO on the Dardanelles and Bosporus and on the southern coast of the Black Sea, right up to the border of Stalin’s Soviet Union.
But the world that made Turkey such a strategic asset has vanished. Armenia and Georgia are no longer Soviet republics but free nations. The Soviet Empire, Warsaw Pact, and Soviet Union no longer exist, and Balkan nations as well as the Baltic States are members of the EU and NATO.
Turkey is no longer the secular nation-state of Kemal Ataturk, but increasingly hearkens to the Islamic Awakening. In Syria’s civil war, her behavior has not been what one might expect of an ally.