FPI Foreign Policy in National and International Media Weekend

Foreign Policy is organizing weekend webinars about various international relations subjetcs. Our most recent subject is “Foreign Policy in National and International Media”. The webinar will be in Turkish language and will cover the weekend of May 8-9 2021.

The speakers are distinguished expert of their fields. Here are the details of the webinar;

haftasonu 8 mayıs 4

haftasonu 8 mayıs 1haftasonu 8 mayıs 2

haftasonu 8 mayıs 3

Visits: 1122

Prof. Bagci’s statement about Draghi – Erdogan Crisis

The following interview has been published at  Aki-Adnkronos International, Italian media. You can find google translation of English text at the end.

Turchia: prof Università Ankara, ‘caso chiuso se Draghi non critica più Erdogan’

15 aprile 2021 | 16.25
alternate text
Erdogan – (Afp)

Tra Turchia e Italia “a mio avviso il caso è chiuso e non ci saranno ulteriori tensioni nell’immediato futuro a condizione che Draghi non faccia dichiarazioni simili”. E’ quanto sostiene Huseyin Bagci, professore di Relazioni internazionali all’Università tecnica del Medio Oriente (Metu) e presidente del Foreign Policy Institute di Ankara, intervistato da Aki-Adnkronos International all’indomani delle parole al vetriolo pronunciate dal presidente turco, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, contro il presidente del Consiglio, Mario Draghi, che l’aveva definito “un dittatore”.

Secondo Bagci, questo genere di accuse ha come risultato solo quello di avvantaggiare “un politico machiavellico” come Erdogan. “Come abbiamo visto durante il referendum del 2017 in Turchia, ogni dichiarazione polarizzante è benvenuta da parte di Erdogan, la cui popolarità aumenta quanto più i politici dell’Ue lo chiamano dittatore”, spiega il professore, secondo cui i turchi sono “molto sensibili” su questo tema.

Ogni attacco sferrato contro di lui, prosegue Bagci, viene utilizzato da Erdogan che “sfrutta gli errori dei governanti stranieri per scopi puramente interni e di propaganda, finora con molto successo. La polarizzazione tra la Turchia ed i Paesi europei ora continua con l’Italia dopo Francia, Olanda e Germania e l’Italia finora è l’anello più debole!”.

“Draghi – prosegue l’esperto – sul ‘sofagate’ è stato erroneamente informato del comportamento diplomatico della parte turca. Piuttosto è stato un errore del protocollo di Michel e von der Leyen, non un errore turco come successivamente chiarito dallo stesso Michel”.

Sulle conseguenze delle parole di Draghi sui rapporti tra Italia e Turchia, “danneggiati” secondo Erdogan, Bagci ritiene di “non aspettarsi che i contratti esistenti vengano rescissi. Nel settore della Difesa ci sono molti contratti per grandi quantità di denaro. Turchia e Italia sono buoni partner finora”.

Se sul piano economico i due Paesi hanno da anni stretto una forte collaborazione, in Libia lo scenario appare ben diverso, con molti osservatori che hanno evidenziato la rivalità tra Ankara e Roma anche nella prospettiva della ricostruzione. Per Bagci, tuttavia, “l’obiettivo turco in Libia non è estromettere l’Italia, ma piuttosto lavorare insieme per bilanciare il ruolo di Usa e Russia”.

“La presenza della Turchia in Libia come potenza militare ed economica continuerà – assicura – La visita del primo ministro libico con i suoi 14 ministri due giorni fa ne è il miglior esempio, ma la Libia “non è una ‘colonia’ della Turchia o sotto amministrazione turca”.

Secondo il professore, il futuro del Paese dipenderà da come agirà il nuovo governo libico che uscirà dalle elezioni in programma a dicembre di quest’anno. “Penso che la Turchia e l’Italia potrebbero stringere una buona alleanza dall’energia alle infrastrutture per ricostruire la Libia – conclude – Ci sono molti problemi nel Mediterraneo e né la Turchia né l’Italiano sono gli unici che li creano”.

Turkey: Ankara University professor, ‘case closed if Draghi no longer criticizes Erdogan’
April 15, 2021 | 16.25
Between Turkey and Italy “in my opinion the case is closed and there will be no further tensions in the immediate future provided that Draghi does not make similar statements”. This is what Huseyin Bagci, professor of International Relations at the Technical University of the Middle East (Metu) and president of the Foreign Policy Institute of Ankara claims, interviewed by Aki-Adnkronos International in the aftermath of the vitriolic words spoken by the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, against the prime minister, Mario Draghi, who had defined him as “a dictator”.According to Bagci, this kind of accusation only results in favoring “a Machiavellian politician” like Erdogan. “As we saw during the 2017 referendum in Turkey, any polarizing statement is welcome from Erdogan, whose popularity increases the more EU politicians call him a dictator,” explains the professor, according to which Turks are “very sensitive “on this issue.

Every attack launched against him, Bagci continues, is used by Erdogan who “exploits the errors of foreign rulers for purely internal and propaganda purposes, so far with great success. The polarization between Turkey and the European countries now continues with Italy. after France, Holland and Germany and Italy is the weakest link so far! “.

“Draghi – continues the expert – on the ‘sofagate’ was wrongly informed of the diplomatic behavior of the Turkish side. Rather it was an error in the protocol of Michel and von der Leyen, not a Turkish error as subsequently clarified by Michel himself”.

