There are three strategic clusters/regions in the world that are at a boiling point. First, the European part of the transatlantic alliance and the entirety of Russia’s borders. Second, the Caucasus-based “Turanid Lands” spanning the Black Sea and the Caspian, and will shift towards China over time. Third, Asia-Pacific.
Let us focus on the first two for today. The clusters here intersect, forming mutual clusters. There is a great deal of ulterior motives here.
The most important matter today for both Turkey and Europe is the new dispute conjuncture between the U.S. and Europe, but is made to seem like there is no such thing.
This dispute is going to draw a path through Turkey while the other two clusters join. In other words, this “old innovation,” which seems like a simple case, is going to present great opportunities for Ankara.
It is tragic that the segments, which once took advantage of EU ascension dreams, are excited today about Turkey’s EU refreshment. Once they realize that this is not related to the EU but to groups that develop a certain political stance within the Union, they are going to be left out in the cold like those who produced sly models for the deteriorating relations between Turkey and the U.S.
The matter is not about blowing away the cobwebs over Turkey-EU relations. It is about who will be blowing them away, us or them?
I am going as far back as a week, because though this is such a critical matter, nobody is writing about it or discussing it. They were not aware of it ten days ago either; the “strategic solidarity” suggestion to the EU, which is seeking “strategic autonomy” from NATO. In his defense, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg advised “strategic solidarity” rather than “strategic autonomy” to the EU, which wants to decrease its dependency on the U.S. (03/03)
We already knew there are those in the EU who “defend the European Army,” but they were never strong. Those who heard about the matter outside leaned on the two general acceptances and paid no attention, thinking, “with what army, what weapons, what money?” and “the U.S. will not allow it.”
Let alone, EU leaders, who were ecstatic about Joe Biden’s presidency after Donald Trump, celebrated the union with their “partner.” Biden, who spoke at the G7 Summit and Berlin Security Conference said, “The U.S. is back, the transatlantic alliance is back,” and then repeated the same words over and over again. He wanted to make sure they comprehended that it is back.
But apparently this was not the reason underlying the emphasis; it was the sign that nothing was as it used to be. Because some of the European partners of the transatlantic alliance were not “so” eager about the U.S.’s return.
Let us continue with the acceptance that NATO is equivalent to the U.S.
That day, Stoltenberg continued his speech as follows:
“By weakening the transatlantic bond, you’re not only weakening NATO. You are dividing Europe. So that will be not good for Europe, not good for EU, and not good for NATO. So, a strong transatlantic bond is important not only for Europe but also for the United States.”
Clearly there are cracks in the transatlantic alliance. This is not a block fracture. They do not show it, but dissolution is observed.
The EU’s response was more explanatory than expected. None of the guesses were right about the vastness and depth of the crack.
“The ‘EU Strategic Compass’ document that was accepted is the latest example of the search for EU-member countries’ ability to produce a mutual policy on security and defense matters outside NATO.” (04/03)
In other words, while Europe rolled out “Welcome” mats to the Biden administration, they were busy holding secret meetings in the back rooms preparing the secret documents of their quest for “strategic autonomy.”
This document, an idea that emerged with French leadership and German attempt during its term presidency in June 2020, essentially deals with the EU’s method of overcoming international problems autonomously. This document, on which EU leaders “reached an agreement” at the summit held on Feb. 25-26, 2021, includes “the development of a security and defense strategy autonomous from the U.S.”
In other words, the matter is not a quest for a European Army only – even though it is included. The EU wants to set a separate strategic path. It wants to evaluate threats itself!
This is what the U.S.-NATO finds unacceptable.
We must read High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borell’s statements well and carefully. These are not words to be taken lightly and nobody has said anything like it in decades: “In preparing this document, the EU presents a security and defense strategy plan for itself, autonomous from NATO, specific to the EU.”
According to the same statements, it is also clear that beyond being a family, the EU wants to be a partner to NATO. (“AB Stratejik Pusula ile yön bulmaya çalışıyor” (EU trying to find a direction with the Strategic Compass), 04/03, Dr. N. Bekar, AA.) The metaphor that “the family” is complaining about the “father,” saying “we want to spread our wings and fly” is fitting.
Questions about the sort of relations Europe wants to establish with Russia and China, and how it will view Turkey through its own security understanding are critical now.
The opportunities and risks that will arise as a result of this are clearly related to the reality of the new world order.
Biden, citing the National Security Strategy Document titled, “Renewing America’s Advantages,” “Our world is at the crossroads. Global dynamics have changed. We are in the middle of a historic and fundamental discussion about the direction our world will take in the future,” and then saying, “we must prove that our lifestyle is not a remnant of history,” means that “the U.S.-based current system will continue.” This signals serious contradiction and danger. The U.S. either does not understand the matter or does not want to understand it.
He is threatening Europe: “The EU is defended by countries that are not a member of the EU. The EU cannot defend Europe. EU fronts are defended by the U.S., the U.K., Turkey, Canada…”
We could not even get to discussing Turkey, Germany and the U.K.’s role and Russia yet. We will continue by joining the first two clusters…