After Turkey shot down a Russian airplane trying to prevent ISIS from getting resources and support from Turkey, it effectively declared war on Russia.
Only an apology from the Turkisk president and commitment by him to avoid mindless acts that will endanger peace in the region and the world might prevent Putin from an assymetric attack -or even, direct attack – on Turkish interests close to home, militarily included. That would be my best guess.
If NATO thinks differently, then it is burying its head in the sand. While NATO is a defensive alliance – so it formally declares – the other complementary view is the same. An attack by a NATO member on Russia is an attack of all NATO members on Russia. A NATO whose main membership is composed of EU states.
If the bright lights in Brussels cannot figure this out, they have not learned anything from Vladimir Putin’s Russia. A country perceived under attacks moves big time: look at Georgia, look at Ukraine. And having lived in Russia for just about years I know I talk well beyond the silly putty of the Secretary of Defense who appears at times is well out of his league regarding Moscow.
He may be a physicist with lots of ideas in advancing military technology but not in understanding the mind of Putin and his very particular asymmetric strategies and chess like convoluted moves. Carter will be gone shortly on top if it all possibly as fast as you can say Chuck Hagel who got removed in part because he began to understand Russia leading inevitably to a clash with Obama who largely does not have a clue as to how to deal with Putin.
It is thus well a matter of time it could be argued before Russia will even the scoreboard militarily well beyond massive damaging economic sanctions against Turkey. Carter and Obama should have a very stiff talk with Erdogan. For Putin waited years before he forcefully took on NATO. He can be immensely patient or strike like a cobra.
Short of President Erdogan of Turkey going on public television and apologizing, Turkey must consider itself practically in a state of clear and ever present danger. He may have done in some ways to Turkey what the ex president of Georgia, now reborn as the “Gauleiter” of Odessa, Ukraine , did to his former country. That is to get it carved into pieces.
In this case, Erdogsn could find that he has a separate Kurdistan, or more feisty separatist movement, well armed with Russian weapons one day – or his successor. This would represent the worst revenge possible.
In this light Erdogan had one avenue. A bold statement of apology with a qualification of the unquestionable sovereignty of existing Turkish borders – inviolate.
He also needs like Israel has with Russia, a better communication protocol and infrastructure to deal with possible border violations in his country’s aerospace.
The question is who or what gave Turkey the go ahead, confidence or signal to shoot down the Russian bomber. Turkey, of course knows it is holding a huge winning card against the EU members.
Turkey can unleash a million refugees onto Europe and knows full well that there will be ISIS elements within to further bring Europe asunder. Call it blackmail, it is certainly an effective card he holds and karma for current European leadership that let Syria turn into a humanitarian Hell.
No wonder European populist parties are aghast with establishment party foreign policy in the Middle East and the consequent refugee surges. In effect Erdogan holds the winning electoral card for the top populist parties in getting elected in Europe. And Merkel knows this with her big payout to him to help the polarizing refugee issue to dissipate considerably.
Therefore, Europe has the completely wrong policy towards Erdogan’s Turkey. There are rumblings even in Brussels that their patience is being tested.
Europe should not play to Erdogan’s brinkmanship. It should announce that it will build a fence immediately on the Bulgarian and Greek borders with Turkey, if he does not act properly. Other such statements should first be made privately, then publicly if need be.
That also any proof of the Erdogan regime siding with and abetting ISIS will be met with serious sanctions. That all immigration from Turkey, irrespective of religious affiliation- will be stopped. Erdogan and his extreme behaviour at times should not be rewarded by billion dollar subsidies Europe is sending.
Finally, there should be no chance of Turkey being allowed to join the EU with the kind of behaviour he is demonstrating. It should be stated upfront.
NATO should be castigating him for his reckless behaviour in shooting down a Russian war plane on no grounds or flimsy grounds.
Europe borders Turkey and only by geography includes a small piece of This country. It is not really part of Europe nor would most Turks describe themselves as Europeans and certainly not westerners.
If Erdogan plays smart he can be rewarded with a free trade deal including investment, technology snd other exchanges such as labor movements in restricted areas and moderate numbers when Europe is in such need.
The shooting down mindlessly of a Russisn jet never mind all the jailing of journalists means Erdogsn’s Turkey needs a wake up lesson from Brussels not an embrace. And if not a wall then at least serious security must be set up on the EU’s border with Turkey and very soon in case his regime plays any further stunts.
Turkey should certainly not be allowed to generate World War III. But let us face it that so called less significant countries have ignited world wars. Let us not forget Serbia whose alliances with certain powers made the assassination incident of a Hapsburg duke there the main timber of ignition to World War I.
Please Mr. Obama, NATO head and Erdogan, read your history books or become known as the two president amigos who worked together to start a new world war. Putin will not wait forever before he avenges his pilots’ horrible deaths that is just clearly part of his make-up and sense of Mother Russia nationalism.
And you both know, Mr. Presidents, we have to conclude a reasonable possibility that you both are being deliberately provocative by not ensuring a apology is made on your side over the Russian fighter that you shot down. The question is why and you do not need to be a conspiracy theorist to understand the potential answer to that question? NATO is again trying to corner Russia? Let us hope not but the atmospherics all around are most discouraging for the peace mongers.