Peeling Turkey Away from Russia’s Embrace: A Transatlantic Interest

From a European and transatlantic standpoint, it is as troubling as it is counter-intuitive: a de facto partnership has developed between Russia and Turkey, surrounding Europe. Paradoxical as it may be, the trend is now clear and represents a thorn in the side of European and transatlantic interests.

The paradox lies in the fact that Turkey and Russia are historic rivals. From the Ottoman-Russian wars to Turkey’s NATO membership as a bulwark against Soviet expansionism, the Turkish-Russian relationship has never been easy. The post-Cold War period is no exception, nearing outright military confrontation only five years ago, when a Turkish F-16 jet shot down a Russian aircraft near the Turkish-Syrian border.

Taken together, there is no region in and around Europe where Turkey and Russia see eye to eye. Be it in Central Asia where Moscow has stymied Ankara’s pan-Turkic dreams; in the Balkans where the two have taken different sides during war and peacetime alike; be it in North Africa and the Middle East where they have stood at loggerheads in the clash over political Islam; or in the Caucasus where Turkey’s support for Azerbaijan has mirrored Russia’s religious affinity and security bond with Armenia, Ankara and Moscow are rarely, if ever, on the same page.

Yet the pattern is clear: in every open conflict, Turkey and Russia have managed to find an entente that is as uneasy as it is real. In Syria, the clash could have tipped into outright confrontation, but after the near miss in 2015, Moscow and Ankara walked back from the brink, notably with the launch of the Astana process in which both have been deeply involved. Tensions have heated up again from time to time. With the prospect of Bashar al-Assad’s onslaught on Idlib in 2019, Turkey called Russia’s foul, but eventually the Turkish-Russian understanding held. In northeastern Syria too, where Turkey intervened militarily against the Syrian Kurds in 2016 and again in 2019, Moscow could have prevented Turkey’s offensive given its anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) footprint on the Syrian airspace, but chose not to.

In Libya, Turkey and Russia have rallied for opposite sides of the civil war. Notably, Russia, with its Wagner mercenaries, provided crucial backing to Khalifa Haftar’s military offensive against the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli. Weighing in alongside the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and France, the Wagner group’s stepping into the Libyan quagmire almost tipped the scales, with Haftar’s advance towards Tripoli becoming ever closer in early 2020.

When the GNA risked falling, Ankara stepped in, providing military backing to a government the international community had spared no words in backing while doing precious little in practice. Turkey’s military intervention flipped military fortunes and created that mutually hurting stalemate that brought the parties to an uneasy ceasefire in the summer of 2020. Turkey remains deeply involved militarily in Libya, and Russia’s military presence in the east, from being a “nice but not necessary” tool to deploy, is now entrenched. Notwithstanding the ongoing political dialogue process, Libya risks partitioning militarily along the Sirte-Jufra line, with both Turkish and Russian presence consolidating in the country.

The resumption of war between Armenia and Azerbaijan after twenty-six years of unstable ceasefire around Nagorno Karakakh and its adjacent regions became the third potential Turkish-Russian flashpoint that never was. When Azerbaijan kick-started the war to recapture the territories lost to Armenia in the 1992-94 war, much of the international media spotlight turned to Ankara.

Turkey, in fact, was the only external power that did not call for a ceasefire, but rather egged Baku on in its military campaign. There was much talk of Turkey’s drones and Syrian jihadis, the role of which was likely overplayed, but nonetheless significant. For its part, Russia activated itself to broker a ceasefire. While repeatedly stepping in to mediate humanitarian ceasefires, it implicitly allowed the war to rage on for six long weeks, in which Azerbaijan gradually recaptured much of the seven regions surrounding Nagorno Karabakh. It was only when Azerbaijani forces made inroads into Karabakh itself, that Moscow blew the whistle.

The peace deal brokered by Moscow was an all-out win for Russia, as well as Azerbaijan. Along the line of contact in Nagorno Karabakh and the Lachin corridor, a contingent of almost 2000 Russian troops are being deployed for the first time since the end of the Cold War. This gives Russia not only unprecedented leverage over the constitutional fate of Nagorno Karabakh, but also over domestic politics in Azerbaijan and above all Armenia. However, to a lesser extent Turkey gained too. Ankara for the first time won the possibility of sending observers to the region, and, most significantly, with the reopening of a direct connection between Azerbaijan and its exclave Nakhichevan, Turkey obtained direct access to Azerbaijan proper and the Caspian Sea.

In each of these conflicts, Turkey, a NATO ally and, at least theoretically, an EU candidate country, has pursued incontrovertibly its national and often nationalistic interests. It has done so in ways that have certainly not coincided with those of the European Union or of the United States. However, it would be mistaken to argue that Turkey’s interests have been diametrically opposed to those of the West.

In Syria, Turkey’s assault on the Syrian Kurds generated a Western outcry – in words rather than deeds – while its ambiguity towards and support for different incarnations of the Islamist opposition to the Syrian regime sowed mistrust, notably at the height of the ISIS threat in the Middle East, Europe and the world. However, Turkey, unlike Russia and Iran, and alongside the West, has been a sworn enemy of the Syrian regime, ever since the protests degenerated into civil war in late 2011. In the reconstruction and refugee return phase of the Syrian conflict, the EU and Turkey will grapple with similar policy challenges.

In Libya too, Turkey has clearly pursued its interests and is now consolidating its military, political and economic presence in the country. In Libya, Turkey is there to stay. Yet there too, Western and Turkish interests are not totally incompatible. Ankara stepped into the war to prevent the fall of Sarraj’s GNA that Europe and the US also backed in theory. Both Turkey and the EU have an interest in the stabilization of Libya and the prevention of its de facto partition into two blocks.

Finally, in Nagorno Karabakh, Turkey has certainly sung from a different hymn sheet from the Western cry for an immediate ceasefire. However, no European country nor the US has ever objected to Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. Furthermore, Turkey’s inclusion amongst the observers in Nagorno Karabakh should be looked upon with favour by Europeans in a context in which the OSCE Minsk Group has been sadly outmaneuvered and Russia would otherwise monopolize the show.

Notwithstanding the fact that divisions between Turkey and Russia are infinitely more tangible and acute than those between Turkey and the West, relations between Turkey and Russia are consolidating into a de facto partnership, while those between Turkey and the West are edging towards sanctions. Why?

The easy part of the answer lies in domestic politics in Russia and Turkey. Vladimir Putin’s Russia has long abandoned even the narrative of democracy, heralding itself as one of the leaders of a post-liberal world. The Russian President has used foreign policy to gain strategic edge over the West, and stoke nationalism at home, distracting public attention from domestic woes. Turkish President Recep Tayyıp Erdoğan has taken Putin’s cue, and over the last year, has regained some domestic political traction after the Justice and Development Party’s electoral annus horribilis in 2019.

By intervening militarily in Libya, escalating tensions in the East Mediterranean and reentering the Caucasus, Erdoğan has done what many, if not most, Turks would read as a welcome reassertion of national interests redressing past wrongs. In doing so, Erdoğan has distracted public opinion from his ailing domestic economy. In other words, Russia and Turkey’s leaders pursue similar tactics: they “get each other” and that understanding instils a degree of reciprocal respect even when interests diverge.

There is certainly truth is this explanation, which is the one most commonly heard in the West. However, it is also a convenient truth for the West to put forth, leaving in the shadow another, complementary, but far more uncomfortable reality.

Another explanation is that Russia and Turkey have found pragmatic ententes because they have had to do so. They are both deeply engaged in each of these conflicts in a way in which Europeans and Americans are just not. Turkey and Russia are far more prone to intervene militarily in conflicts than Europeans always were and Americans are becoming.

More broadly, be it in Syria, Libya or the Caucasus, the US and the EU have abdicated much of their responsibilities and shied away from risk. In the vacuum, Russia, Turkey and other regional players, have stepped in, learning to come to terms with one another. The US, for its part, can retort with good reason that this is not the part of the world where it will do the heavy lifting. We should expect that in different forms and manners, this will continue to be the tune played by the Biden administration.

Europeans instead have only themselves to blame. It is may well be too late for Syria and probably also for the Caucasus. However, when it comes to Libya, Europeans should do much more. Germany has invested significantly in the Berlin process, and diplomacy is certainly a key piece of the peacebuilding puzzle. But unless Europeans take greater risks to consolidate peace on the ground in Libya – and not simply at sea – they will continue to be passive by-standers of the de facto external control of the country by Turkey and Russia. As Libya’s political dialogue unfolds, Europeans should engage far more actively in peacebuilding, with greater readiness to be present on the ground.

While taking greater risk and responsibility, Europeans should think through a strategy that makes due distinction between Turkey and Russia, avoiding further entrenchment of the unnatural partnership between the two, from which Europeans and Americans can only lose. In particular, we should not be blinded by the commonalities we see between Putin’s Russia and Erdoğan’s Turkey domestically, and become better able to distinguish between their foreign policy behaviour.

On foreign policy, Russian and Turkish positions and ambitions differ in important ways. Beyond annexing Crimea and upending the European security architecture, Putin’s Russia vies for leadership of a sovereignist world. In no way does it see itself as part of the West, and is often scathing of the alleged ineffectiveness, cowardice, arrogance and moral bankruptcy of Western liberal democracies. Russia has acted to the direct detriment of Western democracies by interfering in electoral processes, spreading disinformation and allegedly engaging in cyber-attacks. We should of course “selectively engage” with Russia, but with eyes wide open as to the context in which our engagement takes place.

Turkey, for all its faults, not only is and remains a NATO ally, but continues to express an interest in closer relations with the European Union, beginning with a modernized customs union. Ankara’s sincerity would need to be verified, but to do so it is the Union that must make the first move. Likewise, the EU and the US should actively seek opportunities to work with Turkey on foreign policy questions on which interests do not fundamentally diverge. With Syria and Nagorno Karabakh further away from Western reach, Libya would be the place to start. The space for manoeuvre, here too, is shrinking fast. As Libya’s political dialogue unfolds, time will be of the essence.

All this does not imply that the EU and the US should stay put and refrain from using the stick with Turkey as the case may warrant. Be it over the S400 debacle with NATO or Turkey’s actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, the threat of restrictive measures will remain on the table. Less still does it mean that the EU and the US should drop the ball on Turkey’s democratic backsliding. With an administration in Washington that will once again take genuine interest in democracy, human rights, rule of law, a renewed transatlantic focus on Turkey’s domestic dynamics is imperative.

However, in addressing whether, when and how to react to Turkey’s foreign policy moves, Europe and the US should factor in the broader strategic context in which we operate. The purpose of our actions should be to peel Ankara away from Moscow, rather than push it deeper in its embrace.

* Nathalie Tocci is Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and Honorary Professor at the University of Tübingen.

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Democracy or Plutocracy? – America’s Existential Question

Kishore Mahbubani is a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore. This essay contains excerpts from his latest book Has China Won? (2020). You may follow him on Twitter @mahbubani_k.

 

Is the United States of America still a functioning democracy or has it become, for all practical purposes, a plutocracy? And why is this question important? It’s important because the answer to the question of whether America has a dark or shining future will depend on whether it’s a democracy or plutocracy. Indeed, this question may well be the most existential question America has to address.

Let’s begin to answer this question from the very beginning. What is the actual difference between a democracy and a plutocracy? In a democracy, the masses broadly determine their future. Equally critically, in terms of the economy, society, and political system there is a level playing field where the working classes, middle classes, and affluent elites compete. The term “level playing field” is absolutely critical here. Many Americans believe that their economic and political systems create a level playing field in which the poor and disadvantaged can rise to the top. This is also why there is no social resentment of billionaires in America. Most Americans believe that they have an equal opportunity to become billionaires. So the first big question we need to address is this: is there a level playing field for the poor and rich?

The honest answer is no. Today, when working class or even middle class Americans have to compete with the affluent elites, they are not competing on a level playing field. They have to run uphill to score goals. By contrast, the affluent elites run downhill as the playing field is tilted in their favor. Writing in the Financial Times in June 2019, Edward Luce provides one statistic to drive home this point: “Studies show that an eighth grade [i.e. a 14-year-old] child from a lower income bracket who achieves maths results in the top quarter is less likely to graduate than a kid in the upper income bracket scored in the bottom quarter. This is the reverse of how meritocracy should work.”

There is no shortage of data to drive home the point that there is no longer a level playing field in America. Anand Giridharadas, a former New York Times columnist, has documented in great detail in his book Winners Take All (2018) how the dream of the American middle class has effectively evaporated. As he says:

A successful society is a progress machine. It takes in the raw material of innovations and produces broad human advancement. America’s machine is broken. When the fruits of change have fallen on the United States in recent decades, the very fortunate have basketed almost all of them. For instance, the average pretax income of the top tenth of Americans has doubled since 1980, that of the top 1 percent has more than tripled, and that of the top 0.001 percent has risen more than sevenfold—even as the average pretax income of the bottom half of Americans has stayed almost precisely the same. These familiar figures amount to three and a half decades’ worth of wondrous, head-spinning change with zero impact on the average pay of 117 million Americans.

Giridharadas claims that the American people are beginning to “feel” that the system is unfair:

Thus many millions of Americans, on the left and right, feel one thing in common: that the game is rigged against people like them. […] There is a spreading recognition, on both sides of the ideological divide, that the system is broken, that the system has to change.

Giridharadas is right. To create a level playing field, the system has to change. But it will not change. Why not? What are the obstacles to change? And, if there are obstacles, why hasn’t the world’s freest media, the American media, revealed these obstacles? This is where the story becomes complex. We also have to venture into politically controversial territory to understand the obstacles to change.

Main Obstacle to Change

The main obstacle to change is a myth. An example from history will help. For centuries, European serfs accepted a feudal system in which they were second-class citizens (if not slaves) in a system dominated by feudal lords. Why didn’t the majority of serfs overthrow the minority of feudal lords? A huge myth was created to generate a belief that this system was just. The kind and gentle feudal lords reinforced the myth. At the risk of quoting a politically controversial philosophical concept, let me mention a term used for this phenomenon: false consciousness. According to Daniel Little, Chancellor Emeritus and Professor of Philosophy at University of Michigan-Dearborn, “false consciousness” is a concept derived from Marxist theory of social class. […] Members of a subordinate class (workers, peasants, serfs) suffer from false consciousness in that their mental representations of the social relations around them systematically conceal or obscure the realities of subordination, exploitation, and domination those relations embody. Marx asserts that social mechanisms emerge in class society that systematically create distortions, errors, and blind spots in the consciousness of the underclass. If these consciousness-shaping mechanisms did not exist, then the underclass, always a majority, would quickly overthrow the system of their domination.

Yet, even if contemporary Americans were to accept that there was “false consciousness” in the feudal era, they would contest the possibility of it emerging in modern American society, where the unique combination of the world’s freest and fiercely independent media, the best universities, the best-funded think tanks and the spirit of open and critical enquiry would expose any big “myth” that enveloped American society. Many Americans would assert no myths can survive in the robustly open environment of American society. Only facts survive.

To be fair, many American writers have written about the several dimensions of plutocracy in American society. In addition to Giridharadas, who was cited earlier, distinguished American writers like Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Robert Reich have documented, for example, the growing inequality in America. In his brilliant May 2011 Vanity Fair article entitled, “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%,” Stiglitz opines that it’s no use pretending that what has obviously happened has not in fact happened. The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent.

Yet what most of these articles emphasize is the growing “inequality” in America. And if the problem is “inequality,” then fortunately the problem can be solved. As America has the world’s most robust democratic system, where the broad masses elect the leaders who in turn take care of the interests of the broad masses, any problem of “inequality” could eventually be fixed. In short, if America has a problem, it also has a solution: democracy.

This brings us to the heart of the argument of this essay. To put it simply, the solution has become part of the problem. While all the democratic processes remain in place, with Americans going to the polls every two or four years (depending on the elected office) to select their leaders (who will in theory take care of them), the results of all those processes is that Americans elect leaders who will take care of the 1 percent, not the 99 percent.

How did this happen? How did America, which on the surface still functions as a democracy, become a plutocracy, which takes care of the interest of the 1 percent? [Note: the term 1 percent is used metaphorically here. The real reference is to a tiny elite that benefits from a non-level playing field]

There was one great American who anticipated the effective hijacking of the American democratic system by the very affluent. He is America’s greatest political philosopher of recent times, John Rawls. Rawls warned that “if those who have greater private means are permitted to use their advantages to control the course of public debate,” this would be the corrupting result:

Eventually, these inequalities will enable those better situated to exercise a larger influence over the development of legislation. In due time they are likely to acquire a preponderant weight in settling social questions, at least in regard to those matters upon which they normally agree, which is to say in regard to those things that support their favored circumstances.