On the consequences of Draghi’s words on relations between Italy and Turkey, “damaged” according to Erdogan, Bagci believes he “does not expect existing contracts to be terminated. In the defense sector there are many contracts for large amounts of money. Turkey and Italy are good partners so far “.

If on the economic level the two countries have been working closely together for years, in Libya the scenario appears very different, with many observers who have highlighted the rivalry between Ankara and Rome also in the perspective of reconstruction. For Bagci, however, “the Turkish objective in Libya is not to oust Italy, but rather to work together to balance the role of the US and Russia”.

“The presence of Turkey in Libya as a military and economic power will continue – he assures – The visit of the Libyan prime minister with his 14 ministers two days ago is the best example, but Libya” is not a ‘colony’ of Turkey or under Turkish administration “.

According to the professor, the future of the country will depend on how the new Libyan government that comes out of the elections scheduled for December this year will act. “I think that Turkey and Italy could forge a good alliance from energy to infrastructure to rebuild Libya – he concludes – There are many problems in the Mediterranean and neither Turkey nor Italian are the only ones that create them”.

Visits: 427

Does Turkey Need a Weak or Strong Ukraine?

Does Turkey Need a Weak or Strong Ukraine?

by Huseyin Oylupinar (PhD)

Expert, Foreign Policy Institute
Former Research Program Coordinator at CMES, Harvard University

 

Finding a plausible answer is essential as tensions rise between Russia on the one side, and Ukraine and the US on the other, while Turkey caught in between. I argue that stronger Ukraine is critical for protection and continuation of Turkish sphere of influence in the Black Sea region. Here Turkish people’s peaceful existence and well-being is at stake.

Turkey is cornered in between the US and Russia. While Turkey considers the Black Sea as a sea of Russia and Turkey, standing against the US side by side with Russia leaves Turkey without a leverage against rising Russian power. Taking a position favorable to the US interests will cause Russian enmity against Turkey. In either case, Turkey and Turkish people are and will be on the losing side.

Turkey is losing because its interests in the Black Sea basin are challenged by Russian territorial expansionism, as in the case of Crimea, and by increasing Russia’s sphere of influence through creation of conflict zones, as in the case of Ukraine’s Donbas (Donetsk+Luhansk oblasts), and also by assuring continuation of frozen conflicts such as in the case of Moldova’s Transnistria and Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Similarly, the US military access to the Black Sea through Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania for balancing Russia is effectively running risks of overriding Turkish interests in the region. While all that being the case, Ukraine could play a significant role by being a stronger actor in the region. However, Ukraine’s critical role in the regional balance was ignored by Turkey before 2014, and that is still the case which should be changed.

In pre-2014, Turkey could not comprehend and create tools to support Ukraine politically and military-wise for assuring strong Ukraine which Russia would hesitate to destabilize. Thus, the Russian infiltration paralyzed the Ukrainian state apparatus and resulted in Russia dismembering Ukraine. The disabled Ukrainian state and its incapacitated army caused dramatically increased Russian control in the Black Sea and allowed the US to rise its interest in Ukraine. This called the US to expand its presence in the Black Sea basin for supporting Ukraine. All of the foregoing could have been avoided and Turkey would not find itself cornered if it had had understood the extend of Russian control within the Ukrainian state structures in pre-2014. More powerful Ukraine could have stop such infiltration into state cadres and the means to deter external and internal threats. This could contribute to regional power balance in such a way not to cause external powers having the grounds to move into the region. Ukraine, which would be gradually recognized with Turkish initiative as the third influence center in the Black Sea, would readjust power balances.

Recent rise of tensions may pave the way for Ukraine to gain the status of a third Black Sea power. Ground for this is available at present: Ukrainian government is relatively better organized to secure its sovereign control; its military is getting stronger and not influenced by a rival foreign power as it was in pre-2014. Moreover, the Ukrainian society is changed for the better: the occupation of Crimea and the war in Donbas moved the society to become a political nation for the first time in history, empowering the people’s desire to live together. All of the forgoing encourages Ukrainian government to take much stronger stance to reclaim lost Ukrainian lands in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

Now it is Turkey’s turn to catch the tide which it missed before 2014. Turkey’s political actions should be tailored to allow Ukraine to become a recognized actor in the regional political scene, strong to such a degree that external western balancing in the Black Sea would not be needed. This can be achieved by Turkey sharing with Ukraine its own experience in effective governance. Turkey also has to support Ukrainian army by improving its standards and maximizing military technology transfer. To support Ukrainian economy, Turkey needs to make direct investments into Ukrainian regions. By helping Ukraine getting stronger, the US military interest will be kept at bay by not causing them to search for ways to enter into the Black Sea and, in the meantime, discourage Russia from biting pieces out of Ukraine. In turn, this will keep Turkish area of influence in the Black Sea secured and solid.

Reformulating General Hastings L. Ismay, the first NATO Secretary General, in the case of the Black Sea, Turkey needs to keep Americans out, Ukrainians in and Russians down.

Visits: 148

Feeding Frenzy – Friendly Fire in International Politics

Feeding Frenzy

by Aytaç D. Erenler

It was one of the National Geographic or BBC broadcasts. I was watching a wonderful documentary about the life of sharks. I was so focused that I was concentrated watching, as if swimming next to these magnificent creatures. That magnificent hydro-dynamic design, which is considered to have completed its evolution, that is, a body shape that has been perfected for centuries for movement in water, those eerie sudden movements and the tooth type and jaw arrangement that make you feel the danger even in the oxygen in your blood ..

