UpFront Politics: War Strategy
Why Is Turkey Important To The United States
The United States and Turkey have conflicting interests in Syria. The United States has been working with the Kurds to fight against ISIS, while Turkey sees the Kurds as a terrorist organization. As a result, Turkey invaded northern Syria to create a 20-mile buffer zone to push back the Kurds and to place 3.6 million Syrian refugees into Northern Syria. Recently, there was a cease-fire establish between Kurds and Turkey, which will be permanent. The United States and Turkey need to continue to fix their diplomatic relationship to ensure there is not a conflict between Turkey and the United States. This article will discuss why economic sanctions and military action against Turkey would have been a bad idea.
Invoking economic sanctions against Turkey would devastate the Turkish economy. The Russian government passed economic sanctions against Turkey because the Turkish government shot down a Russian jet at the beginning of the conflict. Russia’s economic sanctions were successful against Turkey because the sanctions banned all Russian citizens from traveling to the country, which was worth 30 billion dollars to the Turkish economy. If America had passed stronger economic sanctions, then the Turkish economy could have collapsed.
As a result, there could have many unattended consequences because of economic sanctions. For example, Turkey threatens to release 2.6 million refugees into Europe, costing the European Union billions of dollars. There could have been another coup attempt on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan because of economic sanctions, which Turkey could have ended in a civil war, causing another humanitarian crisis. The civil war could have create similar situation like Syria where maybe Turkey would ask Russia for support, or could slit NATO members to choose sides in the conflict.
Military Action Against Turkey
If the United States did take military action against Turkey, then the United States would have been attacking a NATO ally, which is protected under article 5. For example, what if the NATO alliance went against the United States because of the trade war against the European Union and comments by the French president to create a European army against the United States. What if America became bogged down fighting in Turkey and Russia took advantage of the situation by invading Georgia and Ukraine, causing more refugees into Europe.
Military action against Turkey would not have been the best option. A war between Turkey and America could have cause more instability in the region, especially in Europe.
In the end, it is best for America and Turkey to fix its diplomatic relationship. Turkey and America should find a solution to the Syrian conflict and work together that best serve each country’s interests. Instead of the United States threatening economic sanctions or military action and the same goes for Turkey by threaten Europe with 2.6 million Syrian refugees in Europe.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency.
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