This is precisely what has happened over the past few decades: the affluent have gained “preponderant weight […] in regard of those things that support their favored circumstances.” There has been a relative transfer of wealth and political power from the vast majority of America’s population to a privileged super minority.

The practical effect of transferring power to a super minority is that the political system responds to the needs and interest of the top 1 percent, not to the 99 percent. Fortunately, there have been strong, peer-reviewed academic studies that confirm this political reality. Two Princeton University professors have documented how ordinary American citizens have lost their political power and influence. Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page studied the relative influence that the views of average Americans and mass-based interest groups have on policy outcomes versus the views of the economic elite in 1,779 cases. They found that: economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. […] When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy. […] Furthermore, the preferences of economic elites (as measured by our proxy, the preferences of “affluent” citizens) have far more independent impact upon policy change than the preferences of average citizens do. […] In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule—at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. ]

They reach the following alarming conclusion:

Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.

In the past, the broad middle classes of America had a strong say in determining the fundamental direction of American society. Today, they no longer do. The decisions of the U.S. Congress are not determined by the voters; they are determined by the funders. As a result, America is becoming functionally less and less of a democracy, where all citizens have an equal voice. Instead, it looks more and more like a plutocracy, where a few rich people are disproportionately powerful.

These conclusions have been reinforced by other academic studies. A 2018 study by scholars Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Theda Skocpol, and Jason Sclar of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University further argued that since the mid-2000s, newly formed conservative and progressive donor consortia—above all the Koch seminars [founded by brothers Charles and David Koch] and the DA [Democracy Alliance]—have magnified the impact of wealthy donors by raising and channeling ever more money not just into elections but also into full arrays of cooperating political organizations. […] The Koch seminars […] allowed donations to be channeled into building a virtual third political party organized around AFP [Americans for Prosperity], an overarching political network able not only to electorally support the Republican Party but also to push and pull its candidates and office holders in preferred ultra-free-market policy directions. […] To the degree that wealthy donor consortia have succeeded in building organizational infrastructures, they have shifted the resources available for developing policy proposals, pressing demands on lawmakers, and mobilizing ordinary Americans into politics. […] When plutocratic collectives impose new agendas on political organizations seeking to attract financial resources, the funders reshape routines, goals, and centers of power in U.S. politics well beyond the budgetary impact of particular grants.

To that end, Figure 1 illustrates (please see following page) the hundreds of millions of dollars that wealthy donors have raised annually within the donor consortia to finance their political interests. The authors thus conclude:

Our analysis of the Koch and DA consortia highlights that a great deal of big-money influence flows through mechanisms other than individual or business donations to the electoral and lobbying operations. […] To understand how the wealthy are reshaping U.S. politics, we need to look not just at their election and lobbying expenditures but also at their concerted investments in many kinds of political organizations operating across a variety of fields and functions. Only in this way can we account for the stark inequalities in government responsiveness documented by [various] researchers.

So what triggered this massive transfer of political power from the broad masses to a tiny elite in America? This question will be hotly debated by political scientists and historians for decades. Yet it is also clear that one seminal ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court made a huge difference. In a landmark ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010) as well as in other decisions, many of the legislative restraints on the use of money to influence the political process were overturned.

A report by the Center for Public Integrity reported that: “The Citizens United ruling, released in January 2010, tossed out the corporate and union ban on making independent expenditures and financing electioneering communications. It gave corporations and unions the green light to spend unlimited sums on ads and other political tools, calling for the election or defeat of individual candidates.” The impact of this and other Supreme Court decisions was monumental. Effectively, they ended up transforming the American political system. Martin Wolf says that “the Supreme Court’s perverse 2010 Citizens United decision held that companies are persons and money is speech. That has proved a big step on the journey of the U.S. towards becoming a plutocracy.”

Now, Martin Wolf is one of the most influential columnists in the world. He also describes himself as being fiercely pro-American. In a column written in 2018, Wolf said “the U.S. was not just any great power. It embodied the causes of democracy, freedom, and the rule of law. This made [my father] fiercely pro-American. I inherited this attitude.” America is an open society. Therefore, when major voices like Martin Wolf and Joseph Stiglitz describe America as having become a “plutocracy,” the logical result should have been a major public debate on whether this claim is true.

Instead, the opposite happened. This comment by Martin Wolf was buried. The psychological resistance in America to use the term “plutocracy” is deep. Leading newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post do not use it. Leading columnists like Richard Cohen and Paul Krugman do not use it. Nor do distinguished historians like Simon Schama mention plutocracy. Certainly no American politician uses it.

So, what is in a name? Shakespeare once famously said “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I sometimes doubt this piece of wisdom. If someone were to change the name of “rose” to “skunk-flower,” we might approach a rose with some caution. Choosing the right name makes a huge difference. As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said, “the limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”

The sad reality about the U.S. is that, functionally, there is absolutely no doubt that the political system has gone from functioning as a democracy (a government of the people, by the people, for the people) towards becoming a plutocracy (a government of the 1 percent, by the 1 percent, for the 1 percent). Yet, while this political reality is undeniable, it is also unspeakable.

Just and Unjust Inequality

What is the real danger that flows from this refusal to describe the American political system as a “plutocracy”? Many dangers! Firstly, it perpetuates the myth that American society has a “level playing field.” Anybody can succeed. Hence, if a person fails it is because of his individual defects. It is not because the social environment is rigged against the person. Secondly, by refusing to describe it as a plutocracy, the fundamental difference between “just inequality” and “unjust inequality” falls to the surface.

The term “just inequality” may seem to be an oxymoron. Yet, it was John Rawls who highlighted this difference. It was he who said that inequality was not the problem. The fundamental question was whether rising inequality resulted in an improvement or deterioration of the living conditions of the people living at the bottom. He states this clearly and categorically: “the higher expectations of those better situated are just if and only if they work as part of a scheme which improves the expectations of the least advantaged members of society.”

The best way to illustrate the difference between “just equality” and “unjust equality” is to compare concrete examples. Both the United States and China have about the same level of inequality. By the latest estimates, the gini coefficient in America is 0.41 and in China is 0.39. There is no significant difference here. However, there is a significant difference between how the bottom 50 percent have fared in America and China. America is the only major developed society where the average income of the bottom 50 percent has declined over a 30 year period from 1980 to 2010, as documented by my colleague of the National University of Singapore, Professor Danny Quah. By contrast, the bottom 50 percent of the Chinese population has seen the greatest improvements in their standard of living in recent decades. Indeed, the past 40 years of social and economic development that the Chinese people have enjoyed have been the best 40 years in four thousand years of Chinese history.

The story here is not just about economic failures and economic successes. These economic failures and successes have profound effects on the state of psychological and social well-being of societies. In America, this stagnation of income has also resulted in a lot of human pain and suffering, as documented by two Princeton University economists, Anne Case and Angus Deaton. The white working classes of America used to carry the American dream of getting a better life in their hearts and souls. Today, as Case says, there is a “sea of despair” among them. She and Deaton conclude: “Ultimately, we see our story as about the collapse of the white, high-school-educated working class after its heyday in the early 1970s, and the pathologies that accompany that decline.” The detailed study of Case and Deaton documents how poor economic prospects “compounds over time through family dysfunction, social isolation, addiction, obesity, and other pathologies.”

In China, the situation is almost exactly the opposite. A Chinese-American psychology research from Stanford University, Jean Fan, visited China in 2019. She observed that “China is changing in a deep and visceral way, and it is changing fast, in a way that is almost incomprehensible without seeing it in person. In contrast to America’s stagnation, China’s culture, self-concept, and morale are being transformed at a rapid pace—mostly for the better.”

One obvious counter-argument to the different social conditions of America and China is that the American people are still better off because they enjoy freedom while the Chinese people do not. It is true that the American people enjoy political freedom. This is undeniable. However, it is also true that a person from the bottom 50 percent of American society is more likely to lose their personal freedom and end up in jail. The chance of being incarcerated in America (if one is born in the bottom 10 percent, especially among the black population) is at least five times higher than China. America sends 0.655 percent (or 2.12 million) into jails. By contrast, China sends 0.118 percent (or 1.65 million) into jails. A 2019 study tried to understand which ethnic group in America had the greatest percentage of individuals with family members in jail or prison. The average figure for all Americans was 45 percent. The figure for whites was 42 percent, Hispanics 48 percent, and blacks 63 percent.

Any American who has doubts about the dangers posed by plutocracy should pause and reflect on these figures. Let’s repeat the figure: 45 percent of Americans have family members in jail or prison. These high levels of incarceration did not happen because the American people have psychological characteristics that make them more likely to become criminals. This is a result of the socio-economic conditions of the bottom 50 percent that have steadily deteriorated.

If it is manifestly obvious that the American political system is facing a crisis, why is there no consensus on the American body politic on what has gone wrong? Surely the best newspapers and universities, and the best-known students and professors in the world, should be able to arrive at a clear consensus on the real problems faced by American society?

In the year 2020, we can understand why there is no consensus. The liberal elites are distracted by one major issue: the reelection of Donald Trump. They believe that it would be a disaster if Donald Trump is reelected. They also believe that many of America’s problems would be solved if Joe Biden wins. I share the hope that Biden will win. Yet, even if he wins, the systemic issues that led to the development of a plutocracy in America will not go away. Money will still dominate the political system.

If anyone doubts this, the following data from an important 2018 study written by Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman that appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Economics confirms this very clearly: First, our data show a sharp divergence in the growth experienced by the bottom 50 percent versus the rest of the economy. The average pretax income of the bottom 50 percent of adults has stagnated at about $16,000 per adult (in constant 2014 dollars, using the national income deflator) since 1980, while average national income per adult has grown by 60 percent to $64,500 in 2014. As a result, the bottom 50 percent income share has collapsed from about 20 percent in 1980 to 12 percent in 2014. In the meantime, the average pretax income of top 1 percent adults rose from $420,000 to about $1.3 million, and their income share increased from about 12 percent in the early 1980s to 20 percent in 2014. The two groups have essentially switched their income shares, with eight points of national income transferred from the bottom 50 percent to the top 1 percent. The top 1 percent income share is now almost twice as large as the bottom 50 percent share, a group that is by definition 50 times more numerous. In 1980, top 1 percent adults earned on average 27 times more than bottom 50 percent adults before tax, while they earn 81 times more today.

There are two ways of viewing this great divergence. It could be a result of the fact that the top 1 percent of Americans are becoming smarter and the bottom 50 percent of Americans are becoming less smart. Or it could be a result of the fact that America has become a plutocracy where there is no longer a level playing field. All the evidence points to the latter conclusion. Many Americans sense that the system does not work for them.

Deteriorating socio-economic conditions mean that people will suffer. All this is brought out by the latest Social Progress Index which was released in September 2020. Quite astonishingly, out of 163 countries assessed worldwide, America, Brazil, and Hungary are the only three countries where people have become worse off. The index collects several metrics of well-being, including nutrition, safety, freedom, the environment, health, education, and others to measure the quality of life in a country. America slipped from number 19 to number 28 in the world. Writing with reference to the aforementioned results, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof corroborates deteriorating quality of life with “rising distress and despair.” Quite shockingly, Kristof describes how one quarter of the children with whom he went to school on the same school bus are now dead from drugs, alcohol, and suicide. His personal experience mirrors what Case and Deaton have documented on the “sea of despair” among white working classes.

Tyranny of Money

Clearly something has gone fundamentally wrong with American society. Many Americans are also beginning to sense that the system isn’t working for them. Marvin Zonis, a University of Chicago economist has written an article which describes how “the American system is facing a crisis of legitimacy.” The level of confidence that American people have in their key institutions has been declining. Confidence in the U.S. presidency has fallen from 52 percent in 1975 to 37 percent in 2018. Confidence in the U.S. Congress has plummeted more sharply from 42 percent in 1973 to 11 percent in 2018. The explanation that Zonis gives for this declining confidence is credible. As he says, “the central factor in the growing lack of trust and confidence in our institutions has been the realization that our American democracy does not function commensurately with the ideals of the founders or the Constitution. Money has become the key to American political life.”

The key word he uses is “money.” If money dictates outcomes in politics, it means that a society has become a “plutocracy.” After documenting how the amount of money spent in a U.S. presidential election year has gone from $3 billion in 2010 to $6.5 billion in 2016, Zonis adds that the “contributors of those many billions expect a return on their investments—and they usually get it. Congressional action on gun legislation, sugar subsidies, policies towards Israel, drug pricing, and countless other issues is best explained by the financing of political campaigns and not by the political preferences of ordinary voters, or even of members of Congress.”

Please read the above paragraph again, carefully. It says clearly that the decisions of the U.S. Congress are decided by “contributors of billions” and not by the “political preference of ordinary voters.” This observation confirms what Gilens and Page documented earlier. In short, there is no doubt that functionally America has become a plutocracy. Yet, equally significantly, Zonis does not use the term “plutocracy” once in his article.

In Denial there is an old fashioned adage that says: one must call a spade a spade. Similarly, one must call a plutocracy a plutocracy. The reluctance to do so brings out the key problems facing American society. If America refuses to accept that it has functionally become a plutocracy, how can it possibly find a way out of this challenge? Just as no oncologist can cure a patient of cancer if he or she refuses to submit himself or herself to treatment, similarly America cannot be cured of its plutocracy problem if it remains in denial that such a problem exists.

All this means that there are two possible outcomes. The first is a revolution against the establishment in Washington, DC. Paradoxically this may have been what the working classes thought they were doing when they elected Trump in 2016. They wanted to elect someone outside the establishment and one who would shake up the establishment. When Hillary Clinton responded in 2016 by calling Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables” it showed that she, together with the rest of the Washington establishment did not understand what the broad masses of Americans were trying to convey. Unfortunately, in electing Trump, the working classes voted in a plutocrat. In office, Trump acted like a plutocrat. He cut taxes for the rich again. The conditions for the bottom 50 percent didn’t improve.

The second possible outcome is for the arrival of enlightenment. At some point in time, the top 1 percent in America must come to realize that if they are going to protect most of their personal economic gain in America, and not make an effort to improve the conditions of the bottom 50 percent, they will only damage the very body politic—American society—that is enabling them to become so wealthy.

Fortunately, many wealthy Americans are coming to realize this. Ray Dalio is one of them. Dalio runs the largest, most successful hedge fund in the world, which has succeeded through rigorous empirical research. Dalio has now applied this research to understanding poverty and inequality in America. On his LinkedIn page, Dalio spells out the dramatic decline in the living standards of the majority of Americans and points out that “most people in the bottom 60 percent are poor” and cites “a recent Federal Reserve study [that showed that] 40 percent of all Americans would struggle to raise $400 in the event of an emergency.” Worse, Dalio notes that “they are increasingly getting stuck being poor […]. [T]he odds of someone in the bottom quintile moving up to the middle quintile or higher in a 10-year period […] declined from about 23 percent in 1990 to only 14 percent as of 2011.”

The data on social deterioration in America is undeniable. It undercuts the claims that America is a society where hard work brings rewards. For most people, the rewards have dried up. The platitude that “virtue is its own reward” turns out to be grimly and limitingly true.

Five Hard Steps Forward

Yet, even if the top 1 percent in America, which includes Dalio, were to wish that American society return to its condition of the 1950s and 1960s, when the broad mass of American society was also lifted up as America’s economy grew, what should they do? Is there a magic button they can press? Is there a simple “silver bullet” solution to America’s problem with plutocracy? Sadly, there are no easy solutions. There are only painful solutions. This article will therefore conclude by suggesting what some of them might be. The first step would be for the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision to be reversed. As Martin Wolf said, this court decision started the slippery slope towards plutocracy in America.

The second step would be for America to emulate the example of its fellow democracies in the European Union and impose strict limits on the amount of money that can be spent on elections. Fortunately, the American people also want to limit the influence of money. A Pew Research Institute survey in 2018 found that “an overwhelming majority (77 percent) supports limits on the amount of money individuals and organizations can spend on political campaigns and issues. And nearly two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) say new laws could be effective in reducing the role of money in politics.”

The third step is to change American ideology in a fundamental way. It should go back to the wisdom of its founding fathers. The founding fathers of America were all disciples of great European philosophers of the Enlightenment period (including John Locke and Montesquieu) and emphasized both Freedom and Equality—as did the aforementioned Rawls. Of late, however, American politicians, starting with Ronald Reagan, have emphasized Freedom and not mentioned Equality in the same breath.