I have admired these animals since I was very young. Especially in 1968, after watching the Thunderball movie of MI6 Agent James Bond 007, which was adapted to the cinema from Ian Fleming’s novel, I got out of tune. Sean Connery displayed a complete visual feast under the sea with harpoons, bombs and sharks around, while NATO was trying to recover two atomic bombs stolen from the Royal Air Force (RAF) base. I just turned 8 and was very impressed. Of course, there was a technical factor in this. It was the first time that a movie was shot in Widescreen Panavision format with a duration exceeding 2 hours. There we were fighting with Bond under the sea with terrorist divers. Of course, it was natural that the movie broke a great box-office record, with revenues exceeding $ 140 million.

As I said, I was out of balance now. I would break away from listening to the lecture and scribble sharks on the edge of my primary school notebooks. After all, being under the sea, fishing, especially hunting with harpoons has become one of my biggest hobbies. Even for a long time, watching under the sea without using harpoons, wandering around the rocks in the sea with snorkel and fins, watching the tiny fishes have been my most relaxing pastime.

Some types of sharks are fierce scary monsters of the seas. Nobody wants to mess with it. It can smell a drop of blood from miles away.

Well. Let’s make a connection with Foreign Policy.

Let’s give a message to the governments of countries that want to take on the role of the lion in the forests and the shark in the seas, and to the minds working in foreign policy decision-making mechanisms;

Fear is a powerful motivator. Beware of. A lot of friendly fires, that is, friendly fire accidents occur out of fear. The body chemistry changed by fear makes people give unfamiliar reactions. Just because of this, you shoot your own soldier, friend, as if he was an enemy. You shoot down your own plane.

In the USA, in the state of California, north of San Francisco, there was a beautiful shark aquarium tunnel at the Amusement Park called Marine World Africa in Vallejo. I was there in 1993. There were a lot of explanation boards about the facts of sharks hanging on the side walls. I don’t remember exactly, but one note stuck in my mind a lot. “Sharks actually live like many other animals in their own world and without danger. Millions of sharks have been killed around the world in the last 10 years, and many types have gone extinct, because  several sequels of JAWS films shot in a row after the huge revenue of the first one. On the other hand, there have been only 19 fatal attacks on humans from Sharks in the last 10 years”. Let it be an example of the ingenuity of fear.

The Venerable Sir David Frederick Attenborough, (94), is an English publisher and naturalist. He has been a senior executive at the BBC for years. Few do not know the documents he prepared and presented.

Years ago I was watching Sir Attenborough’s documentary movie About Sharks.

The scenery was horrible. It was the first time I heard the saying “Feeding Frenzy” there. So it’s just the term for a state belonging to Sharks and Piranhas. Attack your prey en masse and aggressively, smashing it.

Pieces of fish scattered in the water, blood, fins, heads. Bubbles, escapes ..

Dear international policy makers, influencers, let me conclude this article by writing Lord David Attenborough’s magnificent recipe, in an international policy adaptation, in describing that moment of shattering nutrition;

“The sharks, who had entered a kind of unconscientous mood during Feeding Frenzy, had their eyes retracted completely during the attacks and nothing but white became invisible. Now they were only breaking up, tearing, biting, plucking and eating, consuming.

Since sharks have a single nerve on their backs, they are of a biological nature that cannot feel pain when injured elsewhere. At other parts of the body, there are no Nociceptor cells to inform the brain about the feeling of pain. The injured Great White you are watching now is also biting his own intestines, which popped out of a cut in his abdomen. Without knowing that it will cause his own death .. ”

I know, if anyone is into the role of Sharks, maybe it is our responsibility to recommend them to think again. Us biophilic Turks who love life. You may have great armies, the smartest ammunition, all kinds of intelligence support, the deadliest technology, in short, you may have the upper hand, do not lose yourself. The consequences can be painful for all humanity, including you.

 

Turkish version

 

National Geographic ya da BBC yayınlarından biriydi. Köpek balıklarının yaşamıyla ilgili şahane bir belgesel izliyordum. Öyle odaklanmıştım ki, sanki bu muhteşem yaratıkların yanında yüzüyor gibi konsantre olmuştum izlerken. Evrimini tamamlamış diye kabul edilen o muhteşem hydro-dynamic design, yani suda hareketler için, asırlarla mükemmel hale gelmiş bir vücut şekli, o ürkütücü ani hareketler ve tehlikeyi kanınızdaki oksijende bile hissetmenizi sağlayan diş tipi ve çenede dizilişi..

Çok küçük yaşımdan beri bu hayvanlara hayranlık duydum.  Hele 1968 yılında, Ian Fleming ‘in romanından Sinemaya uyarlanan, MI6 Ajanı James Bond 007 nin, Thunderball filmini izledikten sonra ayarım iyice kaçtı. Sean Connery, NATO, Kraliyet Hava Kuvvetleri (RAF) üssünden çalınan iki atom bombasını geri almaya çalışırken, denizin altında zıpkınlar, bombalar ve etrafta köpek balıklarıyla tam bir görsel şölen sergilemişti. Sadece 8 yaşına girmiştim ve çok etkilendim. Tabii bunda teknik etken de vardı. İlk defa bir film Widescreen Panavision formatta ve 2 saati geçen süreli olarak çekilmişti. Orada Bond ile beraber, denizin altında çatışıyorduk terörist dalgıçlarla yani. Tabii 140 milyon Doları geçen hasılatla müthiş bir rekor kırması da doğaldı.

