In a surprise move, Turkey has aggressively taken the lead in what seemed a stalemate over Syria. While Bashir Al-Assad has announced his country is at war, his observation might be more accurate than he is comfortable with. Following Syria’s encore performance of shooting at Turkish F-4’s, Ankara has decided to remind the world that the “sick man of Europe” has been in the gym for a long LONG time.
With unconfirmed reports of Turkish units moving to the Syrian border, Turkey is poised to take the lead on a NATO mission no one has wanted to touch. Turkey taking the reins shows optimism for future potential on NATO’s heart monitor. NATO is not merely a support structure for US operations abroad, but as indicated by Turkey’s actions, an institution by which any member state can take the lead on security issues no matter how feckless the majority.
Turkey has been sitting on the periphery for a long time. The nation many dismissed as a NATO ornament and an EU impossibility has proven itself an economic powerhouse, a political leader, and now a military spearhead. “Everybody should know that Turkey’s wrath is just as strong and devastating as its friendship is valuable,” said President Erdogan. With the speed and rigor of the Turkish response both politically and militarily, perhaps the long-ago sick man of Europe will become its backbone.
5 thoughts on “The Sublime Porte Takes the Lead”
What do you mean by “poised to take the lead on…”? Do you think Turkey will actually launch an attack into Syria? Seems more likely they are attempting to start carving out a no-go zone in northern Syria to extend the Free Syrian Army’s safe haven given Turkey’s statements that a. despite everything they don’t want a war and b. they will attack Syrian forces approaching their border.
I do believe they will. Syria has shown itself to be a security threat and is acting increasingly within a “bunker mentality” that never ends well for neighbors withing refugee range.
That said, “carving out no-go zones” is essentially what we did in Libya, except everywhere eventually became the no-go zone. Every journey begins with a single step; I think Turkey has put its foot forward.
Not saying we won’t eventually see overt Turkish troops in Syria, just not without further provocation. For all the bluster little has changed on the ground.
True, but it’s only been a day or so. The fact that the Turks were willing to run hard out of the gate with this is telling. Granted, the Israeli papers talking about a buildup on the Turkish side of the border may not be as reliable as desired, but I’d bet they’re probably true. I’m sure they’re building up the political backing and scoring the military support they can get before kicking this off.
Don’t forget there is also the Kurdish quesion the Turks will want to deal with in Northern Syria; is this a two-fer?