The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, its deal with Turkey on the operation of Kabul Airport, and most importantly, its launch of operations that will create a critical power void in the Middle East, indicate a deep transformation for U.S. and European defense. Furthermore, this presents extraordinary new power domains for Turkey.
The basis of this change is that the West (U.S. and Europe) is redefining its security concepts, its share in the global power domain. It is reshaping threats and interests. In fact, the West is pulling back. It doesn’t have any other choice.
Tensions rising in US, Europe: They are doing damage control
This is the great transformation of the centuries, and it will lead to radical fractures worldwide. Physical maps will cause as much a storm as political power maps and jolt the world to its core.
The plan “to rule the entire world,” which was implemented immediately after the Cold War is now turning into the plan “to rule part of the world.” The U.S. and Europe won the Cold War, but they failed to stop the power rises that followed, and had to surrender.
This is not a statement taking into consideration Afghanistan alone. The U.S. inclination to withdraw its Patriot defense systems in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, and Kuwait, reducing its military power in the Middle East, weakening its claims in Africa, and preparations to take charge against Russia and China is a fall back.
The West is now in defense mode
More precisely, it is a state of transitioning into “defense.” This is happening for the first time in perhaps centuries, because the U.S. and Europe failed to restrain China and Russia. It failed in the “War Against Islam,” which it has been prolonging for the last three decades. As a matter of fact, the West failed in all its attempts after the Soviets collapsed.
Hence, the world must be prepared for storms, changes, power struggles, and collapses and rises never before seen in the last five centuries. Particularly Turkey, a country that stands out with major claims and has been following a rising trend that has dumbstruck the world in the 21st century, must meticulously calculate this extraordinary power shift.
Three countries seeking to fill the power void: Turkey rapidly shrinking France’s area of influence…
Three countries are now seeking to fill the power void that has formed due to U.S.’ and Europe’s withdrawal from our region: Turkey, Russia, and France. This is the case in the Middle East and Africa. Russia is trying to enter the region through aggression. Its ventures in Syria and Libya are harbingers of this.
Using its colonial tradition, France is trying to carve itself a piece out of the void. However, its notoriety in Africa restricts this. Hence, it is trying to stand against Turkey in the Mediterranean like “a shrewish European.”
But France will fail in this area. Its bloody history in the region is the biggest obstacle holding it back. Also, a determined force like Turkey is rapidly shrinking France’s area of influence across the region for the first time.
What is Turkey’s challenge? What message is it sending to the region?
Meanwhile, Turkey has become the country of an extraordinary and surprising power ascension, from Central and North Africa to the Middle East, from the Balkans to the Caucasus and the depths of Central Asia, to South and Southeast Asia, namely in the region that constitutes the earth’s main axis, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific coasts, where the same political language is spoken.
This is the first comeback and rise after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, with the same power claims. It is the most powerful message being sent to the vast regional axis. It is a challenge to the world’s superpowers.
In this sense, Turkey, in fact, constitutes that great region. It is the shift of that region to the world’s center. It has a game-changing role in fights for the region; it is a “role model” for countries and nations building their own presence.
US had no choice but to diminish its presence in the Mid East
Under these circumstances, there is no other alternative but for Turkey to fill the void left behind by the U.S. This diminishes Russia’s and France’s chance to compete against Turkey in the medium and long term in a region that belongs to us. The geopolitical steps taken by Ankara, especially in the last five years, are not temporary but long-term, and they require the nation’s patience.
The U.S. weakening its hand in the Middle East was not by choice but obligation. Even if it was not for the feeling of defenselessness against emerging China and Asia, the political operations and dynamism in Turkey and the region were going to force its hand anyway. The West’s bottleneck, its confrontation with new global rivals, Turkey’s rise, and the dynamism of our region drove the U.S. and the West to do this.
The US will try two things: Besiege Turkey and take advantage of its power
The U.S. will attempt two things from now on. First, it is going to besiege Turkey, keep it in a confined area, and prevent it from assuming a global role, from possessing regional power and excluding the West from this region. This is due to the fact that Turkey’s rise will not be limited solely to filling the void left behind by the U.S. The West is going to try and nip this rise in the bud before it turns into another “Ottoman threat.”
Second, it will take advantage or matters such as the history of Turkey-U.S. relations, common areas, their NATO alliance, and transfer part of those voids over to Turkey while cooperating with Ankara. This strategy will allow the U.S. to keep its foot in the region through Turkey, while it passes on certain responsibilities to Ankara so it can focus on besieging China. But this is only a temporary solution. It is clear that this will not convince Turkey in the long term.
What will the Arab world do? Fear of conflict among the Muslim world. How will Iran be stopped?
What will the regional equilibrium look like following the U.S. power void? Iran was the country that most benefited from U.S. attacks and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Will this lead to an Iranian shadow developing over the Arab world? Will this then trigger new separation and conflicts in the region?
As a result of everything that happened in the last two decades, we now realize that this is exactly what the West has in mind. “Conflict in the Muslim world” is one of the main strategies targeting the region. What will the Arab world do in this case? Will it trust the U.S. or seek other ways? How will it restrain Iran’s aggressive and imperial ambitions?
What happened to the anti-Turkey Arab front?
An anti-Turkey front led by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt was established with U.S. and Israeli support in the last five years. This front, which was formed based on partnership with Israel, seemed to be targeting Iran, when its real target was, in fact, Turkey.
Turkey’s relations with these countries turned extremely sour. We watched a belligerently selfish and amateur display of hostility. We saw this across the globe, from Libya to Syria, from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean.
However, global power operations are changing the equation in the Middle East once again. Countries on the “anti-Turkey front” are requesting “normalization.” They, too, are now aware of the power void that formed. They realize that “U.S.-Israel protection” is temporary.
‘Turkey-Qatar model’ may set an example for Arabs
They took alternative paths to counter Iran’s expansion. They realized the Turkey alternative again. The very same front now thinks that this change in the U.S. will lead to an Iranian invasion.
Therefore, it is seeking defense partnerships with Turkey in every field. Relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia and their partners may rapidly gain strength. The “Turkey-Qatar model” may be taken as an example by the entire Arab world. Ankara is ready for this.
Blinding, castrating games within: That’s not how the world spins
Conditions are rapidly changing. This is due to the fact that the power shifts in the world are happening at a vertiginous pace. Hence, I am trying to draw attention to Turkey’s great march without paying attention to the blinding, castrating mental operations within.
The world does not revolve according to the hate operations within. These alliances within will, however, become ineffective in the face of the challenging realities of history and fate.
“Turkey constitutes half of the world.” The world and humanity will have a great deal to say about this statement.