Dedim ya, artık ayarım kaçmıştı. İlkokul defterlerimin kenarına, dersi dinlemekten kopup, köpek balıkları karalardım. Sonuçta denizin altında olmak, balık avı, özellikle de zıpkın ile av en büyük hobilerimden biri oldu. Hatta uzun süreler, zıpkını bile kullanmadan, denizin altını izlemek, şnorkel ve palet ile denizdeki kayalıkları gezmek, minik balıkları izlemek, beni en çok dinlendiren meşgalem olmuştur.

Köpek balıklarının bazı türleri denizlerin acımasız korkutucu canavarlarıdır. Kimse bulaşmak istemez. Bir damla kanın kokusunu millerce uzaktan alır.

Peki. Dış Politika ile bağlantıyı kuralım artık.

Ormanlarda aslanın rolüne ve denizlerde köpekbalığı rolüne soyunmak isteyen ülkelerin yönetimlerine, dış politika karar mekanizmalarında çalışan beyinlere bir mesaj verelim.

Korku çok kuvvetli bir motivatördür. Aman dikkat. Bir çok friendly fire, yani dost ateşi kazaları, korkudan meydana gelir. Korkunun değiştirdiği vücut kimyası insana olmadık tepkiler verdirir. Kendi asker arkadaşını vurursun düşman diye. Kendi uçağını düşürürsün.

ABD ‘de, Kaliforniya eyaletinde, San Francisco ‘nun kuzeyinde Vallejo ‘daki Marine World Africa adlı Lunapark ‘ta çok güzel bir köpek balığı akvaryum tüneli vardı. 1993 yılında gezmiştim. Bir sürü açıklayıcı panolar vardı kenarlarda. Tam hatırlamıyorum ama, bir not çok aklımda kaldı. “Köpek Balıkları aslında birçok diğer hayvan gibi kendi dünyalarında ve tehlikesiz yaşarlar. Çok büyük hasılat yapınca, arka arkaya birkaç tane çekilen JAWS filmleri yüzünden, son 10 yılda dünyada milyonlarca köpek balığı öldürüldü ve bir çok türün nesli tükenmeye yüz tuttu. Bunun yanında son 10 yılda Köpek Balıklarından insanlara yapılan ölümcül saldırı vakası sadece 19 oldu”. Korkunun marifetlerine örnek olsun.

Saygıdeğer, Sir David Frederick Attenborough, (94), İngiliz bir yayıncı ve tabiat tarihçisidir. BBC ‘de yıllarca üst düzey yöneticilik yapmıştır. Hazırladığı ve sunduğu dökümanterleri bilmeyen azdır.

Yıllar önce izliyordum Sir Attenborough ‘un Köpekbalıkları ile ilgili filmini.

Manzara korkunçtu. İlk defa orada duymuştum “Feeding Frenzy” deyişini. Yani sadece Köpekbalıklarına ve Piranhalara ait bir durumun terimi. Topluca ve agresifçe avına saldırma, parçalama.

Suya yayılmış balık parçaları, kan, yüzgeçler, kafalar. Köpükler, kaçışlar..

Değerli uluslararası politika yapıcıları, etkicileri, Lord Attenborough ‘nun, o parçalama beslenme anını anlatırken yaptığı muhteşem tarifi, uluslararası politika uyarlaması ile yazarak veda edelim;

“Feeding Frenzy sırasında bir çeşit kendini kaybetme ruh haline girmiş olan köpekbalıklarının, saldırılar sırasında gözleri tamamen geri çekilmiş ve beyazından başka bir şey görünmez hale gelmişlerdi. Artık sadece parçalıyor, ısırıyor, kopartıyor ve yiyorlardı, tüketiyorlardı.

Köpekbalıklarının sırtlarında boylu boyunca tek bir sinir olduğundan, başka yerden yaralandıklarında acı duyamayan bir biyolojik yapıdadırlar. Diğer noktalarda, acı hissini beyine haber verecek Nociceptor hücreleri yoktur. Şu anda izlediğiniz Büyük Beyaz yaralanmış ve karnındaki kesikten dışarı fırlamış bağırsaklarını da ısırıyor. Kendi ölümüne neden olacağından haberi olmadan..”

Ne bileyim, Köpekbalığı rolüne özenen varsa, belki tekrar düşünmelerini tavsiye etmek de bizim sorumluluğumuzdur. Biz, yaşam sever Türklerin. Muhteşem ordular, en akıllı mühimmatlar, her türlü istihbarat desteği, en ölümcül teknoloji, kısaca tam üstünlük sizde de olsa, kendinizi kaybetmeyin. Sonuçları tüm insanlık için acı olabilir, siz dahil.

Aytaç D. Erenler

Visits: 232

Deep Purple – Importance of motivation for armies

Deep Purple

by Aytaç D. Erenler

 

Ablamla 1972 yılında ilk Long Play imizi Kızılay ‘daki Yeni Karamürsel mağazasından aldık. LP, yani Albüm. Üzerine özenerek küçük bir etiketle 01 yazdık. Hayalimiz büyük bir LP koleksiyonuna ulaşmaktı. Bu ilk LP, Deep Purple ‘ın Machine Head albümüydü.

 

30 Mayısta, dünyaca ünlü efsanevi İngiliz Rock Müzik grubu Deep Purple ‘ın İstanbul’da bir konseri olacak. Seneler önceyi hatırladım. 1998, Harbiye Açık Hava ‘daki ilk konseri..

