Kurds abandomed by Trump

Discussion in 'World Events' started by mathman, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Trump has sent a message to all U.S. allies - don't depend on us as long as I'm president!
     
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  3. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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  5. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    So what you you prefer the US do? Get into a shooting war with Turkey? The US only has about 1,000 soldiers in the Kurdish part of Syria. Turkey has a well-equipped army of hundreds of thousands. Our air resources in the area are far smaller than Turkey's. Certainly we could fight and defeat Turkey, but it would require a full-scale war to do it. It would require months of preparation, by which time the Kurds would be defeated and Rojava would be Turkish occupied.

    To say nothing of the fact that war between the US and Turkey would be something that other players like Russia, Iran and even China would probably love to see since it would destabilize the whole region and create all kinds of opportunities for them.

    And if the US got into that war, Trump would be blamed for that too, right? Imagine the anti-war demonstrations! From the very same people (like you?) that are demanding military action now.

    The United States fought alongside the SDF to combat ISIS. That was in the Kurds' interest, since ISIS had them on the ropes. (Remember the siege of Kobani?) And it was in the US interest, since we wanted to see ISIS gone. So we shouldn't pretend that the US is failing now to show the Kurds a loyalty that they showed us in the past. When the Kurds fought alongside us, they weren't fighting for the United States. They were fighting for themselves, for Kurdistan.

    Fighting alongside them against ISIS doesn't make the Kurds the United States' eternal responsibility. (Why isn't anyone demanding that the European Union go to war for the Kurds?) The US has no formal treaty alliances with the Kurds. It doesn't even formally recognize them as a nation.

    It's just not in the US interest to get into a full-scale shooting war with Turkey. A war that would be bigger than either of the Gulf Wars, require hundreds of thousands of troops, hundreds of aircraft and cost tens of thousands of dead and wounded. For what?
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
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  7. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    That's nonsense. Turkey only attacked because we told them they could and we left. Shameful. Of course, he's rewarding dictators and punishing Europe again. He wants Europe flooded with refugees because he thinks that's the fastest way to fascism there.
     
  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Why do you think the only alternative is for the USA to get into a war with Turkey?
     
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Of course not! If that happened, Trump stands to lose millions of his own money. So that will never happen, no matter what.
     
  10. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    There was never any danger of that. Erdogan asked for permission to clear the area he wanted, and got it.
    This is exactly like US foreign policy

    This is the same POV as Kissinger's
    That monster knew exactly what he was talking about : “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests”

    However, the current monster is too stupid and conceited to discern America's interests: he can't see beyond winning the personal approval of the stronger, more competent monsters he admires. He doesn't seem to know they're using him the way America uses the Kurds.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  11. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    The United States doesn't tell Turkey what they can and can't do. Especially Erdogan, who seemingly does as he pleases.

    The US only has a thousand or so soldiers in Syria. Most of them are far south of the Turkish border, rounding up the last fleeing remnants of ISIS. So we are only talking a few hundred Americans up by the border. Less than a battalion total, spread out at several sites across hundreds of miles.

    The only point in US forces being near the Turkish border at all was to serve as a "trip-wire" force, a message to Turkey that entering Rojava would mean war with the United States.

    But the Turks told us that they are coming in anyway and the US could either move their tiny forces out of the way or the Turks were going around them or through them.

    So if the tiny US force fired on the Turks and the Turks killed some of our human-sacrifices, would the US be willing to go to full scale war with Turkey? The Turks calculated no. So they called our bluff.

    Well, this is about a Turkish military incursion isn't it? And about the US withdrawing a tiny token military force.

    And how else would one induce Turkey to pull back their forces and not occupy Rojava?

    Certainly the US can emulate the European Union and try to defend the Kurds with Sharply Worded Moral Condemnations. That should knock Erdogan back in his chair!

    We could (and perhaps will) impose trade and financial sanctions and halt all US NATO cooperation with Turkey. Which would mean loss of important military bases and NATO's presence on the Bosphorus. (Putin would love that.) Would the EU follow us in imposing strict sanctions? Almost certainly not. They (and particularly Germany) are too closely tied to Turkey. They would probably try to exploit the opportunity that our stepping back offered them to fill the vacuum.

