June 12, 2024
Try as he might, Trump probably won’t be able to fix it — just what Turkey is counting on.
Things have gotten so bad for the NATO alliance regarding Turkey that Washington had to plot how to covertly evacuate the 50 nuclear weapons it has maintained there since the Cold War.
Face it: Obama broke NATO. Trump is trying — vainly — to fix it. And Turkey is just putting NATO out of its misery by exposing the sham that it is.

Since the end of the Cold War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been fraying. Without the common Soviet threat, NATO has struggled to justify its existence. Frankly, it has outlived its usefulness. Yet, despite what many of his detractors claim, President Donald J. Trump has not broken NATO. That honor falls to Trump’s vainglorious predecessor, Barack Obama, the man who presidential historian Michael Beschloss believed to have been the “smartest guy ever to become president.”

Take the present problems with America’s NATO partner, Turkey. Since the 1990s, Islamism has been on the rise in Turkey. Everyone knew it. Whereas during the Cold War, Turkey was governed by a pro-American, secular autocracy, today it is ruled by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a totalitarian Islamist who fancies himself the sultan of the new Ottoman Empire. For years, Erdoğan has cracked down on any semblance of democracy in Turkey. Abroad, he has engaged in an increasing level of hostility directed not only against his NATO partners, like Greece, but also against American interests in the Middle East.

Bear in mind that Turkey is home to two of America’s most important military bases (Incirlik Air Base and Izmir Air Station) for both Europe and the Middle East, as well as a country that houses at least 50 U.S. nuclear weapons.

It is easy to lay the blame for the breakdown in U.S.–Turkey relations at the feet of the overtly imperial and Islamist Erdoğan regime. Yet, this would be unfair. After all, the Obama administration refused to maintain a Patriot missile defense battery in Turkey in 2013 despite Turkey having officially requested the presence of such a system. At the time, Turkey feared violence from the escalating Syrian Civil War spilling into its territory and wanted to have some measure of defense against that rising violence.

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See Also:

(1) Even by the standards of the Middle East, this is a special kind of mess

(2) The US is rethinking the 50-plus nuclear weapons it keeps in Turkey

(3) Don’t Think the Turks Are Slaughtering the Kurds? Watch This

(4) Trump: U.S. troops to stay in Middle East, prevent ISIS resurgence

(5) Trump’s bid to end ‘forever wars’ undercut by Saudi troop deployment

(6) Kurdish, Syrian, and Turkish Ironies

(7) How Terrible Does Turkey Have to Get?

(8) ISIS’s Turkish Homecoming

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