In case of a Russian victory in Syria, the truth about the relationship of the NATO member, Turkey, with the Islamic State will come to light. This puts NATO in a very tense situation. If the refugees have the opportunity to return to their homelands, Erdogan will lose his chance to for cheap extortion. In this case, we can say that it is clear who has an interest of escalation in this conflict.
Originally appeared at DWN, translated by Karin; edited by Yoana exclusively for SouthFront
The reactions of the Western allies on the downing of the Russian jet show that NATO is under extreme tension. They are on the verge of losing control of Russia in Syria. The Turkish appearance, which with great probability has been planned by the secret services, it bears more the character of a helpless symbolic act than of a thoughtful commando operation. The Russian Ambassador in NATO, Alexander Grushko, called the statement a ‘’shadow play’’.
The reason for NATO to seek a shady hideaway lies in Putin’s statement that those who shot down the Russian aircraft are accomplices of the terrorists. The fact that Turkey is a NATO member means that the organization sees itself as exposed to official accusation of supporting terroristic groups. Until now, NATO has only labeled others with this description.
NATO and the intelligence services see that their time is running out in Syria. US President, Barack Obama, is running for months a different policy stance than what NATO and the services would like to see. Obama wants to get out of the Syrian war. He admits that the mission has failed, or at least that it has severely damaged their model of “regime change”. Obama agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia will be the one to take over the Islamic State. This was a devastating humiliation for the neocons, NATO, and the services.
After that Russia began to fight terrorists that are allied with the US. From the beginning, Putin has stood against the wishes of the Western military to cover their machinations in Syria. Now, the IS and the military advisers of Turkey and the Pentagon are just about to be defeated in Syria.
President Obama knows this. His message to Putin is therefore strikingly diplomatic saying that they could cooperate with Russia but only after they change their strategy for dealing with the IS. He said this on a meeting with the French President Francois Hollande at the White House.
“Russia is welcome to be part of our broad coalition.” It’s Obama’s half-hearted attempt to give NATO the feeling that they could bring Russia under their control.
But what is the point of Russia changing its own strategy now? The Russians have repeatedly said that they only reason they are involving themselves in Syria is because of the fact that NATO failed to do so. This is credible because the Russians know that a fight against terrorist nests is anything but easy. In order to make sure that they won’t end up like the Americans, in no man’s land, the Russians have skillful formed alliances with Iran, Iraq and China and have even included Israel.
The military successes of the past few weeks are bringing the mercenary troops of the West in a complex situation. With his invitation to Russia, Obama developed the reason for NATO’s problems.
‘’Moscow should focus air strikes in Syria on the IS rather than the moderate rebels as a target and support political change in Damascus before a close military cooperation’’- he said.
Russia has been supporting the change in Damascus for weeks. Moscow has repeatedly said that the country will not insist on Assad as a future president in the long run. The Russians say that this must be a decision of the Syrian people. This position is shared by Iran. Russia has also submitted a transition plan, which explains a possible way of how in 18 months a new Constitution can written and new elections can be held. If someone needs to make a strategic change, it’s the Western alliance, which has no political concept presented except the battle cry, saying “Assad must go!”
But the main concern of NATO and Turkey, in particular, is the risk of a Russian victory which could disclose the machinations, the way the West, and especially the Turkish government, cooperates with terrorists in the region. This will show the debate about the refugees in a different light, namely, when it becomes clear how the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has abused the refugees as pawns in a cynical way of his ambitions. It will also show that Erdogan’s war against the PKK, is a completely disproportionate war, in which the civilian population of the Kurds were brutally attacked. It also recognizes only two Islamist governments of the West in the region- the Turkish government and Saudi Arabia.
What is more, Erdogan can blackmail the incompetent EU and the overstrained German chancellor – by demanding billions of protection money for the refugees. But if the Russians succeed in bringing peace to Syria in a way that the majority of the refugees can return to their homeland, then Erdogan is going to be in a weak position. Turkey with Erdogan on power, is of course, unsuitable to be included in the EU. Everyone in Brussels knows this. The visa-free travel is a grotesque idea- new incidents come to light daily. The scandals with the fake Turkish passport business come to light. These are three billion euros that Erdogan demands from European taxpayers for the refugees. Where is this money going? Integration for the refugees? Better accommodation in the camps? No corruption, full transparency?
All these prospects justify from the viewpoint of the Erdogan’s government and the intelligence agencies for the downing of the Russian fighter jet. They need an escalation, because their backs are against the wall. That makes even Erdogan unpredictable in this conflict. He has a lot to lose.
The comments of NATO on the downing proves that military units were not invented to think.