The fourth step is to acknowledge that market forces alone cannot create a level playing field for all Americans. Government must step in to redress major social and economic inequalities. Therefore, Americans should openly declare that Reagan was totally wrong when he said, “government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.” Instead, Americans should accept the wisdom of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen who said that for societies to progress they need the “invisible hand” of the free market and the “visible hand” of good governance. Americans have not used the “visible hand” in recent decades, especially since the Reagan-Thatcher revolution.

Fifthly, the American government should declare that the main goal of American society is to go from being number 28 on the Social Progress Index towards becoming number one on this index. Hence, instead of trying to become the number one military power (and wasting trillions fighting unnecessary wars) America will spend its trillions improving the living conditions of Americans measured in the Social Progress Index.

The bottom line is that solutions are out there, and they’re available. But these solutions will only work if Americans agree on what the problem is. And the problem is, quite simply, plutocracy.

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ABD Seçimleri Yeni Dönemi Nasıl Şekillendirecek? N Gazete Sordu Kaan Soyak Cevapladı Kaynak: ABD Seçimleri Yeni Dönemi Nasıl Şekillendirecek? N Gazete Sordu Kaan Soyak Cevapladı

1997’de dönemin Cumhurbaşkanı Süleyman Demirel’in talebiyle Türk-Ermeni ilişkilerinin gelişmesi için çalışmalara başladı. Türkiye ve Ermenistan ile Türkiye ve Ermeni Diasporasındaki çalışmaları yürüttü ve halen de yürütmekte. Bu arada bu çalışmalarda 10 yıl Ahmet Ertegün ile birlikte nerdeyse günlük bazda çalışmalar yaptı. Birlikte uzlaşamayan ülkelerde halkların birbirleriyle bir araya gelmeleri üzerinde birlikte çalıştılar. 1997-1998 yıllarında Ahmet Ertegün ile ikili toplum ilişkilerinin yumuşatılması  hedeflenen çalışmalarda kültürel, müzik, spor vs alanlarda bir çok çalışma başlatıldı.  Bu çalışmalar raporlar haline getirildi ve  “Kamu Diplomasisi” çalışmalarına  çevrildi ve bu çalışmalar baz alınarak ABD Dış İşleri Bakanlığı’nda 1999 yılında Kamu Diplomasisi bölümü oluşturuldu.Soyak, daha sonra Ertegün ile birlikte Turk-ABD, Türk-Yunan, Turk-İsrail iliskilerinin yakınlaşması çalışmaları yaptı. Bu arada Ertegün ile birlikte ABD devlet akli ile de yakın çalışmalar içine girdi. ABD’de su anda Demokratlar ile Cumhuriyetciler arasındaki güvenilir “backchannel “  iletişim kanallardan birisi olarak da tanınıyor. Su sıralarda da Dis Politika Enstitusu başkanına Uluslararasi konularında danismanlik yapıyor. 1. ABD seçimleri bu kez, sadece ABD seçimleri değil. Neden?ABD seçimleri bu sefer, global muhafazakar sermaye ile global liberal sermayenin ABD üzerinden birbiriyle yarışmasına döndü. Bu yüzden nerdeyse dünya seçimleri haline döndü.Örnek verirsek, tüm mevcut dinlerin içindeki muhafazakarlar ve muhafazakar sermaye kesimine karşı liberaller ile liberal sermaye kesimi seçim mücadelesine döndü.  Bu kesin ayırım kendini Vatikan’da da gösterdi. Bu konuda elimizde çok detaylı bilgiler var, ama detaya şu anda girmek istemiyorum. Dünyada liberal devlet aklini temsil eden kurumların ve buna bağlı devlet adamlarının Global etik yapının bozulmaya başlamasıyla birlikte itibarlarını kaybetmeye başlaması Trump’ın 2016 yılında seçilmesini de kolaylaştırdı. 2016 ABD seçim döneminde global etik yapının bozulmasının  sosyal medyada yer almaya başlaması, bu sosyal medyadan en çok etkilenen “eğitimsiz beyaz oyların” vatansever duygularını harekete geçirilmesi ile birlikte en uygun aday olan Trump ile bir zafere döndü.Bugün itibariyle bu kesim bir tabana oturdu ve bundan sonra da bu tabanın sesini duymaya devam edeceğiz. Peki bu mucadele bitecek mi? Tabi ki hayır. Önümüzdeki yıllarda bu mücadele çeşitli değişik platformlarda sürerek devam edecek ve yine ABD bu mücadelenin görünen sahası olarak kalacak. Diğer bir deyimle, bundan sonra ABD seçimleri adi altında dünya seçimlerine tanık olacağımızı düşünüyorum. . 2. ABD’de genel tahammüle göre başkanlar genelde iki dönemi tamamlarlar. Bu kez Trump’ta bu olmadı. Üstelik de Trump’ın güçlü iddiasına rağmen. Sizce sebepleri ne?Cok doğru, ABD’de genelde başkanlara ikinci donem verilir, halk bunu başkana verilmiş bir hak olarak görür.  Ancak bu sefer Trumpyönetim sekliyle yalnızca ABD içinde değil ama dış dünyada da çok tepki gördü.  Birçok eğitimli Cumhuriyetcinin de tepkisini aldı. . Yanından eğitimli Cumhuriyetciler ayrıldıkca, yerini vatansever sloganlarla yüklü eğitimsiz kitleler aldı, Trump’inTanri tarafından seçildiğine inanan hristiyan kitleler,  yanlarına şu ana kadar hiç oy kullanmamış ABD’nin en cahil diyebileceğimiz kesimlerini de sosyal medya ile yanlarına aldılar, ve sonuçta tek adamlığa oynadı.  Birçok eğitimli Cumhuriyetci parti ağır topuTrump’a mesafe koydular. Trumpda bunlara karşı tavıralmayi tercih etti. En büyük dersi de Arizona seçimlerinde adeta Arizona ile bütünleşmiş efsane isim John McCain gibi bir kişiye karşı aldığı tavır ile buradaki oyların bile Biden’a gitmesine neden oldu. Yanında hiç bir danışmanı veya deneyimli siyasetçiyi bırakmadı, kalanları dinlemedi.  Ama unutmayalım ki, Trump çirkin oyunların ustası. Secim sonuçları her ne kadar açıklanmış olsa da,  her ne kadar damadı Kushner’de yenilgiyi kabul etmeliyiz dese de, tavsiyem, yine de bir açık kapı bırakmak olacaktır. Bu seçimi aslında Biden ve Demokratlar kazanmadi, Cumhuriyetçiler de kaybetmedi ama Trump hataları yüzünden kaybetti demek daha doğru olur.  Aslında ben bu yılın başında Trump’in tüm bu dezavantajlarına rağmen 2020 seçimlerini kolayca alacağını düşünüyordum, ne zamana kadar? Covid-19 başlayana kadar. Işte bu Pandemic olmasaydı, birçok kişinin görüşü ikinci 4 yıllık dönemi nerdeyse garantiydi. Ancak Pandemi beklenmedik bir zamanda ortaya çıktı ve beklemediği bir şekilde ABD toplumuna büyük zarar verdi. Hazırlıksız yakalandı diyebiliriz. Halkın önemli bir bölümü ABD’nin itibarını düşürecek şekilde başarısız bir pandemi  yönetimi sergilendiği görüşünde. Birçok kişiye göre de son günlerde kendi bilim ekibini seçildikten sonra kovacağını miting’lerde açıklaması da yenilgisinin önemli nedenlerinden birisi.  3. Türkiye seçim sonuçlarında Trump’ın kazanmasına kilitlenmişti. Herkes Trump’ın kazanması Türkiye için çok önemli diyordu. Biden’ın kazanmasını kıyamet senaryosu sayıyorlardı. Ve Biden kazandı. Kıyamet geldi mi?Trump tabi ki Türkiye için çok önemliydi. Somut bir katkısı oldu mu bunu bilemiyorum ama Türkiye’nin aleyhine olabilecek birçok sureci yavaslattığını veya geciktirdiğini biliyorum. Türkiye, Trump ile  Ağustos 2016 da cok değerli bir başdanısman aracılığıyla ilk iliskisini kuran ülkelerin başında yer aldı. Simdi Biden kazandı, kıyamet geldi mi? Tabi ki kıyamet gelmedi.. Türkiye’deki TV açık oturumlarında böyle söylemlerin her kesim tarafından dillendirildiğini  duymaktayım. Gerçeği yansıtmadığı için pek önem verilmemesi gerektiğine inanıyorum.  Tam tersi olumlu düşünmek gerekiyor. Eğer yeni durumu akilli değerlendirebilirsek bu bir fırsata dönüşebilir aslında. ABD tek bir liderin kararıyla yönetilen bir ülke değil. Öncelikle bunu bilmemiz gerekiyor. Kurumların önemi var. Trump’ın Türkiye için en fazla yapabildiği,  ABD devlet aklinin karara vardığı ve uygulanması beklenen Türkiye aleyhine olabilecek kararların geciktirilmesiydi. Bu da önemli ancak, yeterli değil. Türkiye olarak sorunlarımızın çözümünde ABD devlet aklıyla çalışmalar başlatmalıyız. Geçici ve geciktirici çözüm donemi bitti.   4.Türkiye-ABD ilişkilerinde son durum nedir? Biden ile nasıl bir gelişme olur?Türkiye ile ABD arasında bir çok konuda görüş ayrılıkları mevcut. Bu görüş ayrılıklarının Biden’in baskanliği döneminde devlet kurumları arasında gerekli derinlikte hukuka dayalı çözüm odaklı ortak toplantılar ile masaya yatırılması gerekiyor. Bunlar yapılırken de seçilecek bir “backchannel” üzerinden tüm bu konularda asil kararların önceden birlikte oluşturulması gerekiyor. Biden bu şekilde çalışma düşüncesine sahip. Biden, Obama döneminde birçok kritik konuda çalışmalarını arka planda non-paper yöntemiyle yaptı. Biden ayrıca devlet akli ve kurumlarına önem veren bir kişi. Şimdiden güçlü bir ekip ile kurumların bozulan itibarlarının tamirine başlayacağını yakın çevresine söyledi. Dünya liderlerinin kendisiyle telefon ile veya yüz yüze görüşmelerinden  çok devletler arası kurumlar aracılığıyla çalışma ekipleri oluşturalım sorunları karsılıklı uzlaşarak çözüme ulaştırmaya calısalım diye düşünüyor.    5.Erdoğan ve Trump dostluğunu bilmeyen yok. Uzun zamandır da Türkiye- ABD ilişkilerinin yerini iki başkanın ilişkileri almıştı.  Biden-Erdoğan ilişkileri nasıl gelişir?Iki lider arasındaki bu dostluk tabi ki son derece önemliydi. Ancak ABD’nin yönetim seklinde başkanın yetkileri cok kısıtlı. Dolayısıyla ABD başkanlarıyla kurulan dostluklar çok somut sonuçlar doğurmaz, eğer iliskiler kurumlar arasında iyiyse, ABD başkanıyla dostluk bunun üzerine çok daha verimli hale gelir. Simdi Biden seçildi. Biden ile Erdoğan arasındaki iliskinin ayni şekilde son derece dostane süreceğini düşünüyorum. Biden hem Türkiye’yi hem de Erdoğan’ı yakınen tanıyan ve Erdoğan’ınyapısını çok iyi bilen bir kişi. Eminim iki ülke arasındaki farklılıkların düzelmesi için liderler arasındaki özel görüşmelere ek olarak paralelde kurumlar ve güvendikleri kanallar üzerinden de calışmalar başlatılmasını teşvik edecektir. Trump ile Biden arasında çalışma sekli acısından büyük bir fark var. Trump kendisinden bir şey talep edildiğinde ABD devletinin isleme tarzını dikkate almadan hallederim, bakalım deyip erteleyen bir kisiliğe sahip. Biden ise ABD kanunlarını çok iyi bildiği ve Baskanın tek başına halledemiyeceği konuları cok iyi bildiği icin sorunların gerekli devlet kurumları üzerinden görüşmeler üzerinden çözüme ulastırılmasını tercih edecektir. Türkiye’nin bu aşamada Trump zamanında ABD’de calıstığı ekipten daha farklı ABD devlet akli yapısını iyi bilen bir ekip ile yoluna devam etmesi daha iyi olur kanısındayım.  6-Biden kazandığına göre, özellikle Rusya-ABD ve Türkiye-ABD ilişkileri nasıl bir değişim ve gelişim gösterir?Biden’in kazanmasıyla birlikte, ABD’nin Rusya politikasında değisiklikler bekleniyor. Obama-Biden yönetimi hatırlarsınız hiç bir zaman Rusya’nin Kırım’ın bir bölümünü ele geçirmesini kabul etmemişti ve bu konuda Ukrayna’nin yanında yer almıslardı ve birçok Rus kurum ve işadamına  yaptırımlar gelmişti. Bu siyasetin artarak devam edeceği bekleniyor.İkinci konu, 2016’da Rusya’nın ABD seçimlerine karışmasıyla ilgili iddialar ile ve olduğu söylenen belgeler ile bekletilen dosyanın çok detaylı açılacağını ve Trump-Rusya bağlantılarının olup olmadığı konularının yeniden ele alınacağını düşünmekteyim. Putin’in ise yaptırımlar altında gittikçe kötüye giden Rus ekonomisiyle nasıl başedeceği ve böylesine bir mücadele ye ne kadar dayanacağı soru işareti. Yakın cevresinde yaptırım altındaki isadamlarının yaptırımlarını Trump ile olan dostluğuna dayanarak çözüme ulastiracağina inanması ama sonunda cözülememesi ile ilgili eleştiriler almakta.Su anda trilyon dolar üzerinde para yaptırımlar altındaki oligarch’larin üzerinde ve dondurulmuş durumda, uluslararası ticarette kullanılamıyor. Bu konuda Putin’in üzerindeki baskı gittikçe artacak ve Putin’i zor günlerin beklediği düşünülüyor.  Türk-ABD iliskilerinde ise aradaki ana sorunların masaya yatırılması bekleniyor. Sorunların ele alınıp çözülmesine dayalı yeni bir 4 yılın baslayacağı düşünülüyor. Türkiye’nin yepyeni bir ekip ile Beyaz Saray hamlesine başlamasını tavsiye ederim.  7. Trump’ın Rus oligarklarla olan yakın ticari ilişkileri, Türkiye’nin Halkbank davasını nasıl günler bekliyor?Trump’in Rus oligarchlariyla ilgili dosyası  çok geniş detayına burada girmek çok zor. Ancak kısaca sunu söylemekte yerinde olur ki, Rusya’da en tepede her birinde 70-100 milyar dolar olan 10 civarında büyük Oligarch, ve  30-40 civarında 20-30 milyar dolarlık küçük oligarchlarin olduğu söyleniyor. Bir coğunda hem Guney Kıbrıs hem de İsrail pasaportu da olan bu Oligarchlarin coğunluğu yaptırım altında ve Rusya, Ukrayna veya Orta Asya ülkelerinin dısına cikmalari bile sakıncalı, adeta paralarıyla ülkelerinde hapis hayatı yasamaktalar. Bu oligarch’lar, Trump’in yakın çevresine büyük paralar ödeyerek hukuki davalarından kurtulacaklarına inandılar. Aynen Rusya gibi zannederek, Trump’in bir telefonu ile Adalet bakanı üzerinden mahkemelere baskı yaparak hukuki davaların yok edileceği sözleri kendilerine verildi. Tabi hiç biri gerçekleşmedi. Yalnızca bolca para Amerikalı avukatlara ödediler. Bu oligarch’lara ABD devlet akli yapısını bilenler aman avukatlara para ödemeyin, bu paralarınız boşa gider, çözümler baksa şekilde olmalı  diyenlere de Oligarch’larinanmadılar . . Sonuçta büyük miktarlarda paralar sonuç getirmedi. ABD de biliyorsunuz adalet mekanizması değişik isliyor. Simdi secimi Biden kazandı, önünde hukuki davası olan Oligarch’larin önlerinde Trump’dan af alabilmek için az zamanları kaldı. İste simdi bu çalışmalar başlayacak. Halkbank davası dosyası ise SDNY mahkemesinin görev alanında ve bekletiliyor. Bu dosyada henüz açıklanmayan çok detay olduğu konuşuluyor. SDNY mahkemesinin ABD Adalet bakanlığı ile ast üst ilişkisi yok. ABD Adalet bakanının bu mahkemeye karar verdirme yetkisi yok. Bu konuda da mahkeme ile ilişkili bazı girişimlerin yapıldığı, hatta Halkbank ile gayri resmî kanal üzerinden konuşma yolunun denendiği ama dikkate alınmadığı konuşuluyor. Simdi Biden başkan olmasıyla ve bu dava dosyasının bekletilme döneminin bitmesi ve davaya tüm ciddiyetiyle devam edilmesi bekleniyor. Türkiye su aşamada ne yapmalı diye sorarsanız, derhal ilk mahkeme teklifini getiren kanallar aranıp bu dava dosyasının ele alınması sağlanmalı.  8. Bir başka yoruma göre; ‘ABD seçimlerini küreselciler kazandı yani devletler kaybetti, şirketler kazandı’ yorumuna ne dersiniz?Doğru bir yorum olabilir. Cumhuriyetçiler, ABD seçimlerinde küreselcilere karşı mücadele verildiğine inanıyorlardı. Demokratik partiyi bu küreselcilerin bir uzantısı olarak görmektelerdi. Bu düşünceye göre ABD seçimlerini liberal küreselciler ve liberal sermaye şirketleri kazandı denmekte. Devletler derken devletlerin içinde de devletler çıkmasını ve birlikteliklerin bozulmasını da planlamaktalardı. İlk adım İngiltere’nin AB den ayrılması, sonra AB’nin bölünmesi, sonra ulkelerde kutuplaşmaların oluşması, örnegin İtalya, Fransa, Avusturya da başlayan calışmalar. Gelecekte Almanya’nin katolik ve Protestan olarak ikiye bölünmesi düşüncesi vs gibi konular muhafazakar kesimin konuşmaları arasında yer almaktaydı. Biden’in kazanması ile tüm bu çalısmaların ertelenmesi söz konusu. Biden’in kazanmasıyla birlikte AB şimdiden yeniden bir araya gelip ortak kararlar alma yoluna ağırlık verecektir. Ayrılıkçı partilerin yerine birleştirici partiler on plana çıkacaklardır.  9.İlk kez 70 yaş üstü iki aday ABD Başkanlığı için yarıştı. Biz biliyoruz ki , ABD’de esas adamlar başkan yardımcılarıdır. Kamala Harris için de özel biri olduğu ve çok stratejik olarak seçildiği söyleniyor. Ne dersiniz? Ki, Biden’ın kampanyası boyunca da Harris-Biden kampanyası şeklinde lanse edilmesi dikkatlerden kaçmadı.Kamala Harris çok özel seçilmiş birisi. Etik düzeyi ve eğitim düzeyi çok yüksek. Birleştirici özelliği var. Azınlık psikolojisini bizzat yasadığından dolayı azınlık problemlerine hakim bir kisi. Türkiye’nin kendisiyle ve özellikle ekibiyle çok özel stratejik boyutta, yepyeni bir ekip oluşturarak ilişki geliştirilmesi gerekiyor. Bugüne kadar iki ülke ilişkilerine soyunan kisilerin ortaya somut bir basari getirmediğini bilen Kamala Harris ve ekibinin yine ayni kisileri karsılarında görmek istemediklerini düşünüyorum. Biden’in en kısa surede Kamala Harris’e cok önemli görevleri yükleyip büyük sorumluluklar vereceği konuşuluyor. Aslında Kamala’nin Biden’in çevresindeki iyi eğitimli kesim ile şimdiden ortak akil çerçevesinde calışmalar yaptığı da biliniyor. Her ikisinin de ilk olarak Covid-19 konusunun çözüme ulastırılması için özel bir ekip olusturacaklarını düşünüyorum. Daha sonra da ABD-AB iliskilerinin iyileştirilmesi. Dunya Sağlık Örgütü ve Iklim değisikliği ile ilgili Trump’ın cıktığı uluslararası kurumlara yeniden girilmesi ilk atılacak adamlar arasında.  10.Dünya ve bölge politikalarının Biden ile nasıl değişeceğini ön görüyorsunuz?Biden’in kazanmasıyla birlikte, Dünya ve bölge politikalarında değisiklikler bekleniyor. Öncelikle Rusya ile olan ilişkilerin değişmesi bekleniyor. Avrupa’daki mülteci karsıtlığı ve bunu destekleyen milliyetçi ayırımcı siyasi partileri zor günler bekliyor. Örneğin İtalya’da Trump 2020 şapkasıyla dolasan Salvini gibi siyasi liderlerden söz ediyorum. Daha barış yanlısı, dinlere saygılı Avrupa normlarına uygun iktidarların desteklenmesi bekleniyor.İngiltere’de Brexit surecine bundan sonra ABD desteğinin olacağını sanmıyorum  Tam tersi ABD-AB ilişkileri daha ciddi geliştirilmeye çalışılacak.  Suriye, Libya, Orta Dogu, Afghanistan, Irak konularında değisiklikler bekleniyor. Filistin konusunda iki devletli cözüm önerisi yeniden gündeme gelecektir. Trump’ın çıktığı uluslararası kurumlara yeniden girip ABD nin eski aktif röülünü alması bekleniyor.  Iran ile iliskilerde daha yumuşak adımların atılacagini bekliyorum. Israil ile olacak iliksiler çok önemli. Netanyahu ile Biden iliskilerini yakından takip etmemiz gerekecek. Israil’deki Liberal devlet aklinin siyasete daha aktif katılması bekleniyor. Bu konuda Netanyahu hem hakkındaki hukuki davaları atlatmak için, hem de siyasi hayatini sürdürebilmek için mutlak kez bir orta yol bulmaya çalısacaktır.  11. Son olarak Türkiye-ABD ilişkileri bundan sonra nasıl olmalı? Nasıl gelişir ve değişir?Biden’in secilmesiyle, öncelikleTrumpdoneminde ikili iliskilerde arada olan kisilerin hem Turkiye hem de ABD tarafının tümüyle değiştirilmesi gerekiyor. ABD devlet akli calışmalarına girebilen kisiler Türkiye tarafında bugün itibariyle yok. Turkiye, ABD icin cok önemli müttefik. Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri NATO üyesi ve NATO’nun ikinci büyük ordusu. Amerika  acısından Türk Silahlı Kuvvetlerinin önemi büyük. Bu hiç bir iktidar zamanında değişmez. İiskilerin her zaman daha iyiye gitmesi icin her iki tarafta elinden geleni yapacaktır. Turkiye ve ABD’nin siyasetlerindeki farkliliklari biliniyor. iste bu farklılıkların giderilmesi konularında çalışmalar için şimdiden düşünülmeye başlanması gerekiyor. Ancak bu konuda kaynakların çok dikkatli değerlendirilmesi calısmalara da sesizce hemen başlanması gerekmektedir.   Dıs politika alanında atılacak adımların daha koordineli olacağını düşünüyorum.   12. Suriye politikası ve pkk ya bakış açısında değişiklik olabilir mi?Öncelikle sunu söylemek gerekiyor, PKK ABD devletinde terörist listesinde yer alıyor. PKK’ya bakış açısı değişmez. Biden,  Suriye’den ABD ordusunun çekilmesiyle yaratılan boşluğun Esad ve Rusya tarafından doldurulmuş olmasından memnun değil. Bu konunun mutlaka ilk resmî görüşmelerde ele alınacağını düşünüyorum. Kuzey Irak Kürtleriyle olan ilişkiler hatırlarsanız Obama-Biden döneminde yeniden kurulmuştu. Türkiye için ekonomik açıdan son derece kazançlı bir iliskiydi. Trump zamanında soğuyan bu iliskilerin yeniden canlanıp ekonomik açıdan Türk firmalarının onunu acacağını düşünüyorum. Suriye’nin kuzey bölgesinin yeniden inşası konusunda Biden ile birlikte Türkiye’nin yepyeni programlar yapacağına inanıyorum. Biden, Obama döneminde baksan yardımıcısıyken Suriye ve Irak politikalarında aktif rol oynadığından dolayı, başkan olduktan sonra aynen bu calısmalarına devam edecektir  ve Türkiye ile Suriye ve Iraklı Kürtler  arasında başta ekonomik iliskilerin geliştirilmesi ve silahlı çatısmaların olmamasına yönelik çalısmalara öncelik verecektir. Eylül 2016 yılında Türkiye ile birlikte hazırlanan Kürtler ile iliskiler konusundaki planın yeniden gündeme geleceğini düşünüyorum.  Kaynak: ABD Seçimleri Yeni Dönemi Nasıl Şekillendirecek? N Gazete Sordu Kaan Soyak Cevapladı