 

Deep Purple ‘ın Türkiye’de ilk konserini vereceği haberini aldığımda çok heyecanlanmıştım. Ne yapıp edip izlemeliydim. Parayı, izni halletmeliydim. Mümkün olduğu kadar yaklaşmalıydım, görmeliydim Ian Gillan ‘ı, arkadaşlarını.

 

Harbiye Açık Hava ‘da yaklaşık 5000 kişi vardı. Aralarında bir sürü arkadaşımı gördüm. Ankara’dan gelmiş olan. Konser başladı. Rüyada gibiydik efsaneleri seyrederken, dinlerken. Bir ara solist Gillan mikrofonu seyircilere tuttu. Grup durdu. Smoke on the Water ‘ı 5000 kişi söylüyordu. Gillan mikrofonlu eli havada, grup arkadaşlarına döndü ve öyle bir baktı ki.. Ben o bakışı yakaladım ve dedim ki içimden “Ya beyler böyle şok olursunuz işte. Kültür Emperyalizmi yaftalarıyla kirletilmeye çalışılsa da, sanat evrenseldir. Dünyanın ta diğer ucunda bir genç, en zor gününde sizin bir notanızla, umut dolar. Ablasıyla harçlık denkleştirip zar zor ilk albüm alır ve ilkel TurnTable da, pikap diyelim, günde 10 kere çalar.

 

E Dış Politikanın ilgisi ne bu olay ile diyeceksiniz. Açayım kalbimi..

 

Dünyanın her ülkesinde, ahlaklı olmakta ısrar eden, imkanlarının el verdiği kadar mutlu olmaya çalışan, politik soygunlardan nasibini almamış, vatanına milletine aşık, rahmetli Neşet Ertaş ile, rahmetli Zeki Müren ile duygulanan ama bir rock müziğinin sözlerinden, tanımadığı bir kültürün ferdinin dertleriyle de hüzünlenebilen, Lynrd Skynrd üyelerinin uçak kazasında ölümüne yıkılan, mütevazi yaşamlarını yüksek duygularla yaşamaya çalışan milyonlarca insan var.

 

Devletli adamların, savaş kararları, adaletsiz yaptırım kararları, güç ve varlık hırsları, etnik, kültürel, dil, din, farkı gözeten bakışları ve demeçleri, ve nihayet bunların ölümcül sonuçları en çok bu insanları harap ediyor. Devlette tanıdığı emmisi dayısı olmayan, işini hakkıyla yapıp evine ekmek götürmeye çalışırken medeni bir hayatı yaşamaya çalışan insanlar.

 

Deep Purple Türkiye’deki dostlarını 1998 e kadar bekletmemeliydi. Korkmadan gelselerdi keşke. Misyonlarını unutmamalılardı. Sanat en güzel insanları birbiriyle kucaklatır. Bul parçayı da dinle. “Sometimes I feel like screaming, Deep Purple” . Bazen kimsenin duyamadığı çığlığı içine atarsın işte. Kalbine ruhuna çiçek kokuları dolar “Soldier of Fortune” u dinlerken.  Kavuşmak çok güzel oldu ama saçlarımız ağarmaya başlamıştı. Ortanca kız kardeşimden 1 yıl sakladık Elvis Prestley ‘in öldüğünü.

 

Bu yazı da, Tel Aviv ‘de, Washington DC’ de, Londra’da, Moskova’da, Paris’te, Pekin’de ve Berlin ‘de, Dış Politika kararlarına etken odaklara mektubumuz olsun. Agresor taraf olmayın. Gelin asıl kimlerin zarar gördüğünü gene masaya yatırın.

 

 

 

Amerikan ordu mensupları, dünyanın çeşitli ülkelerindeki askeri üslerde görev yaparken, gözleri kulakları, ülkeden gelecek meşhurların programındadır. Bunlara USO Shows denir. The United Service Organizations Inc. bir kar amaçsız kuruluştur. Ordu mensupları ve ailelerinin moral takviyesi görevidir. Marilyn Monroe ’nun 1954 yılında Güney Kore ‘ye gelişi, Elvis Presley ‘in cephedeki askerlere konserleri, Aktör John Wayne ‘in ve Aktris Ann Margret ‘in 1966 da Vietnam ‘a gidişi, Robin Williams ‘ın Irak ‘taki askerlere konseri, hep aynı organizasyonun işleridir.

 

Neredeyse vodvilci diyebileceğimiz Bob Hope ‘un, en meşhur olduğu dönemde II. Dünya Savaşı sırasında cephe ziyaretleri ve sahne şovları da aynı amaç ile yapılmıştı. 1942 ‘de Alaska ‘da askerleri ziyaret için özel izin alması gerekmişti.

 

1988 ‘de Mamak Muhabere Okulunda, 8 ay kısa dönem erlik yaparken şafağa az günler kala dizimden sakatlanmıştım. GATA da tedavideydim ve gece televizyonda, İbrahim Tatlıses ‘in Atina Konserini izlemiştik. O Yunan kadınlarının “Mavi Mavi” yi gözleri yaşla dolu, bağıra bağıra söyleyiş manzaraları, seyreden biz erbaşların da gözlerini buğulamıştı. Düşmanına bile üzülebilen bir memleketin çocuklarıyız.

