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The "bulwark" of Turkey

Reader comment on item: Saving NATO from Turkey
in response to reader comment: Dear Dr. Pipes

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Oct 30, 2017 at 18:50

Hi, Debanjan

Let me also try to tackle your questions:

1. "Do you really think that NATO countries (most of whom are demographically dying) can secure themselves without the bulwark of Turkey ?"

Describing Turkey as a "bulwark", implies that on one side of it, are people we are trying to protect; and on the other side are those people's enemies.

Living in India, I imagine you see Turkey as part of the mountainous "spine" of Asia, stretching from the Himalayas, across the Iranian Plateau and on through Turkey into Greece and Yugoslavia. Essentially, Turkey is a "bulwark" between Russia and the Arabs. Europe itself is also part of this "bulwark".

Do we want to protect the Russians from the Arabs? or the Arabs from the Russians? That isn't how NATO was set up. In fact, it was made to wall in Russia and contain it from attacking the US. When the Arabs seemed to be mostly working in America's interests, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, this sort of made sense; but when Egypt's President Nasser allied himself with the Russians after 1956, America's President Eisenhower stood with Nasser and the Russians against Israel, Britain and France, the whole "bulwark" idea went out the window.

Here is how I view NATO: Its members represent those countries which want to be protected from the Russians strategically by the US nuclear umbrella. In Asia-Ociania, their counterparts are Australia-New Zealand, Japan and, somewhat, South Korea -- except that there, the nuclear power they want protection from is China.

2. "Think what would happen to the security to the region, if Turkey joins hands with Russia, China and Iran to kick the US out of the region ?"

Turkey has already joined hands with Russia and Iran; and among them, they have effectively encircled the US advisors in Syria and Iraq. What you warn against is already a fact of life. President Trump's only face-saving hope, as far as I can see, is if he can make a strong showing in Korea. If the Chinese and Russians manage to stymie him there, nothing he can do in the Middle East can pull him (and the US) out of hot water. That will leave Israel standing alone, to face the Turko-Persian onslaught, a task I believe they are up to.

3. "Do you think kicking out Turkey out of NATO would result in the US being kicked out of the entire West Asian and North African region?"

I agree with Dr. Pipes' answer, word-for-word.


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