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The EU’s “New Pact on Migration and Asylum” is missing a true foundation

On September 23, the European Commission launched the “New Pact on Migration and Asylum,” proposing to overhaul the European Union’s long ailing policies in this area. European Union Vice President Margaritis Schinas likened the pact to a building with three floors, comprised of: an external dimension (“centered around strengthened partnerships with countries of origin and transit”), “robust management” of external borders, and “firm but fair internal rules.” The commission proposal must still make its way through the legislative process in the European Parliament and European Council.
The problem is: The pact needs a foundational basement, in the form of recognizing that an overwhelming majority of the world’s refugees are hosted in developing countries. Without a basement, the whole edifice is undermined. The EU must incorporate policy ideas from the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) to rectify this.

THE NEW PACT’S THREE FLOORS
The pact’s external dimension — which calls for strengthening partnerships with countries of origin and transit in the EU’s immediate neighborhood and beyond — is its ground floor. The second floor relates to policies to fortify and improve the management of the EU’s external borders. The third floor proposes rules to resolve the long-standing challenge within the EU to achieve a more balanced distribution of responsibilities and promote solidarity among EU members in dealing with asylum seekers and refugees.

At all three levels, the pact has faced intense push-back. With respect to the third floor, the commission has been criticized for catering to the priorities of the more conservative and anti-immigrant member states such as Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. The pact allows members to opt out from participating in the relocation of asylum seekers and refugees within the EU by offering them the possibility to instead provide administrative and financial support to other member states. Serious doubts have been expressed about the viability of this scheme.

On the second floor, the big concern is that — once again — border security has been prioritized over access to asylum. While emphasizing the principle of “non-refoulement” as enshrined in international refugee law, the pact at the same time introduces measures that are clearly meant to complicate the possibility that individuals fleeing persecution and conflicts can seek or obtain protection in the EU. A former director of the Center for Refugees Studies of Oxford University sees these measures as aiming “to harden and formalize the ‘Fortress Europe.’ Migrants and refugees were to be kept out of Europe at all costs.”

The emphasis on protecting Europe’s borders becomes most evident at the ground floor. Here the pact calls for revamping partnership with third countries and reflects the EU’s long-standing policy of externalizing the cost and responsibility of managing its external borders. Tying policy issues such as development assistance, trade concessions, security, education, agriculture, and visa facilitation for third-country nationals to those countries’ willingness to cooperate on migration management has long been criticized as asymmetrical. The pact takes this relationship to a new coercive level by suggesting the possibility of “apply[ing] restrictive visa measures” to third countries unwilling to be cooperative.

Time will tell whether these problems on each floor will be addressed as the commission proposal makes its way through the legislative process. However, there is a deeper structural problem to the pact, resulting from the missing basement. This is because the pact fails to account for two major global realities confronting the EU.

THE MISSING BASEMENT
The first problem is that the pact is so inward-oriented that it fails to recognize the policy implications of the dire state of forced migration globally. The number of forcibly displaced persons has increased dramatically, reaching almost 80 million. According to the U.N. Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of refugees alone has gone up from roughly 15 million a decade ago to 26 million today. And 77% of the refugees find themselves in a protracted situation — defined as having remained displaced without a durable solution (such as voluntary return to their home countries following the resolution of conflicts, resettlement, or local integration) for more than five years. Because of persistent conflicts, only 3.9 million refugees were able to return to their homes between 2010 and 2019, compared to roughly 10 million between 2000 and 2010 and 15.3 million in the 1990s.

The Consequences of Chaos

By Elizabeth G. Ferris and Kemal Kirişci 2016
Secondly, the pact makes little allowance for how the COVID-19 pandemic is going to impact EU’s migration and asylum policies. The pandemic has profoundly affected the capacity of host countries to manage the presence of refugees and ensure their protection. Already fragile health infrastructures are stretched in helping local populations, let alone refugees. The pandemic has also eroded income from trade, tourism, and crucial revenue from remittances. The pact should recognize the dire forced migration picture, the impact of COVID-19, and the associated expected rise in poverty. The Economist and the U.N. have noted that the pandemic risks undoing the gains made against poverty in the past two decades. Most affected will be developing countries, according to the World Bank, where more than 85% of these refugees are hosted.

This picture is likely to erode the capacity of these countries to cope with the presence of refugees and manage public resentment as competition for scarce resources between refugees and locals intensifies. Under these circumstances it would not be unrealistic to expect pressures for secondary movements towards the EU to build up, reminiscent of the ones that occurred during 2015 and 2016. The EU has an interest in recognizing the reality presented by the basement floor, and should supplement policies on the first floor and above accordingly.

IMPROVING THE PACT WITH HELP FROM THE GCR
The pact hardly makes any reference to the GCR, as a former UNHCR official points out, but it could be an inspiring source of policy ideas. The idea of the GCR emerged from the September 2016 U.N. summit in New York that was held to address the challenges resulting from the European migration crisis. Adopted in December 2018, the GCR recognizes that the traditional refugee protection system based on the 1951 Geneva Convention is under duress, if not broken. Against this reality, it calls on the international community to work together — in the spirit of burden- and responsibility-sharing — to improve the self-reliance of refugees and the resilience of their host communities, as well as help hosts transform refugees from being a humanitarian burden to a development and economic opportunity. All EU member countries, apart from Hungary, have endorsed the GCR.

Though the pact fails to acknowledge the GCR, Vice President Schinas promises to seek “global solutions and responsibility-sharing” with international partners on migration, as well as proposes to establish a “Union Resettlement and Humanitarian Admission Framework Regulation [that] would provide a stable EU framework for the EU contribution to global resettlement efforts.” These reflect at least the spirit of the GCR. However, the EU needs to go beyond this, and heed to the GCR’s call to “promote economic opportunities, decent work, job creation and entrepreneurship programs for host community members and refugees” in refugee hosting countries. Only than can the EU enjoy a solid basement floor for the rest of the pact.

ARRIVING AT A WIN-WIN-WIN OUTCOME ON THE FIRST FLOOR
The GCR offers a rich array of innovative policy suggestions that the EU can take into consideration when negotiating partnerships with countries hosting large numbers of refugees. One such policy idea calls for a more active involvement of the private sector in supporting self-reliance of refugees through decent and sustainable employment. In its partnership agreements, the EU could include terms incentivizing companies to offer such opportunities for refugees. This could be enabled by extending preferential trade arrangements for countries hosting large numbers of refugees, which is something the GCR mentions. Such partnerships with the EU could be conditioned to refugees being offered sustainable employment opportunities.

The advantage of all this is that the resulting economic growth would also benefit host communities, support social cohesion, and help empower already fragile economies coming out of a COVID-19-induced economic recession. It would also give the partnerships that the EU is advocating for at the ground floor of the pact a much more solid foundation, based on a cooperative spirit rather than the current formulation. In this way, the New Pact would help create a win-win-win outcome benefiting refugees, host countries, and the EU.

This article is received from www.brookings.edu

This article is written by Kemal Kirişçi, M.Murat Erdoğan and Nihal Eminoğlu

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Nagorno Karabakh conflict and EU-Turkey relations: Options ahead

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s demands to include Turkey in the Nagorno-Karabakh solution process should be taken seriously by the EU, so as to provide a fresh start to cooperation with Turkey.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which was ignited by Armenia’s adventurist territorial claims against the sovereignty of Azerbaijan, began in the late-1980s. It comes as no surprise that Nikol Pashinyan, the prime minister of Armenia, remains firm in his rights-refusing attitude against the Azerbaijani people. Turkey, as one of the most stable countries in the region, invariably stands by the Republic of Azerbaijan and the dignified citizens of Azerbaijan. Turkey’s resolution to relieve the outstanding problems emanating from the illegal Armenian occupation in 1993 remains unabated. Although Turkey’s status as a reliable interlocutor and strategic partner for the Southern Caucasus countries has already been emphasized in many media outlets, Turkey’s role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as a European Union (EU) candidate country as well as the influence of the Turkish stance in this conflict on EU-Turkey relations are yet to be addressed.