 

Bahsettiğim, merkezlere şunu hatırlatarak kapatalım;

 

Sadece savaşa gönderdiğiniz gençlere değil, savaştırmak istediğiniz ülkelerdeki güzel kalpli insanlara da mutluluk götürmek amacı ile kararlarınızı alın. Komşuyu gene üzerimize iteklemeyin. Yüzyıllardır iç içe yaşamış kardeşleri bölmeyin.

 

Aytaç D. Erenler

 

Visits: 101

INTERVIEW WITH PROF. LUIS TOME – Future of NATO: Significant Insights from 2021 Meeting of NATO Ministries of Foreign Affairs

You can find the original publication at this link https://politicalreflectionmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/PR_27_INT1.pdf

 

Interview with Professor Luis Tome

Future of NATO: Significant Insights from 2021 Meeting of NATO Ministries of Foreign Affairs

 

Dr Rahman Dag : Before asking questions, I would kindly like you to evaluate the last meeting of the NATO Ministries of Foreign Affairs and its statement. Is there anything that attracts your attention most?

Luis Tome: First of all, it is crucial to consider the context in which this meeting took place: the first visit to Europe by a senior official of the Biden Administration, Secretary of State A. Blinken; after the publication of the US “Interim National Security Strategic Guidance”; and after A. Blinken himself had visited Japan and South Korea and met the Chinese counterpart in Alaska. Therefore, since it’s clear that the priority region for US foreign and security policy remains the Asia-Pacific, it was important for the Biden Administration to give a strong political signal to its European Allies of renewed American commitment to NATO and European security. This meeting also took place at a time of rising tensions in international politics, particularly between the US and the China-Russia axis, but also between the European Union and China. Another factor in marking this meeting are the wounds in transatlantic relations coming from the time of the Trump Administration as also other tensions between the European NATO countries. In this context, it was crucial that this meeting of NATO Ministries of Foreign Affairs conveyed to the world that the Atlantic Alliance is Back, as President Biden had stated, and an image of NATO cohesion. And I think that is exactly what the final statement that came out of the meeting does. It underlines the relevance of Article 5 and, therefore, the unambiguous commitment of the US to NATO’s central collective defence clause – a crucial guarantee for the European Allies. It is also relevant that the statement emphasises the sharing of democratic values, that NATO guarantees the protection of our values, and it is an essential pillar of the rules-based international order. The reference to Russia’s aggressive actions, while there is no mention to China, is equally significant. Finally, I also highlight the fact that, according to the statement, NATO will continue to adapt, namely by strengthening its political dimension. Strangely, the statement says nothing about what was one of the main results of the meeting: the maintenance of American forces in Afghanistan beyond 1 May this year and the continuation of the NATO mission – remembering that there are now a higher number of other Allied troops in Afghanistan than American.

Question: Current international politics have been emphasising the economic burden of NATO’s expenditure. The main concern in this issue is that the US has been paying for European Security for a half-century, and within these years, the European countries economically and politically flourished but still want the US to cover a major share of the Alliance. First of all, do you think that this concern has a point?

Luis Tome: This is an old recurrent question, and every American administration since the end of the Cold War has insisted on burdensharing. However, it is wrong to look at the issue from a purely economic perspective, or that only Europeans have economic benefits and while Americans pay for European and international security. What really matters is the strengthening of the European pillar for the benefit of the Transatlantic Alliance as a whole and a better balance with the American pillar. It is very important that the European Allies assume greater responsibilities and a greater share of costs in NATO. Otherwise, there may be excessive European dependence on the US and thus an undesirable transformation of the Alliance into a pure American protectorate over Europe, or into a mere instrument of US foreign and security policy. An excessive capabilities gap could also lead to interoperability problems among Allied forces. Or make NATO irrelevant to the United States. On the other hand, among the European Allies, namely among the countries which are also members of the EU, there are many redundancies and useless duplications. Just as there are in Europe-NATO, in general, excessive shares in personnel costs and the maintenance of certain physical and bureaucratic infrastructure, leaving less room in defence budgets for research and development compared to the US. So, there are several other problems and dilemmas to be solved in Europe beyond the simple increase of defence budgets and cost-sharing in NATO. This is also why I have some reservations about blind targets set in terms of percentages, such as the commitment established in NATO of a minimum of 2% of GDP on total defence spending. The main objective must be that the European Allies develop and possess better military capabilities, not simply to spend more for the sake of spending. And this capacity-building should be done on the basis of an assessment of the threats and their capabilities, priority investment needs according to identified gaps, force packages, planning and programming of capabilities, missions and operations, etc., combining national circumstances and specificities with the priorities, doctrines, policies and strategies defined by NATO as a whole. Rather than spending more, what matters is to spend wisely. I also add three other aspects. First, it is paradoxical that Washington insists on “burden-sharing” while opposing Europe’s “strategic autonomy” – the reinforcement of European military capabilities can hardly be dissociated from an increase in European ambitions and responsibilities. Second, NATO’s main problem is not military capabilities but cohesion and  political articulation. Finally, in the face of many risks and threats (from terrorism to organised crime, pandemics, fragile states, emerging and disruptive technologies or cyber threats), the military is not the exclusive or even the main security instrument. Therefore, Euro-Atlantic security and the security of all Allies is not promoted only by increasing military budgets and capabilities.

Question: In association with the previous question, what would you say if somebody argues that European countries are reluctant to increase their defence budget sparing for NATO because the European countries do not unanimously support American policies, especially in Afghanistan, and the US has been instrumentalising NATO for its world politics and dominance?

