Is The US about ready to chase Turkey right out of NATO? If so, what does that mean for the US, for Turkey, for Russia? These are the questions addressed in this article from the Daily Sabah.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson voiced Washington’s concerns over Turkey’s rapprochement with Russia and Iran — interestingly enough, with reference to NATO. Mr. Tillerson, who has been overshadowed by the “de facto Secretary of State” Ivanka Trump, made three interrelated points in a speech delivered at the Wilson Center:
The future of the Euro-American alliance, the rise of the Russian threat and the “benefits” of Turkey’s NATO membership. The Trump administration’s call on NATO allies in Europe to increase their financial contributions, Mr. Tillerson said, was both “a new commitment” and “a redefinition of the alliance.” Then, he talked about the Russian “challenge” and argued that, while the U.S. and Europe wanted to “normalize” their ties with Russia, the Russians tried to drive a wedge between Europe and the U.S. through cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns designed to interfere in elections. Finally, he urged Europe to support Washington’s plans to contain Iran and made the following remarks about Turkey, “We ask Turkey, as a NATO ally, to prioritize the common defense of its treaty allies. Iran and Russia cannot offer the Turkish people the economic and political benefits that membership in the Western community of nations can provide.”
One could make the case that reminding Turkey of the “benefits” of NATO membership was more reasonable than calls by several media outlets in the U.S. to kick Turkey out of NATO. However, Mr. Tillerson conveniently ignored the “costs” that his country’s misguided Turkey policy entailed in recent years. In other words, U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson, who wants to “redefine” NATO with more European money, is turning a blind eye to the fact that NATO, for lack of a better word, neglected Turkey’s vital security interests for years, nor is he willing to admit that Turkey’s war on terror has been negatively affected by the alliance’s refusal to put the “common defense” principle to work. Ironically, a quick glance at Washington’s take on the YPG and FETÖ reveals that it was the United States that undermined the alliance.
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