Legal insights into the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

As noted, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been on the agenda of the regional countries, as well as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, since the 1980s. First and foremost, the main legal instrument that must be considered is the constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Article 78 of the Constitution clearly stipulates a mutual agreement between Soviet republics for altering the borders between them. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan notes that this provision was also incorporated into the constitutions of the then Soviet Republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia. The judgment of the Supreme Council of the USSR (1988) is also highlighted by the Ministry.

Following its blatant violations of the Constitution of the USSR, Armenia attempted to legalize the secession of Nagorno-Karabakh and illegally declared the so-called “Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh” in the territories of Azerbaijan. This action is undoubtedly illegal and illegitimate because, once again, it is a clear violation of the Constitution of the USSR. Regarding the existing public international law framework, it should be noted that the legal and political notion of “territorial integrity” overweighs the right to self-determination, and self-determination (right of secession) does not constitute a rule of customary international law, which is one of the primary sources of international law. Indeed, a possible declaration of independence in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region was not based upon a natural right and peremptory norm stemming from international law, yet it could have been possible had a referendum been held under transparent conditions in accordance with the aforementioned constitutions.

Ever since the dissolution of the USSR, the just cause of the Azerbaijani people has been orchestrated through an astute diplomacy, thanks to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions 822, 853, 874, and 884. What these resolutions affirm is the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the groundlessness of the Armenian secessionist claims. Assoc. Prof. Cavid Abdullahzade, a scholar of international law at Ankara University, defines Armenia’s violation of international law and international humanitarian law as a “continuous crime”, which is a notion used to define crimes consisting of continuous series of acts and offenses. [1] Since the late-1980s, Armenia has been attempting to legalize its occupation in Nagorno-Karabakh. Bearing in mind the recent armed attacks on civilian targets in the Azerbaijani city of Ganja and in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, which constitute crimes against humanity, we can safely assert that the Armenian officials have once again demonstrated that they will never shy away from committing continuous crimes against humanity.

Turkey: A Brother of Azerbaijan and an EU-candidate country

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Turkey has been aiming to strengthen the independence and sovereignty of the countries in the Southern Caucasus, namely Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. It would not be wrong to say that Turkey’s deep-rooted historical and cultural ties with the region enhances the spirit of regional cooperation. As the first country to recognize the independence of Azerbaijan in 1991 and a member of the OSCE Minsk Group, Turkey stands by the righteous party, Azerbaijan, whose rightfulness has been repeatedly affirmed by the UNSC Resolutions. Undoubtedly, the unwavering solidarity and brotherly relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan sheds light on the settlement of the dispute through peaceful means.

Interestingly, setting aside its decades-old political and legal confrontations with Armenia, Turkey was also one of the first countries to recognize the independence of Armenia in 1991. Although this diplomatic gesture is generally attributed to Turkey’s perpetual pursuit of peaceful settlements in the Southern Caucasus, Turkey’s foreign policy preferences prioritizing Armenia’s integration with regional and Euro-Atlantic organizations, such as the EU, prevails in this respect. Turkey’s invitation for Armenia to join the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) as a founding member is an example of a constructive effort crystallizing Turkey’s European and Western integration agenda from a different point of view. Furthermore, with a view to normalizing its bilateral relations with Armenia, Turkey drew particular attention to the Zurich Protocols signed between the two parties in 2009. Yet, it ought to be stressed that Armenia, unfortunately, spurned the bona fide endeavors to normalize relations, by suspending the ratification process of the protocols.

Notwithstanding Armenia’s irrational foreign policy choices, the EU must consider Turkey’s strong commitment to support the European and Western integration processes of the countries in the Southern Caucasus, including Armenia. If embraced, this well-established perception would possibly actualize the “win-win strategy” offered by Turkey, in order to maintain European peace and stability. The Union’s Common Security and Defense Policy may constitute the backbone of this strategy.

Options ahead

The EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) was established to ensure Europe’s security through initiating several missions. Briefly, the CSDP is based on a trilateral problem-solving mechanism: crisis prevention, crisis management and rehabilitation. Although currently the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not on the agenda of the CSDP of the EU, the fragile security environment in the region continues to threaten the European security and the Union may launch necessary initiatives to deploy CSDP instruments to Nagorno-Karabakh.

In this respect, the EU’s imminent CSDP mission in Nagorno-Karabakh will not bear its fruits unless Turkey is involved in the said mission. Turkey, as a European NATO ally, continued its support to the CSDP in its prior and ongoing missions in accordance with its accession process and its strategic ends to preserve European security. Recalling Prof. Huseyin Bagci, a scholar of international relations at the Middle East Technical University, and Ugo Gaudino’s statements on the CSDP missions in the Balkans [2], some Western countries would reap benefits from Turkish contributions to the CSDP missions. Regarding the possibility of a CSDP mission in Nagorno-Karabakh, the EU should consider Turkey’s capacity to ensure stability. Paying regard to Turkey’s aim of establishing a common area of prosperity in the region, the Union must involve Turkey in its CSDP missions more. But before this, the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s demands to include Turkey in the Nagorno-Karabakh solution process should be taken seriously by the EU, so as to provide a fresh start to cooperation with Turkey.

The opinion is taken from www.aa.com.tr

Writer: Deniz Ünsal

[ The writer is a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International and Comparative Law candidate at Trinity College Dublin. He is a 2019-2020 European Union (EU) Jean Monnet scholar. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in law and minor degree in political science from Bilkent University. His main focus areas are Turkey-EU relations, Eastern Mediterranean and contemporary debates in Turkish foreign policy. He has a special interest in public international law, EU law and Late-Ottoman era legal-political developments. ]

 
[1] Cavid Abdullahzade, ‘Ermenistan-Azerbaycan Dağlık Karabağ İhtilafı: Bölgesel Barış ve Güvenliğe ve Komşuluk İlişkilerine Bir Tehdit’ (2014) Avrasya İncelemeleri Merkezi [40].

[2] Huseyin Bagci and Ugo Gaudino, ‘Involving Turkey in EU Common Foreign, Security and Defence Policies’ (2020) Eurasian Research Journal [9]

Visits: 278

Nagorno Karabakh: Conflict Analysis

Overview:
Following a long history of power struggles between Armenia and Azerbaijan, skirmishes continued
even after the last full-scale war that brought to a ceasefire in 1994. A new conflict recently erupted
in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 27th, resulting in many civilian casualties on both sides and
increasing tensions world-wide. Calls for de-escalation by the UN and both the US and Russia have
been dismissed by both sides so far. Unresolved geopolitical discrepancies, repeatedly failing
mediation attempts and recurring violations of ceasefire broadly explains this recent escalation.
However, the nuanced story grows more composite every day. 1
2020 Conflict:
On September 27th, president of (Armenia backed de facto state) Republic of Artsakh stated that
Azerbaijan launched an attack on Nagorno-Karabakh unprompted while, Azerbaijan authorities
argued that Armenia had started shelling their border front 2 hours prior and that their attack was
purely in retaliation. 2 Both countries continue making statements in the direction of military
escalation. The conflict is already expanding beyond the Nagorno-Karabakh borders as more than
500 have been killed in the region and thousands have been displaced. 3
A temporary ceasefire was agreed upon at the marathon peace talks held at Moscow on October
5th. However, the calm lasted only hours as both countries blamed each other for breaking the
truce the same day. 4 The conflict resumes on its fourth week and yet another ceasefire brokered by
the US this time was broken in the same day. 5 Global powers and international organizations call for
peace but no solution for peace in sight so far.
Area Profile and Background:
Nagorno-Karabakh is an area internationally recognized to be within the sovereignty of Azerbaijan.
Most of the population in the area is Armenian although there is an ethnic Azeri minority present
too. Civilians of both have been massacred and displaced from the region due to the war atrocities
in the 90s, shifting the general demographic disposition in Nagorno-Karabakh and wider regions.
The ethno-geographic rivalries in the region goes back a thousand years since when numerous
Turkic tribes migrated around and settled in the Eurasian diaspora beginning 11 th century. Armenia
was divided between Byzantine and Sassanid Empires in 387; Artsakh region specifically was
invaded and ruled by Ak Koyunlu and Kara Koyunlu Turkic tribes in the 15 th century and was given
the Turkic name Qarabağ, meaning ‘black garden’. 6 The contemporary crisis however is mainly
blamed on Soviet Union whose inconsistent policies were mainly based on Soviet interest and re-
mapped the region without concern for ethnic dissonances in the long term.
Initially, majority Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh and majority Azeri Nakhichevan were both
appointed to Armenia. This was later overturned, and both were tied to Azerbaijan. Turkey had a
big influence in this, and Azerbaijan was a key factor in its relations with Soviet Union. The wave of nationalism across the world at the end of WWI and the disintegration of the multinational
Ottoman Empire resulted in lasting unresolved complexities. The new-found Turkish Republic
wanted to avoid having a strong Armenia potentially claiming territory and jeopardizing its border
integrity. 7
Besides wanting to have good relations with Turkey, Stalin, (as the Commissar of Nationalities at
the time) also found it strategic to fragment Caucasian ethnic groups to avoid nationalist
unifications and potential resistance towards the Soviet Union. Armenians were split into Armenian
Soviet Socialist Republic and Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast, and Azeris were split into the
Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan Autonomous Oblast. 7
With the breakdown of the USSR, regional parliament voted to join Armenia, but the Azeri
inhabitants wanted to stay independent. The vote was rejected by Azerbaijan and territorial
conflicts erupted in between. 8 Armenia occupied 20 percent of the Azeri areas surrounding
Nagorno-Karabakh and took control of them with separatist forces since then although Nagorno-
Karabakh is still internationally recognized as a sovereign territory of Azerbaijan. The de-facto
government Artsakh Republic holding an election in April significantly raised tensions and was
taken as a provocation to war by Azerbaijan. 9 Decades of incoherent territorial shuffling, lack of
political relationships, internal governmental instabilities and nationalistic tenacity of both sides
make diplomatic attempts very difficult.
Alliances and Strategic Positioning:

Turkey:
Meanwhile Turkey’s involvement in this conflict has been widely viewed as a negative influence by
the international media, likely to contribute to the rapid escalation. Turkish military forces and
equipment have been heavily utilized at the forefront of the conflict in Azeri areas and both sides
have been using weaponry provided by Russia. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have been reported to
heavily hit civilians.
In response to calls for peace from US and France, Turkey argued that these countries have ignored
the situation for too long and their involvement would not be in favor of peace. Indeed, there is a
general mistrust towards the western powers in the east, reinforced by their duplicitous actions in
the Syrian War and dissatisfactory response to the refugee crisis.
Turkey has been accused of relocating Islamist Syrian militias to the region to support Azeri troops
which Turkey and Azerbaijan both have denied. Turkey and Russia have a complex relationship and
are currently in opposing sides of the conflict in Syria. Expansion of the Syrian conflict to the
Russian border is a great concern for Russia and could have grave effects for all countries involved.
Russia:
Russia presents to be strongly against the conflict as it has favorable relations to both countries. Russia in a mutual defense pact and has a military base in Armenia which some interpret as
Moscow possibly being closer with Yerevan in case of escalation. It is also likely that although a
full-fledged multipolar war on its border is not desirable for Russia, the maintained instability
Nagorno-Karabakh issue prevents the reach of western political influence to the region which
already meant a lot of problems for Russia in the case of Ukraine. Afterall, Russia has been
providing both countries with arms for years and have a continued grip over the ex-Soviet states
allowing Russia great influence in defining regional balances.
Iran:
Oil rich Iran managed to maintain a neutral position for a while however with its large Azeri
population it became more challenging as the crisis ensues. On Sunday Iran Revolutionary Guards
stated that ground forces have been deployed to the northern border near the conflict upon some
villages reported hit with stray rockets. 10 This is a defensive measure but in case of escalation it is
likely that Iran will be more actively involved.
International:
Considering ethnic, cultural, and religious ties of Turkey with Azerbaijan and historical and
geopolitical position in the region, Turkey has an unavoidable role in this conflict. Whether it will be
a stabilizing or an escalatory one partially depends on whether the international actors will manage
to carry a fair approach. So far EU failed to do more than just condemn the conflict and call for
peace and many member state politicians -most brazenly in France who has a large Armenian
minority- have been showing outward support for Armenia. There were large public
demonstrations across Europe and America in solidarity of Armenia and Artsakh Republic.
Criticism given to Azerbaijan and Turkey by member states may have a fair ground. However, area
specialist Thomas De Waal points out that public trust of the other party towards the international
community gets damaged when same countries do not give criticism to Armenia where it is due. 11
Seven additional regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh that were undisputed Azeri districts
occupied and controlled by Armenian forces since the 90s and is a core issue for Azerbaijan’s
grievance and distrust. 12 Western powers always talking about implementing a global standard of
humanity and peace need to hold an educated and balanced stance on this issue in order to have
credibility as diplomatic actors.
Absence of any external intervention from international bodies to this point is mainly because rest
of the world is still focused on battling the pandemic and the South Caucasus is not the most
strategically significant those who can help. The timing of the conflict is seen by some as a tactical
move of President Aliyev, but Olesya Vartanyan of Crisis Group is doubtful that the violence break
out was premeditated. 13 Although an active conflict may briefly distract the Azeri public from its
increasing dissatisfaction with the government, it is more likely upping the stakes for Mr. Aliyev
considering how the government was replaced twice over military failures in the 90s. 13

Energy Interests:

Beyond historic and ethnic discrepancies, an underlying reason causing dispute in the region is its
important position for the global energy trade. Nagorno-Karabakh has some large oil fields that
adds a major financial-interest factor to the conflict and bears the possibly becoming a proxy war
field. Azerbaijan is also a major distributor for oil and gas which is imported to the West through
Turkey. 14 Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas leaves Azerbaijan only
with a smally periphery named the Ganja Gap for gas pipes to pass through to Georgia to Turkey
and then to Europe. 15 A fully realized conflict in the region is not only a humanitarian threat but a
threat to European energy security. Therefore, the west should be more diligent about investing in
stability here.
Russia on the other hand could have another strategic advantage from this conflict carrying out
without expanding too much. As mentioned, NATO ally Turkey is a competitor of Russia in
transporting energy to Europe and has shaky but relatively better relationship with the West in
comparison. A safe running Trans-Anatolian Pipeline System route also provides the ability for
Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to export their vast energy reserve to the West through the Caspian
Sea. Russia has been strongly opposing the development of a subsea pipeline here as this could
seriously threaten Russia’s dominance in the energy trade market and hinder the dependence of
these nations to Russia to sell their most valuable resources. 15
Conclusion:
Nagorno-Karabakh may be small and appear insignificant to the outside eye. However especially in
the current climate of multi-polar conflicts, a global pandemic, rise of neo-nationalism and growing
dismay towards international institutions; this conflict could be another fighting arena for
competing powers. International organizations and political actors need to hold the ethno-
geographic, political, and economic nuances of the conflict in consideration and fulfill a less biased
and more stabilizing position for successful diplomacy and peace. Taking part in one sided,
marginalizing discourse on a war with complex influence factors is propagandist and will nothing
more than alienate the ‘other side’ and further exacerbate the conflict. With all that is going on,
Nagorno Karabakh conflict should not be ignored and sincere diplomacy and peacebuilding
processes should be initiated before it grows any further.