Luis Tome: That does not make any sense. The NATO Allies have different security perceptions, priorities and strategic cultures. Moreover, NATO members are democratic countries, and therefore governments have to be sensitive to their electorates and public opinions. States define their defence budgets for a variety of reasons, but primarily according to their view of the security context and national interest. No country fails to increase its defence budget because it disagrees with the policies and strategies of its Allies. On the contrary, it even tends to increase its military spending in situations where it loses confidence in its Allies and/or perceives that its security and defence depends more on itself. A cause-effect relationship cannot be established, but interestingly, defence budgets have been increasing in Europe-NATO for seven consecutive years – that is, including during the period of the Trump Administration when disagreements between the US and its European allies escalated.

Question: In recent years, the US has been militarily investing in Poland under the name of NATO, while the EU has been in doubt of American endowment to the European security against Russia. If these phrases or comments sound true to you, would you agree with the idea that American and European perceptions of security threat level are gradually differentiated?

Luis Tome: Yes, indeed. With the end of the Soviet Union, the “common enemy” that gave rise to NATO and the anti-USSR containment strategy disappeared. Therefore, since the end of the Cold War, it has been more problematic to justify NATO’s raison d’étre and to define priority threats assumed equally by all Allies and establish common and coherent policies and strategies. Transatlantic divergences have been building up not only over Russia but also over terrorism, the “rogue states” or the “axis of evil”, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, etc. The problem is that different perceptions of security and priority threats also add up between European countries. East European Allies regard Russia as their biggest threat, while Southern NATO members are mainly worried about the spill-over effects from instability and conflict in the Middle East and Africa, such as terrorism, organised international crime or irregular migration. And as we have seen in recent years, differences between NATO Allies have widened from Syria to Libya,  from the Eastern Mediterranean to nuclear Iran, from the Sahel region to Afghanistan. China is also emerging as another potential focus of major transatlantic and intra-European controversy and disagreement. Hence, it is crucial to strengthen the political dimension of the Atlantic Alliance for cooperation and articulation among NATO countries and with external partners.

Question: Since the end of the cold war, NATO has operated outside of NATO territories despite being constituted as a defence alliance and started with Eastern Europe to Afghanistan and Libya. These interventions are legitimised with the concept of humanitarian intervention or preventive wars. It is argued that the world has been experiencing the same conditions in Syria as there is a humanitarian reason, and the Syrian regime causes mobilisation of armed terrorist groups from all ranges and source of irregular immigration that turning European borders upside down. Under these circumstances, why do you think that NATO is still not acting offensively to end the humanitarian crisis and make regime change? Is it just because of Russian military involvement in the Syrian crisis before the US or NATO?

Luis Tome: The question is understandable, but the cases are quite different in their circumstances. There is conflict, violent repression and humanitarian tragedy in Syria, just as there is unfortunately in many other places – and we may also ask why NATO does not intervene in Yemen, Venezuela or Myanmar. Well, neither NATO nor any country or international organisation can intervene militarily in all places or in the same way. Of course, when NATO intervenes militarily and invokes certain principles such as the “right of humanitarian intervention” or R2P in one place and not in others, one may question the reasons or interests behind this “selection”. But there are many reasons and explanations. One obvious explanation is that NATO’s decisions require consensus – which obviously does not exist with regard to Syria. In other cases, it is a question of power and common sense: for example, would it be reasonable for NATO to make an intervention against Russia over Chechnya or against China over Xinjiang, similar to the one it made against Serbia over Kosovo? Obviously not. Moreover, an intervention may be appropriate in one place and be totally unsuitable in another – so careful consideration is needed to avoid aggravating the security situation rather than helping to resolve it. The reality is that each case varies according to its specific circumstances. This is why, for example, even in Libya, NATO intervened in 2011 but has not intervened in the Libyan “second civil war” that broke out in 2014. Regarding Syria, there are many reasons why NATO does not intervene as it did in Afghanistan or Libya, but this difference is not related to Russia’s military intervention. Moreover, it should be remembered that before the Russian intervention in Syria at the end of 2015, the US and several NATO countries were already bombing positions of jihadist groups in Syria and had special forces operating in Syrian territory as part of the international coalition against ISIS. And that even before that, in 2013, President Obama  wanted to bomb forces of the Bashar al-Assad regime and that the US Congress prevented him from doing so for fear that this would precisely favour jihadist groups. The point is that a NATO intervention in Syria similar to the one it carried out in Libya in 2011 would be completely counterproductive and inappropriate. Such a consensus in NATO would be impossible, primarily because of the very different the US and Turkey, and also several other European powers, view their interests and threats in Syria. The complex Syrian geopolitical chess explains that not even the UN has a peace enforcement mission nor a mandate for another international organisation to act, unlike what happened in Afghanistan (where NATO-led ISAF under a UN mandate) or in Libya (where NATO answered the United Nations’ call to the international community to protect the Libyan people). Therefore, it is not Russia but the specific Syrian cocktail and the disagreements within the Atlantic Alliance that explain NATO’s nonintervention in Syria.

Question: It is no secret anymore that there are several disagreements among NATO members. The US is against Germany’s agreement to buy gas from Russia via a new pipeline. Turkey and Greece are in a tense disagreement in the Aegean Sea regarding East Mediterranean energy resources. Eastern European countries want the deployment of missiles, but western European countries are against it. Not to mention disagreement on the financial burden of NATO. Do you really think that NATO could survive from all these potentially conflictual issues?