    All while blaming anything bad that happens on us.
     
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  12. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Well, I don't know the ins and outs of this situation but there is, in geopolitics, frequent use of deterrence and negotiation. Turkey might not want to start a war with the USA by attacking US troops, for instance. And the USA might be in a good position to broker some kind of standoff between the Kurds and Turkey in some way. Demilitarised zone or something? After all, this is entirely an aggressive initiative by Erdogan, supposedly to eliminate the threat of Kurdish terrorism. Turkey is a NATO member. There would seem to be levers, for an administration to use, if they are keen to avoid further destabilisation of the area - and the return of Daesh.
     
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  13. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    So they warn the US beforehand of their upcoming military movements. Then they send in tank columns and leave it up to the handful of US soldiers' commanders whether to open fire. If we don't, the Turks drive right by. If we do, the Turks return fire and the US soldiers are slaughtered.

    Why isn't Jeeves' Canada handling that? Or the European Union? I think that we all know that it requires the threat of muscle, which neither Canada or the EU possess. (The EU could be a geopolitical player, but led by Germany it chooses not to be.) The whole expectation that only the US can do this is predicated on the assumption that the US is willing to go to war over it. Except we're not (nor should we be) and the Turks know it. Perhaps the Europeans could exert similar force non-militarily by threatening a total halt in Turkey/EU trade. That's never going to happen though. Germany is way too closely linked with Turkey.
     
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  14. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    The United States tells everybody what they can and can't do, when the United States has a decisive administration.
    It's not a matter of shooting it out against them; it's a matter of giving them ammunition.
    When the United States has a Trump administration, every foreign dictator tells the United Sates what it can and can't do, while its allies and its own military advisors, intelligence agencies, diplomats and policy analysts are ignored.

    And when the United States has done screwing over its earstwhile allies, it drops the steaming poop-bag in their laps.
     
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    The question is - if Turkey killed some US soldiers, would the US just stand by and do nothing? Answer - definitely not. So that token force was preventing a war to exterminate our allies.

    But Trump has millions sunk into a Trump tower in Turkey, so protecting our allies from slaughter comes way below his personal fortune. That token force was also putting his $$ at risk.
     
  16. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    It is the USA that has the leverage over Turkey, obviously, in part for the reasons you mention. The suggestion is, as I say, not that the USA will "go to war" with Turkey, but that Turkey will not "go to war" with the USA: deterrence, in other words.
     
  17. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Hey, if you can kill these people, resettle those people on their land and still get the US$$, why the hell not go for it?
    It's been working for Turkey for a century; Israel for three quarter of a century, Saudi Arabia for half a century...
    Of course, there are strings attached, but it's not always easy to tell which end is being pulled.
     
  18. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    At the same time, the Young Turks created a “Special Organization,” which in turn organized “killing squads” or “butcher battalions” to carry out, as one officer put it, “the liquidation of the Christian elements.”
    https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/armenian-genocide
     
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The Turks have no interest in suffering as they would if they attacked and killed US soldiers. That's not a bluff, but a circumstance.
    They didn't call a bluff - they pulled a string. We have a President whose primary interest is his own gain, and whose past behavior and current status renders him vulnerable to blackmail. Erdogan apparently took advantage of one or both of those. He wasn't the first, and won't be the last.
     
  20. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah we do. Notice they didn't invade until the precise moment Trump caved.
     
  21. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    Well based on the latest news reports, apparently Turkey is a glutton for punishment. Trump's lucky no US soldiers have been injured so far, otherwise he'd have a real tough time wiggling out of this boondoggle.
     
  22. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    It's the least of his concerns.
    Two hamburgers below finding a donor for the bounty on the whistle-blower and a big slice of chocolate cake below inventing phrases to describe Nancy Pelosi.
     
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  23. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    It would be the Trump Benghazi.
     

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