Sources:
1 Global Conflict Tracker. “Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict.” Accessed October 16, 2020. https://cfr.org/global-conflict-
tracker/conflict/nagorno-karabakh-conflict.
2 Uras, Umut. “Armenia-Azerbaijan Clashes: Live News.” Accessed October 28, 2020.
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/9/27/armenia-azerbaijan-clashes-live-news.
3 Editorial, Observer. “The Observer View on Nagorno-Karabakh | Observer Editorial.” The Guardian, October 11, 2020,
sec. Opinion. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/11/the-observer-view-on-nagorno-karabakh.
4 Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. “Nagorno-Karabakh’s Record Growth in Ruins amid Conflict and Pandemic | DW |
12.10.2020.” DW.COM. Accessed October 16, 2020. https://www.dw.com/en/nagorno-karabakhs-record-growth-in-
ruins-amid-conflict-and-pandemic/a-55221921.
5 “Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: US-Brokered Ceasefire Frays Soon after Starting.” BBC News, October 26, 2020, sec. Europe.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54686284.
6 Rasizade, Alec. “Azerbaijan’s Prospects in Nagorno-Karabakh.” Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies 13, no. 2 (June
1, 2011): 215–31. https://doi.org/10.1080/19448953.2011.578865. | Shepard, Jonathan, ed. 2019. “The Earlier Empire c.
500–c. 700.” Part. In The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire C.500–1492, 97–248. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
7 Cornell, Svante E. “Turkey and the Conflict in Nagorno Karabakh: A Delicate Balance.” Middle
Eastern Studies 34, no. 1 (January 1, 1998): 51–72. https://doi.org/10.1080/00263209808701209.
8 “Armenia-Azerbaijan: What’s behind the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict?” BBC News, September 28, 2020, sec. Europe.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54324772.
9 Bagirova, Nvard Hovhannisyan, Nailia. “Armenia and Azerbaijan Accuse Each Other of Violating Nagorno-Karabakh
Ceasefire.” Reuters, October 11, 2020. https://www.reuters.com/article/armenia-azerbaijan-diplomacy-
idUSKBN26V0AR.
10 Euronews. “Nagorno-Karabakh: New Ceasefire Struck but Both Sides Allege Breaches,” October 26, 2020.
https://www.euronews.com/2020/10/26/nagorno-karabakh-new-ceasefire-struck-but-azerbaijan-and-armenia-accuse-
each-other-of-brea.
11 De Waal, Thomas, “The Caucasus Burns While Europe Struggles.” 2020. Carnegie Europe. Accessed October 28.
https://carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/82926.
12 “The Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict Explained.” 2020. POLITICO. September 28. https://www.politico.eu/article/the-
nagorno-karabakh-conflict-explained-armenia-azerbaijan/.
13 Hauer, Neil. 2020. “Armenia and Azerbaijan Are at War Again—and Not in Nagorno-Karabakh.” Foreign Policy. Accessed
October 28. https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/08/24/armenia-and-azerbaijan-are-at-war-again-and-not-in-nagorno-
karabakh/.
14 “Fragile Oil and Gas Interests at Stake for Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey in Nagorno-Karabakh.” Accessed October 16,
2020. https://www.rystadenergy.com/newsevents/news/press-releases/fragile-oil-and-gas-interests-at-stake-for-
azerbaijan-russia-and-turkey-in-nagorno-karabakh/.
15 MPSG. 2020. “The Strategic Energy Implications of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict.” MP Strategic Group. October
10. https://www.mpstrategicgroup.com/post/the-strategic-energy-implications-of-the-2020-nagorno-karabakh-conflict.

 

Author: Berna Yusein

Visits: 202

Historical Perspective of the Karabakh Conflict and the Identities

In the last couple of weeks, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict which is called ‘frozen
conflict’ in terms of International Relations has come to the international and regional agenda
once more again. The future of the Nagorno-Karabakh is being asked repeatedly. However,
there is more than the future, the past. It is significant how the Nagorno-Karabakh is
perceived by both sides in this conflict. Also, it is unlikely unforeseen that any
agreements or compromise without the consent of two ‘publics’. Since Karabakh is perceived
as a constituent of public identity for both Azerbaijanis and Armenians. Armenians blame the
refusing of the Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent state by the Azerbaijani government.
Yet most of the people misunderstood Azerbaijan’s vision towards Karabakh and
significance of Karabakh for the Azerbaijani people as well, historically.
Karabakh is a longstanding and ideational element of the Azerbaijani identity.
Karabakh means as traditionally and culturally birthplace of many Azerbaijani
composers, writers and intellectuals. The historical capital of Karabakh is called as ‘St. Petersburg
of Azerbaijan’.

Azerbaijani people, in the matter of Karabakh, have their origins in 1987. First attempt
to kill and evict the Azerbaijani people held in 1987 by the Armenians. Following that, one of
the heartbreaking massacre ‘Khojaly Massacre’ , where hundreds of Azerbaijanis people
were killed, occurred in 1992. For the Azerbaijani people, massacres and their bereavements
are not forgettable moments. In addition to massacres, the Karabakh War, which was in between
1988-1994, caused approximately 600.000 internally displaced persons in Azerbaijan. Before
the occupation of Karabakh by the Armenian forces, almost all the people in Karabakh was
Azerbaijani people. However, along with the occupation, numerous Azerbaijanis's population
nearly bottomed out. Internally displaced persons still have some problems such as finding
jobs in big cities due to their agricultural past.

All of these have effects on the Azerbaijani people and policy-makers in Azerbaijan
politics. Sensitivity attitude of Azerbaijani people limits the range of policies for policy-
makers. For instance, many of the leaders such as Mutalibov and Elchibey resigned due to the
public pressure. Another example is that President Heydar Aliyev saw as favorable to the
Goble Plan aims to united Nagorno-Karabakh. However, President Aliyev faced
negative reactions from his advisers as well as the public. As a result of these negative
reactions, negotiations have failed.

On the other side of the conflict, the Armenian public is so sensitive towards the
Karabakh, too. Armenian public attitudes and policies of the opposition political parties are no
less radical on the issue of Karabakh. Karabakh is historically important for Armenia and
Armenian identity. Armenian society apply public pressure and raise their voice on the
Nagorno-Karabakh. To illustrate this public pressure, Armenian President Ter-Petrosyan was
eager to reach a common ground in terms of the Karabakh Conflict in the late 1990s. Following
that, he had to resign consequently in 1998. It is clearly proclaimed that any dialogue or
compromise on the Karabakh conflict would be ended with the deposition of government or
deadlock. Furthermore, the rights of the Azerbaijani refugees have rejected by the leaders of
the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. For the Azerbaijani society, recognizing the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh without the right of Azerbaijani refugees is unfair and unacceptable.

All of these examples clearly point out that the background of Azerbaijani and
Armenian society who radicalized day by day as well as the significance of understanding of
identity in terms of Karabakh during the compromise process.
From an international perspective on Karabakh Conflict, the international community has
tried to reach a consensus to the actual conflict which started in 1988 and ended in 1994 with the
ceasefire by the assistance of the OSCE Minsk Group. However, any attempt to ‘create’ a
common ground to give an end to the active phase of the war has been ineffective. Nevertheless,
Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to follow some steps which formed under the Madrid
Principles since 2007. It was a general framework on the occupied regions, Azerbaijani
refugees and negotiation through the Nagorno-Karabakh. Despite the numerous United
Nations Security Council resolutions (e.g resolutions.822,853,874,884) and internationally
recognized status of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity by the international community, Madrid
Principles have never put into practice for the reasons of lack of international efforts and
radicalized publics.

The ongoing Karabakh Conflict is like a chicken game that both sides willing to
continue their position until come to a catastrophic end. Nowadays, some of Armenians call
for peace and ceasefire yet neither peace nor ceasefire actualized due to the Azerbaijani
opposition to the continuation of the status quo by the reason of claiming a new status quo in this
region. In addition to that, in spite of the numerous UN Resolutions, which constitute a legal
basis for Azerbaijan’s claims, Azerbaijan has not been able to call attention to this
situation. Thus, the conflict on Karabakh increasingly continues on the field.

This article is written by Evren Gönen

Visits: 208

China in Balkans from the EU Perspective

 

In the early 2000s, China started to take an active role around the world. On the other hand,
we see that it started to be active in the Balkans after Xi Jinping’s examination of the Belt
Road Project, which extends from Asia to the Balkans, was announced in 2013. Subsequently,
67% of the Greece-Piraeus Port, which is the second-largest port of the Mediterranean, was
acquired by China in 2016. With the acquisition of this port, China took the task of
transporting the goods coming to Piraeus to Europe via the Balkans.
Although China seems to be very active in trade in the Balkans, its share of trade with
Balkan countries is only 5%. Only half of this percentage is with Serbia. Also, although the
EU gets worried about this situation, China is not an opponent of the EU. However, the
president of the EU Commission Ursula Von der Layen defended that the Balkans are not a
stop on the Silk Road but a part of Europe, and she emphasized that China’s presence in the
Balkans causes three difficulties: making countries dependent on itself by confining them in
debt, preventing the environmental standards demanded by the EU, and the continuity of
corruption.
If we examine the above-mentioned effects of China in the Balkans, it is firstly defended by
the EU that China has an active role in the region through borrowing. They explain this as
China’s fast and cheap meeting of infrastructure needs in the Balkans, providing loans to
Balkan states and thus increasing its political influence in the Balkans. An example is the
selection of a Chinese company for the highway project in Montenegro, and Montenegro’s
high debt to China. As a result of these situations, Montenegro, which has made many legal
regulations, has been under the influence of China and is also in a debtor position and has
difficulties in granting EU membership. Secondly, the environmental regulation conditions
signed as Energy Treaty are not applied. While the use of fossil fuels should be reduced and
the use of renewable energy sources should increase, China started investing in coal power
plants in the Balkans. Finally, the Anti-Corruption Reform was prepared in order to ensure the
democracy deemed necessary for the membership of the Balkans to the EU, to accept the rule
of law and to adopt respect for human rights; however, this reform is not implemented and it
is claimed that China also supports this situation. In addition, China’s biggest problem with
this issue is that it is not transparent in the Belt and Road Project.
In addition to the three main reasons mentioned above and defended by the EU, one of the
reasons why China is effective in the Balkans is the good use of its soft power. With the

Confucius Institutes opening, China provided cultural transfer for the public of the Balkans.
Besides, China’s ability to hold on so tightly in the region is that it uses its development model
with its capital and brings wealth to the Balkans. Accordingly, the public is against the
attitude of the EU towards China. On the other hand, if we look at it historically, the main
reason why China took its place in the Balkans so easily is the power vacuum created by the
EU in the Balkans by seeing the Balkans as inferior and inadequate. Combined with the
Euroskepticism that emerged in the 2010s, China took a step and made progress. However, all
these have not prevented the EU from giving up its fundamental interests in the Balkans
today, and the need for the unification of the Balkans and Europe was discussed.
In summary, China started to be active in the Balkans in the 2010s and started this with the
Belt and Road Project. Although China used trade afterward, its main point was that China
brought wealth to the Balkans by using its soft power and capital effectively and quickly.
However, China’s activism has emerged that three major shortcomings from the EU’s
perspective in the Balkans: borrowing and dependence on China, low environmental
standards, and the continuation of corruption. According to the EU, all these consequences
prevent the Balkans from joining the EU, on the other hand, the EU does not want to give up
its fundamental interests in the Balkans. The President of the EU Commission and the
presidents of the EU Commission member states made statements and expressed that they
want the Balkans to join the EU fully and to reduce the influence of China due to the
problems created in the region. But how likely is this to happen?

References:

“AB Komisyonu Başkanı von Der Leyen: Batı Balkanlar’ın Yeri AB’dir, Bununla Ilgili Hiçbir

Şüphe Yok,” Euronews, May 6, 2020, https://tr.euronews.com/2020/05/06/ab-komisyonu-
baskan-von-der-leyen-bat-balkanlar-n-yeri-ab-dir-bununla-ilgili-hicbir-suphe.

“Von Der Leyen: Western Balkans Are Part of Europe, Not Just a Stopover on the Silk Road,”
European Western Balkans, September 16, 2020,

https://europeanwesternbalkans.com/2020/09/16/von-der-leyen-western-balkans-are-part-
of-europe-not-just-a-stopover-on-the-silk-road/.

Gamze Ayan Çakmak, “Batı Balkanlar’da Çin-AB Rekabeti,” Diplomasi ve Strateji Dergisi The
Journal of Diplomacy and Strategy, n.d., https://www.dsjournal.org/post/bat%C4%B1-
balkanlar-da-%C3%A7in-ab-rekabeti.
Robin Emmott Aleksandar Vasovic, “EU Aims to Counter Chinese, Russian Influence at Balkan

Summit,” Reuters, May 6, 2020, https://in.reuters.com/article/eu-balkans/eu-aims-to-
counter-chinese-russian-influence-at-balkan-summit-idINL8N2CN6U7.

This article is written by Buse Bakkaloğlu

Visits: 98

Statement of European Union Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrell: The Old Empires Are Coming Back

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep
Borrell Frontelles made a speech at the European Parliament on 15 September. The EU’s

Foreign affairs chief, Mr.Borrell made a statement concerning the Eastern Mediterranean and
Turkey’s foreign relations at the meeting of the European Parliament. In his speech, he said,
“The old empires are coming back. Three of them are Russia, China and Turkey. These are
the great empires of the past. And Turkey is one of these elements. This situation offers a new
environment for us … ”
In recent months, Turkey has increased oil and gas exploration activities in the Aegean-
Eastern Mediterranean. This case has led to strong reactions especially  from Greece and
Cyprus. EU foreign affairs chief, Borrell, reported that Turkey has been attempting to revive
the empire considering Turkey’s policy towards Libya and Syria.
Mr. Josep Borrell’s other relevant remarks regarding Turkey are as follows: “Turkey is an
important neighbor for EU. We can’t change the geography and Turkey will continue to be
partners on many important issues, including immigration. For example, we know that
immigration flow is difficult without the help of Turkey. However, Turkey’s actions create a
question mark for the future of our relations and the urgent need to find answers to these
questions.”

This article is written by Hülya Yıldırım

Visits: 1211

Power in Middle East

The Middle East is a transcontinental region in Afro-Eurasia which generally includes
Western Asia, all of Egypt, and Turkey. Also, its importance comes from not only being
transcontinental but also having an energy source of oil. This situation results in a want to
have an active role in Middle East states which are there as well as external ones. Because of
that, there are always either conflicts or wars in that region. Many powerful states which are
the USA, Russia, China, etc get a goal that is being the leader and effective power in the
Middle East.
Iraq, which got rid of the British mandate in the 1930s, went through turbulent times in
domestic politics. In addition to riots and assassination attempts against those who happened,
social life was also not very regular. By the end of the 1970s, the Ba’ath Party and Saddam
Hussein wanted to be active in foreign policy as well as being active in domestic politics.
Accordingly, when the Iranian leader wanted to bring down Saddam by addressing the Shiites,
a war was fought with Iran in 1980-89. It is difficult to say that the winner is the result. In
addition, Kuwait was occupied in 1990 to dominate the Persian Gulf and gain oil and
leadership. With these situations, they have a say in the Middle East. However, the USA
invaded Iraq in 2003 due to both the September 11 events and the occupation of Kuwait. This
occupation lasted until 2011, and then the Arab Spring began. All of these prevented Iraq’s
internal gathering and regulation. With the emergence of the terrorist organization DAESH,
the leadership goal fell through.
We can see Egypt as the most developed state of the Middle East and the Arab world.
Between the years 1952-67, it was the most powerful country with the policies of Cemal
Abdül Nasır. He also rejected the Baghdad Pact against the Soviets in the bipolar system of
the Cold War and told the Arabs to stay away. In addition to these, he nationalized Suez in
1956 and made his country the leader of the Middle East. However, during the reign of his
successor Enver Sadat, he lost prestige in the Arab world with the peace made with Israel.
During the period of Hosni Mubarak, steps to rise to leadership were not taken, and internal
problems arose with the coup of Abdulfettah Sisi. The only advantage is that it can continue to
be the second most aid from the US.
Iran made a revolution with Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 and opposition to both the USA
and the West was initiated. Progress was made with the motto “neither East nor West only
Islam”. Its goals include establishing a Shia crescent through Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. In

addition, it is aimed to be the dominant power in the Gulf region without accepting foreign
intervention. Accordingly, the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 has come
to Iran’s interest. Besides, with the 2010 Arab Spring, with the outbreak of civil war in Syria
and the internal turmoil in Egypt, Iran did not rival regional empowerment. It also increased
its influence in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. With the emphasis on nuclear studies, we can see that
Iran is now an important power in the region.
Saudi Arabia is trying to lead with the Sunnite sect. This situation puts Iranian Shiites

against each other. Consequently, proxy wars broke out in Yemen after the Arab Spring. Non-
state groups and sects clashed. It is difficult to say a clear result. Besides, the destabilization

of Iraq and the coup in Egypt gave Saudi Arabia a chance for regional leadership. In the
leadership of the region, a status quo approach was followed and a theocratic ground was
formed. In addition, the fact that the center of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which was
established in 1981, is Riyadh has given Saudi Arabia a positive effect. Also, relations with
the USA are very good.
Founded in 1948, Israel recently decided to abandon its hostility towards Arabs and become
collaborators with them. The biggest factor in this matter is the desire of countries to come
together against the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear studies and policies in general. The first
rapprochement was with Egypt and Jordan, and agreements were signed with Bahrain and the
United Arab Emirates about two weeks ago. Moreover, the USA is Israel’s biggest supporter.
In addition to all of these, Israel has a goal of becoming an effective power in the region
rather than being a regional leader. For this, both military and political steps are taken.
As a result, in the Middle East region, there are many countries which are Syria, Iraq,
Qatar, Cyprus, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Iran, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates,
Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya,
Sudan, Morocco; but in that writing, we examined five important countries which are Iraq,
Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Israel which have a goal of being the leader or effective power
in the Middle East. The relations they establish with each other and with countries outside the
region, their policies towards the region, their threat perceptions, and their relations shaped by
their allies serve to be the regional leader determined as a target by Middle Eastern countries.
Besides, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are the states that have taken the lead in the region, but
it is very difficult to emerge a “full” leader due to the USA, Russia, and China’s influence in
the region.

