Compatible with the US? - NEDRET ERSANEL

Compatible with the US?

I would like to ask you; what kind of a link do you see between the Pentagon’s statement on Monday afternoon regarding the S-400s that Turkey will buy: “With any ally, with any partner with whom we inter-operate ... we want them to buy things and invest in things that will further invest in our alliance. What’s been reported here is something that’s not interoperable with anything that we have and that’s obviously cause for concern,” and the publication Hürriyet with its article that read: “Kalashnikovs raining,” saying that the arms that the U.S. has provided the terrorist People’s Protection Units (YPG) have reached 909 trucks.

If you say that the U.S. also uses the Kurdish corridor card against Russia-Turkey relations, I have no objection...

But what is "Kalashnikov?”

The whole Middle East, especially Iraq and Syria, is full of Kalashnikovs. And no matter the amount, this weapon will not pose a threat to Turkey. If the issue is rifles, do you know how many the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) owns? Among all the arms that the U.S. has provided terrorists with, the Kalashnikovs aren’t even worth mentioning.

They still pin their hopes on conventional effects. If you ask, they would say, 'I wrote them in there, too...'

US generals and the incompatibles

Let us revisit the U.S.’s S-400 statement. This is the second statement mentioning their “concern.” The first one had also come from the military, with their head of general staff expressing “concern.” Now, they talk about incompatibility.

Well, are we compatible?

There are many issues that we cannot agree on with Washington. The conjuncture is also inappropriate to seek harmony in U.S.-Turkey relations.

For instance…

Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “We hoped that the situation regarding Russia-U.S. relations would change. It seems that there will not be any change.”  

It’s bleak if all hope is gone.

Then, it was decided that the number of staff working at U.S. embassies in Russia, some of them being local, would be reduced to 455 from 1,210.

Following the cabinet meeting on Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump stated, “We will handle North Korea. We are gonna be able to handle them. It will be handled. We handle everything.”

If what he means is military capability; then yes he can handle it. Well, did he “handle” China as well?

Let us continue with “global conditions.”


The military’s rising role

The court order dismissing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif coincided with a time when Pakistan is “stuck” both at home and abroad.

When it comes to Pakistan; Afghanistan is an issue; Iran is an issue; fighting terrorism is a different issue; India is an issue. We must also look at the election dates in the region. Its relations with China, the Silk Road, both horizontal and vertical geography and its position in the Qatar crisis etc. All of them are important.

There are also internal balances. God forbid, if a chaos should reign the person replacing Sharif will need to observe all these balances. But who brought Pakistan to this point? Will there be dissolution in the ruling party? What is the situation in the army? What are the external connections/expectations? In short, these are all our issues.

Let us mention the U.S. in the Pakistan issue and drop the subject. The U.S. and Pentagon (they are not always the same) define the relations between New Delhi and Tehran as a strategic foothold. When this map is taken into consideration, you will see Islamabad in the middle of it. Also put China there. Things will be understood.  ('US cannot win war in Afghanistan without Pak support: US military chief', 26/07, The İndian Express.)

When the Pakistani Land Forces Commander Qamar Javed Bajwa was appointed by Sharif, the Western media analyzed its reasons, asking whether it was to do with the China-Pakistan economic corridor ('The Real Reason Bajwa Was Appointed Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff', 21/12/2016, The Diplomat).

Today, it is said, "This is a relief for some in the American security community ... General Bajwa is well known to American diplomats and defense officials. This week, he met U.S. Commander in Afghanistan, General John W. Nicholson, and U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, David Hale.” ('Sharif’s Resignation Comes as U.S. Debates How to Pressure Pakistan on Terrorism', 28/07, The New York Times.)

After the meetings, Pakistani army commander said, “With the game created by Afghanistan and some U.S. segments, Pakistan’s contributions to counterterrorism are ignored.”

We will follow the increasing role of the Pakistani army where the US is about to adopt an Afghan strategy.

A general managing the oval office!

The apical angle is that Pakistan-U.S. relations are transforming. But this latest event will not be able to change Pakistan-China relations, and Islamabad will always have Ankara’s support.

Let us return to conjuncture…

At times when the U.S. used an iron hand in a velvet glove annoying everyone and expressing concerns; the White House communications director, who was appointed just 10 days ago, was discharged by the President.

And look. Trump can only maintain control in the White House with ‘soldiers.’ John F. Kelly, newly appointed White House Secretary General, is a former four star-general.

Let us reiterate. I could touch on just few developments due to space restrictions and could not mention Syria, Palestine and Israel. Are U.S.-related global conditions convenient for us to be compatible?


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