This article is written by Buse Bakkaloğlu

 

Visits: 106

How is Davutoglu’s Strategic Depth viewed from the perspective of Turkic and Non-Turkic countries in the Caspian Region?

After the Kemalist revolution of 1923, Turkey started to pursue Western modernism with stabile and
isolationist policy from their East neighbors and with the rejection of Ottoman culture. However,
defensive and isolationist Western policy changed by Turgut Özal’s neo-Ottomanism approach.
Demirel’s argument of the Turkish world from the Adriatic to the Chinese Wall in the 1990s was significant to
the Caspian region (Efegil, 2008, p.167). This paper argues that despite Davutoglu’s “strategic depth” has
good intentions, this doctrine is mostly failed against Turkic and non-Turkic countries in the realities and
complexities of the Caspian region. This paper will first explain the strategic depth doctrine and will
afterward apply and assess this doctrine to Turkic and non-Turkic countries.
Turkey is a regional power in strategic depth. In this doctrine, Davutoglu utilizes Machiavellian classical
realism with stressing the importance of geography, history, culture and considers economic, and
military as potential powers. Thus, Davutoglu sees Turkey as a central country that possesses
a geographical and historical leadership role to its neighbors which is compatible with the definition of
regional power theory. Turkey uses soft power like economic interdependence, cultural platforms and
cooperative security as theoretical frameworks of regional power. Additionally, Turkey influences the
Caspian region and is therefore recognized by other states with its soft power. (Kardaş, 2010, p.124).
Strategic depth considers Turkey as a hinterland that emerges from the Ottoman Empire (Özkan, 2014,
p.119), whereas Turkey needs to remove its isolationist policies by multiple alliances to counterbalance
EU. According to Davutoglu, Turkey can’t reach the Caspian Sea and therefore Turkey needs to have
sea strategy for controlling other sea routes that are connected to the Caspian Sea (Aktoprak, 2003,
p.176). Hence, Turkey needs to collaborate with Russia and Iran (Davutoglu, 2001, p. 32). In this way
Turkey will increase its area of maneuver without aligning either with West or East. Given that Turkey
can utilize its unique historical, cultural and bridge role of connecting East and West characteristics, are
what makes Turkey special in strategic depth.
Particularly, strategic depth is the depth of geography which considers Turkey as a continental basin
under the capacity of being a Middle Eastern, Caucasian, Western and Mediterranean country, which
furthermore derives from Ottoman legacy rule to three continents and its historical depth of multiple
cultures in these continents. Davutoglu provides the elements of multidimensional, proactive, and
rhythmic diplomacy, zero problems with neighbors, pragmatism and mediation as characteristics of
Turkey’s new policy. Hence, Turkey pursues an integrated regional policy since it has multiple regional
identities.

Additionally, Turkey considers the all-inclusive policy of taking NGOs and every state into cooperation
(Aras, 2009, p. 133), while its global role is shifted from Western military deterrent and peripheral
country to the central country. Hence, Turkey’s secular democracy can bring stability and peace to the
Caspian states. The latter gains more attention since the strategic depth represents both neo- Ottomanism
and Eurasianism with Islamic conservatism without Turkish ethnic domination but rather cooperation
(Tüysüzoğlu, 2014, p.99).
Russia is the biggest test for the strategic depth doctrine. Turkey removed its skepticism towards Russia
and shifted its relations from an enemy state to an economical ally state after 1990 with increasing
economic relations during the Putin era. Davutoglu argues that Turkey needs to implement a strategy of
close cooperation with Turkic states against Russia’s unilateralism in the Caspian Sea. Turkey’s new
multidimensional and inclusive policy allows Turkey to remain neutral between Russia and the West while
increasing its economic relations with Russia. Turkey pursued a multilateral diplomacy policy in the
Russian-Georgian crisis of 2008 in order to balance Russian unilateralism with the Caucasian
Cooperation and Stability Platform which consists of Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey
without external powers (Aras, 2009, p. 136). This platform is created because of the failure of Minsk
group and was the only solution for Turkey to provide peace and stability, since Turkey’s political
actions are restricted because of its economic dependency on Russia. Therefore, Georgia is crucial for
Turkey to decrease the Russian dependency, and in the same way it is an ally for Turkey since they both
support Western democracy. Turkey considers Georgia geographically important since the main routes
of BTC and BTE pipeline routes pass through Georgia because of the ethnic and historical conflicts with
Armenia. Consequently, Turkey seeks to solve Georgian crisis by CSCP for to be energy hub between
Caspian and West.
However, the CSCP platform is unsuccessful for the following reasons; Firstly, because of the
asymmetrical dependence and secondly because of Turkey’s non inclusive approach for not taking EU,
US even Iran to cooperate was accredited as a big mistake (Jackson, 2011, p.88). Hence, this crisis
demonstrates that strategic depth failed in the real complex of the Caspian politics. Turkey could gain geopolitical advantage neither from the US nor from Russia because of this policy. This crisis was
difficult for Turkey since it needs to make a binary choice between Russia and the US and similarly
between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Karabakh. Turkey restricted the passing of US military ships in
straits in accordance to the Montreux agreement during this crisis. Consequently, Turkey used its soft
power with providing only humanitarian aid to Georgia and having a mediation role between Russia and
Georgia. This crisis occurred to prevent NATO’s military expansion in Georgia, whereas Russia
legitimized these actions in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Moreover, Turkey recognizes the Russian dominance with including Russia in every cooperation, which
is compatible with the strategic depth doctrine. From this doctrine, Russia is naturally allied to
counterbalance EU and with also converging interest to fight against radical Islamism (Walker, 2007,
p.41).
Besides, apart from the energy disputes, e.g. the BTC and BTE pipelines, Turkey balances this with the
Blue Stream pipeline. (Davutoglu, 2008, p.91). Russia is critical for Turkey to illustrate to the Turkic
states that Turkey cooperates with a common share of identity and interest rather than Pan-Turkism or
imperial desires. The great game of transferring energy sources of Caspian to Europe can create
conflicts among Russia and Turkey (Çaman, Akyurt, 2011, p.55). Turkey’s economic dependency on
Russia is an obstacle for the implementation of the strategic depth, and is therefore suggested that
Turkey can decrease this dependency through Iran and Turkmenistan and not only with Azerbaijan. This
dependency restricts Turkey’s political freedom in the Russian-Georgian crisis. Given that Turkey should
not allow Russia to impose dominance on Turkic countries, only the realistic policies of strategic
partnerships with Turkic countries, render this possible rather than adopting a “big brother” behavior.
Turkey’s biggest disadvantage is Russia’s historical political and cultural assimilation process on Turkic
states during the Soviet Union, which clarifies that both sides need to be cautious on ethnic issues like
Chechen and Kurdish people. According to Davutoglu, Turkey should not leave the mediation role to
Russia in Karabakh. Gradually, after 1990, Russia was successful in terms of filling the vacuum of
geopolitics in the Caspian rather than Turkey. This could be interpreted because of Turkey’s lack of
domestic economic and political stability, which illustrates that the strategic depth lost against Russia.
The triangle of Azerbaijan-Armenia and Turkey is a deadlocked process. Unfortunately, the strategic depth
of Turkey in this triangle is also unsuccessful. Azerbaijan is the closest ally and strategic partner for
Turkey, and although the Karabakh issue threatens Azerbaijan’s sovereignty, it remains unsolved
despite Turkey’s and Russia’s mediations. Davutoglu argues that Turkey needs to have an energy strategy
and partnership with Azerbaijan without allowing the creation of an alliance among Russia, Iran and
Armenia against Turkey (Davutoglu, 2001, p.24). Although this energy strategy is compatible with the
strategic depth policy, however, this did not happen in the realities of Caspian. Davutoglu in his strategic
depth analysis rejects Samuel Huntington’s clash of civilizations ideology however the Karabakh
issue between Azeri and Armenian people is a clash of civilization (Murinson, 2006, p.949). Strategic
depth respects multiculturalism but real politics prevent this. The normalization process and diplomatic
talks with Turkey and Armenia in 2009 was a huge development. This normalization policy is convenient
with the strategic depth for the following three reasons; firstly, it will attribute a mediation opportunity to Ankara; Secondly, it will enhance Ankara’s regional role and finally, it will render possible the
Nabucco pipeline operation. If Turkey manages to have good relation with Armenia without losing
Azerbaijan, then Russia will lose its control on pipelines. However, this protocol was not put into
practice because of the Karabakh issue. Turkey’s normalization process also damaged its closest ally,
Azerbaijan. Consequently, it is obvious that the Karabakh conflict creates a huge dilemma in this
triangle, in which Armenia prefers to be allied with Russia and Iran (Aras, 2009, p.4). Armenian
arguments of the 1915 genocide, which is a major problem for Turkey, since the genocide accusations,
renders unsuccessful the strategic depth, especially due to the Armenian historical conflict with Ottoman
and pan Turkism in the Caspian (Jackson, 2011, p.83). Hence, Turkey needs to use its economic
interdependence card against Armenia to incentive them to cooperate on energy pipelines mainly
because Armenia’s economy totally deteriorated after the bombardment of Georgian ports by
Russia in 2008, which undoubtedly resulted in the loss of Armenia’s economic partner, Georgia. The
football diplomacy among Turkey and Armenia is also unsuccessful due to the nationalist domestic
pressures of both sides, the genocide arguments, the diaspora of Armenians and the Karabakh issue.
Although Turkey was one of the first states that recognized Armenia’s independence and invited the
latter as a founding member of the Black Sea Cooperation, this triangle illustrates that strategic depth is
not succeeding due to deep historical and ideational conflicts, which prevent any peace progress and
cause zero-sum policies (Aras, Akpınar, 2011, p.61). Azerbaijan is therefore the last ally for Turkey to
be the energy hub, with also the help of Georgia.
Turkey has to acknowledge that all post-Soviet Turkic countries do not want to be dependent on any
single power and do not seek any country for a role model (Walker, 2007, p.43). Although Western
powers consider and hope Turkey to be a role model in this region, in order to remove Iran’s dangerous
radical Islamism and Russia’s geopolitical desires, Turkey was unsuccessful in this role. The Turkish
public opinion is sensitive towards the Turkic countries since they consider them as “fatherland of
ethnic Turks”. However, Turkic populations do not consider themselves as Turkish, thus this is a crucial
common misunderstanding. Hence, Turkey needs to perceive Turkic countries as they are. TIKA is
founded for giving aid to Turkic countries (Çaman, Akyurt, 2011, p.47). This is the soft power of
Turkey in the areas of economics, culture, language, history in line with the strategic depth
understanding. Turkey facilitates the ground for increasing their voice in international institutions with
its “door opening and right advocating” role. In parallel, the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO),
Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Turkic Council are organizations that consist of
Turkey and Turkic states. Turkey and Kazakhstan have joint economic Commission and High Level
Strategic Cooperation Council and achieved agreement on security and terrorism. However, since there are disagreements among Turkic states, Turkey only achieved bilateral cooperation instead of multilateral relationships. Therefore, Turkey needs to have realistic and pragmatic policies towards these states instead of unfounded expectations and speeches. Turkey’s lack of economic success and political instability allowed Russia to fill this geostrategic role, which resulted in the defeat of both Turkey and Iran against Russia in terms of controlling the Turkic states. Turkey has to recognize the dominance of
Iran and Russia and needs to cooperate with them in order to increase its influence.
Moreover, the establishment of the Turkic Council is a huge achievement for Turkey which it can
increase this kind of soft power for the implementation of realistic goals. According to Aras, Turkey
fails to sufficiently understand international factors and its misperceptions are the reasons for the failure
of Turkish policy in the Caspian. Turkey supports the policy of “One Nation, Two States” towards
Turkic states, and it additionally supports Turkmenistan’s neutral status, regardless of the fact that their
interactions are limited to tourism, culture and official visits. TURKSOY, TDV and TDRA are cultural,
religious and educational organizations in the region (Aras, 2000, p.45), and in the meantime, the high
transfer of students from Caspian to Turkey, is valuable for integration. Therefore, strategic depth is
partially successful to Turkic countries. This success depends mostly on Turkey’s soft power in cultural,
education, historical and language councils to these regions. However, Turkey lost the ground to Russia
in terms of both geopolitical and geo-economical grounds except Azerbaijan.
Concerning Iran, Turkey utilized its strategic depth policy against Iran, thus it supported the Iranian
peaceful nuclear program during the US sanctions (Murinson, 2006, p.960). They agreed on fighting
against the PKK terrorism in Syria. Turkey cooperates with Iran for increasing the bargaining power
against the Russian gas dependency in compliance with the strategic depth, whereas Turkey also
defeated Iranian Islamism in Turkic states. Since Iran has economic restrictions due to sanctions, most
Turkic states prefer to choose the Turkish liberal economy (Goudarzi, Lashaki, Lakani, 2015, p.127).
However, neither Iran nor Turkey could take Russia’s geopolitical role in the Caspian. Although Iran
has the most compatible and safe energy route for pipelines, Azerbaijan chose Turkey for cooperation
because of Iran’s support to Armenia and Iran’s Islamic threat to Azerbaijan’s Western democracy. Aras
argues that Turkey’s constructive de-securitization process on political Islam and Kurdish separatism
caused to have good relations with Iran (Aras, Polat, 2008, p.496). Consequently, the strategic depth is
successful in the eyes of Turkic states against Iran in Caspian.
Consequently, I think the strategic depth doctrine has good intentions for making the Turkish foreign
policy success with regards to its geographical and historical depth of Ottoman legacy. However, this
is achievable in peaceful regions and not in complex and unstable cases, such as the Caspian Sea. This is
because of the strategic depth’s neo-Ottomanism, Islamic tendency and pan Turkism, which are not good strategies towards the Turkic and non-Turkic countries. The latter could be interpreted from the
fact that all states in the Caspian do not seek any role model; in contrary they want to be independent
and act according to their interests. Therefore, strategic depth is achievable ıf it is used on economic
interdependence and mutual interests. Thus, Turkey had success towards Azerbaijan but unfortunately
failed against other Turkic states. Turkic states mostly prefer to cooperate with US, EU and Russia.
Consequently, strategic depth failed in the eyes of Turkic states and non-Turkic states. This role is filled
by Russia because of Turkey’s not realistic policies and lack of domestic economic and political
stability.

REFERENCES

 Aktoprak, E. (2003). Stratejik Derinlik: Türkiye'nin Uluslararası Konumu.
 Aras, B. (2009). The Davutoglu era in Turkish foreign policy. Insight Turkey, 127-142.
 Aras, B. (2000). Turkey's policy in the former Soviet south: Assets and options. Turkish
Studies, 1(1), 36-58.
 Aras, B. (2009). Turkey and the Russian Federation: an emerging multidimensional
partnership. SETA Policy Brief, 35.
 Aras, B., & Karakaya Polat, R. (2008). From conflict to cooperation: Desecuritization of Turkey's
relations with Syria and Iran. Security Dialogue, 39(5), 495-515.
 Bülent, A., & Akpinar, P. (2011). The relations between Turkey and the Caucasus. Perceptions:
Journal of International Affairs, 16(3), 53-68.
 Çaman, M. E., & Akyurt, M. A. (2011). Caucasus and Central Asia in Turkish Foreign Policy: The
Time Has Come for a New Regional Policy. Alternatives: Turkish Journal of international
relations, 10.
 Davutoğlu, A. (2001). Stratejik Derinlik: Turkiye'nin Uluslararasi Konumu (Turkish Foreign Policy).
Retrieved from https://tr.pdfdrive.com/stratejik-derinlik-turkiyenin-uluslararasi-konumu-turkish-
foreign-policy-e156993579.html
 Davutoglu, A. (2008). Turkey's foreign policy vision: an assessment of 2007. Insight Turkey, 77-96.
 Efegil, E. (2008). Turkish AK Party’s Central Asia and Caucasus policies: critiques and
suggestions. Caucasian Review of International Affairs, 2(3), 166-172.
 Goudarzi, M. R., Lashaki, A. B., & Lakani, S. F. M. (2015). Turkish Foreign Policy in South
Caucasus and Its Impacts in Iran-Azerbaijan Relationship. J. Pol. & L., 8, 122.

 Jackson, A. (2011). The Limits of Good Intentions: The Caucasus as a Test Case for Turkish Foreign
Policy. Turkish Policy Quarterly, 9, 81-92.
 Kardaş, Ş. (2010). Turkey: redrawing the Middle East map or building sandcastles?. Middle East
Policy, 17(1), 115-136.
 Murinson, A. (2006). The strategic depth doctrine of Turkish foreign policy. Middle Eastern
Studies, 42(6), 945-964.
 Ozkan, B. (2014). Turkey, Davutoglu and the idea of Pan-Islamism. Survival, 56(4), 119-140.
 Tüysüzoğlu, G. (2014). Strategic depth: A neo-Ottomanist interpretation of Turkish
Eurasianism. Mediterranean Quarterly, 25(2), 85-104.
 Walker, J. W. (2007). Learning strategic depth: implications of Turkey's new foreign policy
doctrine. Insight Turkey, 32-47.

This article is written by Senad Sevdik

Visits: 93

DECISION TO INTERVENE: HOW THE WAR IN BOSNIA ENDED

INTRODUCTION
Following the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1990, the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina
in 1992 has provided serious human tragedy in the Balkan region. This article investigates the
article of “Decision to Intervene: How the War in Bosnia Ended” from the author of Ivo
H.Daalder. The main research question of this article concerns why did United States finally
decide to intervene Bosnia and end the war in the summer of 1995. Hence, this article points
out how the international community such as the UN, the US, NATO and internal actors
finally agreed to end the war and create the Dayton agreement as well as why this decison
reached so late in 1995. Hence, this analysis will first explain and analyze the main arguments
and the key breaking points of the article. Secondly, it will assess the research gap of article
and its methodology. Finally, this paper will explain the theoretical framework of Daalder’s
article and then conclude with giving crucial suggestions to the Bosnia issue.
MAIN ARGUMENTS
One of the main arguments of Daalder is that Clinton’s administration strategy of the day-today crisis management proved to be a great mistake during the Bosnian war. Hence, in order
to save and protect the US’s prestige in the world and to gain next elections, Clinton’s
administration decided to take more decisive and integrated strategy towards the Bosnian war.
According to the Daalder, the Srebrenica massacre and the human tragedy were the main
purposes of the alteration and the dramatic shift of the Clinton administration policy towards
Bosnia (Daalder, 2016). After this massacre, the US was decided to protect all safe regions of
Gorazde, Sarajevo, Tuzla and Bihac from the attacks of Bosnian Serbs. Another crucial point
is the disagreement between international actors concerning the lack of common consensus
for how to end the war. For example, when NATO started to protect the safe areas of Bosnia
with air strikes, this resulted in hostage keeping of peacekeepers in the region. In parallel, the
United Nations force would return to “traditional peacekeeping principles” which allowed
Bosnian Serbs to follow their brutal strategy of ethnic cleansing, murder and rape of women.
Therefore, this delay of decision making and the lack of common consensus for the
cooperation between EU countries and the US resulted in giving opportunity to Bosnian Serbs
for following their strategy.
After the Srebrenica massacre, the United States decided to completely leave the policy of
muddling through between the parties in Bosnia. Daalder argues that this strategy was created
because of many mistakes that the US pursed between 1992 and 1995. These mistakes consist
of insisting to bring Bosnian Serbs to the table through the mediation of the Serb President
Slobadan Milosevic which caused the increase of the bargaining power of Serb parties.
Another mistake concerns the refusal to have US troops in the field whereas the European
powers’ overprotection on their troops and their hesitations for preventing their troops
increased the possibility of being taken as hostage by Serb militaries. As final mistakes could
be the UN forces decision for following “traditional peacekeeping principles” and the US’s
decision for lifting the arms embargo in the Bosnia. Overall, US and EU countries’ day to day
crisis mechanism was the biggest mistake during the war. Another crucial point of Daadler is
that the US intervened to Bosnia in 1995 in order to safeguard both of the US and NATO’s
prestige and as well as the election process in the US.
Moreover, the US natioal team of foreign policy produced a strategy of combining force with
diplomacy which is a more effective and long term solution based on strategy. It was
significantly clear that all the US, the EU and contact group of countries and particularly
Britain, France, Germany and Russia were all aware that the only way to bring Bosnian Serbs
into the table was with military pressure. However, European countries insist to share the cost
of military burden with the United States on the ground with the participation of the US
military troops in the war. Daadler also highlights that Lake’s suggestion of removing the
United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) was crucial for the subsequent US
implementation of the military force against Bosnian Serbs. This suggestion was also
approved by Clinton Administration.
Additionally, the United Nations Protection force (UNPROFOR) was also taken into account
by the Clinton administration as an obstacle for the solution in Bosnia. The United Nations
force and its allied European powers’ indecisive attitudes and opposition both towards the air
strikes and lift of the arms embargo on Bosnia government undermined the right of self
defense from the Bosnian side. However, the US State and their defence departments need to
deploy a huge amount of US troops in order to overcome the problems which emerge from
the withdrawal of UNPROFOR forces from Bosnia. The endgame strategy was finally
reached with the leadership of Lake. Therefore, Daadler points that the end game strategy
should consist of three steps; First step is to remove UNPROFOR and replace it with NATO
and US force. Second step is to acknowledge that a diplomatic solution or an agreement can
not be build completely against the gains of Bosnian Serbs; and Third step is to pointing the
importance of utilizing military force against all the internal parties for achieving political
deal in Bosnia (Daalder, 2016). Thus, both Clinton and Lake have agreed that the status quo
in Bosnia is no longer acceptable and the US needs to alter the balance of power between the
Muslim-Croat federation and the Bosnian Serb entity. Therefore, the US and its forces will
implement high costs to both parties ıf they can not reach or reject the agreement. If the
federation side rejects the agreement then the US will impose “lift and leave” policy which
means the lift of the arms embargo and leaving the federation to its own fate. If the Bosnian
Serb entity rejects the agreement then it will confront the air strikes from NATO and US will
assist federation forces for protecting 51 percent of the Bosnian territory.
This endgame strategy with the leadership of the US actually provided the foundation of the
Dayton Agreement in Bosnia for to end the war. Daadler’s illustration of the Dayton
agreement was also significant for Bosnian war. Although this agreement recognizes the
sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia, it also allowed to divide the country into two
entities – the Bosnian Serb identity and the Muslim-Croat federation. However, this agreement
also allows entities to have special relationship with their neighbours such as with Serbia and
Crotia and it even allows them to have secession with a future referendum. Consequently, the
Dayton agreement is too much controversial in its nature thus it emphasizes and prioritizes the
importance of ethnic division and entity voting against the sovereignty and territorial integrity
of Bosnia.
Overall, Ivo.H.Daadler insists that the Clinton administration was decisive to convince its
European allies and Russia for this agreement. However, the US was also determined to
implement this agreement even if it is necessary to go with only its own forces. During 1995,
the US and NATO forces were successfull to alter the balance of power in favaor of the
Bosnian-Croatian federation. Another interesting point that Daadler provides was that
although US and EU learned many lessons from the Bosnia case, these lessons were not
effective in Kosovo due to the lack of willingness from the US on the way to end the conflict
in Kosovo and to impose any military and diplomatic pressure on the parties. Therefore, the
US’s strong vision and determination in Bosnia with Richard Hoolbroke’s extensive
mediation among parties are completely absent in the Kosovo case. Consequently, the US
policy in Kosovo will not be more than muddling through strategy in this regard.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Ivo.H.Daadler’s article is qualitative methodology with also giving examples from
international actors speeches on Bosnian war. Hence, it can be also considered to have a
discourse analysis. However, the article is generally more desciptive and based on the
author’s personal opinion. Hence, Daadler’s article is more based on the explanation and
interpretation of the Bosnian war from the author’s perspective. However, the author focuses
and observes the Bosnian war from a different perspective with different research question.
Mainly, his research questions concern firstly the Clinton Administration’s decision in August
1995 at long last to intervene decisively in Bosnia, secondly Why the summer of 1995 was
different. It is also considered to be a case study since the article focuses on a certain period of
time which is during the summer of 1995 and the details of the US policy making in this time
with the actions of Anthony Lake and Richard Hoolbroke. Daadler’s article is significanlty
well structured in terms of mentioning breaking points during 1995 such as the betrayal of the
Srebrenica massacre, the past mistakes of the US policy before 1995, the disagreements and
the lack of common consensus between European powers, the US on the deployment of
troops and considering the United Nations Protection force as an obstacle for solution.
Finally, the Dayton agreement was also mentioned and explained which is strongly associated
with the endgame strategy of US in 1995.
RESEARCH GAP
Daadler emphasizes and fills the research gap of why the United States finally took a
leadership role to end the war in Bosnia. According to Daadler, it also seeks to understand the
details of the Clinton administration’s policy-making process during the summer of 1995
which is less known. Generally, it is argued as many articles have written on the failure of US
and West countries to end the human tragedy in Bosnia. However, this article completely
focuses on the 1995 year and the US dramatic policy making especially after the Srebrenica
massacre.
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
There are mainly two types of theoretical framework in Daadler’s article. The first one is
clearly obvious; namely, classical realism and neorealism. The Second one is constructivism
especially during the period of the US’s dramatic policy shift in Bosnia during the summer of
1995. I argue that this constructivism policy occurred due to the human tragedy of Srebrenica
massacre. The result of this massacre seriously affected the international community and the
US and resulted in a more decisive intervention into Bosnia. Classical realism is compatible in
the Bosnian situation and it is also clearly pointed by the author. For example, Lake’s
proposal for changing the status quo with military force in Bosnia is also approved by the
Clinton administration. Hence, Clinton administration clearly aimed to have balance of power
with supporting the federation side (Croat-Muslim) against Bosnian Serbs. As Daadler
demonstrates in his article that balance of power is the core aspect of the classical realism.
Another point for classical realims is that it emphasizes on self-interest and on state power
maximization due to human nature ambitions. This is also the case in Bosnia especially for
Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats. Both Serbs and Croats had the intention and aim to divide,
conquer and share Bosnia among each other. Especially, geography and military powers are
crucial factors in the Bosnian war, thus during the negotiation in the Dayton agreement, every
region and land were discussed highly extensively for gaining one piece of land and for more
power. Hence, balance of power, maximizing state’s interests and human nature are all
comptaible aspects in the Bosnian war. Another aspect of classical realism is to point
revisionist states and status quo states. For example, both the United States and Bosnian Serbs
are considered to be revisionist states which desire to alter the balance of power. However,
both Bosnian Croats and Bosnian muslims prefer to have more status quo state in the region.
Neorealism is also convenient in the situation of Bosnia. This is explained because the
Bosnian war proved that the international system is highly anarchical and structural
constraints are proved to be highly effective during the war. For example, United Nations
Protection force failure and other West European countries hesitations or overprotection for
their troops caused to have massacre in Srebrenica. Hence, the lack of clear international
cooperation and solidarity against Bosnian Serbs was a significant structural constraint in this
regard. Due to this anarchical order, the US with its hegemonic role actually intervened into
Bosnia and clearly ended the war because of its determination and power in the system.
Hence, the US created stability in Bosnia which is also compatible with the Hegemonic
Stability Theory. This is exactly what happened in the Bosnian war with US’s hegemonic role
persuasition, coercion and diplomacy. Hence, the US actually deployed “preponderance of
power” towards all internal actors in the Bosnia.
Finally, constructivism is also compatible in the Bosnian war. For example, until the
Srebrenica massacre in 1995, Bosnia faced serious structural constraints such as receiving
help from European countries, the lack of international cooperation among military force in
the United Nations, the lack of political willingness from the US which allowed Bosnian
Serbs to pursue their brutal strategy. Constructivism challenges neorealism’s understanding
that anarchical nature derives from international politics and at state level. However,
constructivism challenges this understanding with the idea that structural constraints actually
are not given in nature but they are the results of construction through social practice. This is
also the case for United States because the US gained significant lessons during the Bosnian
war until the Srebrenica massacre. Hence, norms, ethics and identity are the major factors in
constructivism. After the human tragedy in Srebrenica, the US with its past lessons and
experiences constructed a new decision making policy in Bosnia. This new construction of
reality actually ended the war in Bosnia. Therefore, constructivism insists that it is not the
inevitable consequences of human nature, structural constraints or states that determine reality
rather people construct these realities with their experiences from social and historical gains.
CONCLUSION
Consequently, this article analyzed the research paper of Ivo H.Daalder “Decision to
Intervene: How the War in Bosnia Ended”. In this respect, the research paper posed the
research question of “Why did United States finally decide to intervene Bosnia and end the
war in the summer of 1995?” The main argument of the author is that the US intervened into
Bosnia in order to end the war due to the human tragedy in Srebrenica massacre. The Clinton
administration, the European governments, NATO and UNPROFOR in overall gained
significant experience to end the war in Bosnia. However, the US’s coercion, persuasion and
diplomacy with decisive reforms and particularly the removal of UNPROFOR to end the war
in the summer of 1995 was significantly effective in Bosnia. The Dayton agreement was a
success in terms of ending the human tragedy and war in Bosnia. Moreover, this constituion
has significant flaws and controversies. Although it supports the soverignty and territorial
integrity of Bosnia, it separates Bosnia into two entites and ten seperate cantons in its
territory. Overall, although the Bosnian war has ended, its heavy consequences especially on
the social and economic life turned to be disastrous for the Bosnian people who nowadays
have to live and struggle for the conflicts that Dayton agreement created

This article is written by Senad Sevdik

Visits: 363

REMEMBERING THE ‘OTHERS’ UNDER DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES: REFUGEES AND PANDEMIC

The world is going through tough times for almost a year, due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The requirement of social isolation caused considerable damage on people both
psychologically and economically. The fear of death occupies people’s minds almost 24/7.
Education is interrupted in most of the countries. Considering these and other factors that
the outbreak of coronavirus has brought to people’s lives, it’s fair to say the whole world is
going through a psychological battle. However, there’s a group that is being affected from
the outbreak in the worst possible way: Refugees.
There are more than 70 million refugees all over the world. More than 85% of them
are located in poor countries. During the coronavirus outbreak, they’re having extra hard
times. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFCR)
mentions the situation as: “Pandemic is a catastrophe for vulnerable migrants.” Tiziana
Bonzon, who is Migration and Displacement Lead at the IFRC, says “It’s a health crisis for
many of us but it’s also a socio-economic crisis and protection crisis.”
Why is the global struggle of experiencing a pandemic harder for refugees? Firstly, in
densely crowded refugee camps social isolation is almost impossible. For instance, the
Moria Camp in Greece, which had a place for 3000 people, was hosting 13 000 refugees
until it burned down in the beginning of September. In Jordan, there are around 120 000
refugees and more than 5 coronavirus cases are reported in 2 refugee camps already.
Bangladesh holds more than 600 000 Rohingya refugees and according to the World Health
Organization (WHO), a covid-19 outbreak in the camp can exhaust the medical resources
and overwhelm camp hospitals in only 58 days. This would lead to other infectious diseases,
such as malaria. Second reason for the refugee’s comparadly negative experience of
pandemic is the lack of hygiene supplies in their living conditions. In most of the refugee
camps the water sources are limited and shared by many people. Also, washing facilities are
not even close to enough, especially under special hygiene requirements of a pandemic.
Thirdly, most of the refugees were living under fragile economic and social conditions even
before the outbreak. With the outbreak, their situation worsened. According to a research
Relief International made on 879 refugees in Turkey, 26% of them reported a deterioration in
their use of public services due to covid-19. 81% reported that they lost access to essential
needs. In this 81%, 59% lost their access to food, 37% to hygiene materials, and 5% to
water. Also, 87% of these 879 reported that at least one person from their family or
household lost their jobs because of the outbreak. Considering that most of these refugees
were suffering from poverty even before the pandemic, losing their jobs can put them in a
very hard economic position. Besides, in these people, only 53% of the 326 who had a
medication they regularly use, still have access to their medication. The rest stated that they
lost their access to their regular medication.
All these out together, it’s fair to say that there’s a serious problem sitting in front of
us and waiting to be solved. Of course, the refugee issue is a complex problem which
includes social, economic and political dynamics. Thus, it’s not possible to solve it in an easy
way. However, to seek a solution, we firstly need to be aware of the struggles they go
through. In these tough times that we’re globally experiencing, it’s very easy to forget others
while focusing our lives too much. Under these circumstances, refugees aren’t able to speak
for themselves, but we can and we should speak up for them.

This article is written by Beyza Kumanova

Visits: 92