Luis Tome: NATO was, is and always will be what its members make of it. NATO’s long history shows an unusual capacity to overcome crises and disagreements. But past success is no guarantee of future success. The current divergences are many and quite deep, and NATO has in recent years entered a real existential crisis. It will survive if the major Allied countries are predisposed to overcome divergences and commit themselves to the transatlantic Alliance. At the end of the day, if certain tensions are not overcome or aggravated, NATO may survive the exit or expulsion of some of its current members, but it would never survive without the US. So if Donald Trump had been re-elected, it is likely that we would be discussing the end of NATO. With the Biden Administration, the transatlantic Alliance is in a much better position to repair damage and resolve certain differences. On the other hand, NATO’s adaptive capacity is the reason for its success and longevity. And in the face of a geopolitical, geostrategic and security context that has changed rapidly and dramatically, it is vital to readapt NATO so that it remains effective and relevant for the security and defence of its members, above all, by strengthening its political dimension.

Question: As you know, most of the NATO members are also members of the European Union, and the EU has its own agenda of or at least thinking about European Army separate from the NATO as a part of its defence and security policy. What are your projections on this matter?

Luis Tome: In theory, the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and the EU’s capabilities are complementary to NATO, strengthening the European pillar of the transatlantic alliance. For obvious reasons, starting with its current 21 common member states, the EU is NATO’s main strategic partner and vice versa. But despite the NATO-EU agreements and mutual cooperation, there are several dilemmas that need to be acknowledged and addressed. The CSDP makes the EU a more complete international player, but also more autonomous – of course, autonomous from the US and NATO, which displeases Washington. At times, there seems to be more competition than complementarity, and certain dilemmas are likely to intensify as the range of missions both want to undertake widens: the EU aspiring to undertake higher-intensity missions and operations, and NATO launching certain types of lower-intensity operations. Another dilemma concerns the balance between NATO and the EU for the 21 common countries, including the provision of means (always scarce) for missions and operations of both organisations. Conversely, some problems are magnified by the non-coincidence of membership between NATO-Europe and the European Union, especially Turkey. Meanwhile, Brexit has created a new geopolitical framework in Europe, with huge repercussions on the EU, transatlantic relations and NATO. The EU no longer has one of the two Permanent Members of the UNSC and holder of nuclear weapons (alongside France), which implies new balances within the EU – the former European “G3” gave way to the “G2”, with greater prominence of the Germany-France axis. With the UK out, the EU is left without the strongest defender of the “Atlantic” vision and NATO-EU complementarity, which favours the EU’s tendency to “strategic autonomy”. And there are now seven European countries that are members of NATO and not of the EU, with Turkey and now also the UK as two big powers in this situation – raising new issues in NATO-EU cooperation and EU access to NATO assets and capabilities for its “autonomous” missions. In addition, there are disputes and disagreements between the EU and the UK, as we have seen over trade issues, financial services, the Irish border or the export/import of anti-COVID-19 vaccines. The dilemmas are many, and NATO and the EU have to be skilful and pragmatic to overcome the disagreements. But I am relatively optimistic! NATO and the EU have been cooperating side by side in crisis management, capability development and political consultations, as well as in providing support to their common partners in the East and South. Concerted NATO-EU effort is needed to build trust and make fuller use of existing arrangements and identified areas of cooperation.

Question: Rising rightist or leftist populist political groups in Europe and the US indicate that they would be quite influential in their own national politics in the near future. Do you think that this could complicate NATO’s stance regarding democracy and freedom?

Luis Tome: Of course it can. The spread of nationalism, populism, authoritarianism and extremisms threatens the liberal international order and the security environment. And if national egoisms, populisms,  autocratic tendencies and “illiberal democracies” flourish in NATO member countries, as is already happening, then it makes it very complicated for the transatlantic Alliance to be the bulwark for the defence and promotion of freedom, democracy and liberal order. Fortunately, there seems to be a sense of urgency within NATO today to put democratic values back at the heart of the transatlantic Alliance’s action. But we must recognise that the virus of nationalism and populism is difficult to fight even within NATO countries.

Question: There are too many significant points to cover in an interview, but as a closing question, I would like to have your comments on an issue that is the most important one regarding NATO’s future.

Luis Tome: The decisive factor for the evolution and future of NATO is the strengthening of its political dimension, namely dialogue, articulation, cooperation and political cohesion among Allied countries. Organisations are what their members make of them, and NATO is no exception. NATO is a military alliance, but it is also the main political forum of the transatlantic community of shared values and interests. Without political cohesion among Allies, powerful deterrent and defence capabilities have less value. Without constructive political dialogue, differences between member countries cannot be overcome or minimised. Without political cooperation, it is not possible to formulate common and coherent strategies. Without political articulation, the transatlantic Alliance will face many difficulties in projecting security and stability in its periphery, whether to the East or to the South; effectively confronting the many risks and threats; managing crises and conflicts; establishing fruitful partnerships with external partners; or dealing with major rivals such as Russia and China. Without political cohesion, it will not be possible for NATO to make the necessary re-adaptation to a geopolitical and security context in great transformation. Nor to be the pillar of democracy and liberal order that the Allies want and preach NATO to be. NATO’s military dimension remains robust, but the Alliance’s political dimension and political role are undervalued and underused. NATO’s future success depends on the ability of the Allies to leverage the political dimension of the transatlantic alliance.

Visits: 488

PLAYING CHICKEN – BY AYTAÇ ERENLER

PLAYING CHICKEN     

 

Tavuk Oyunu. Tercümesi tabii ki bir anlam ifade etmiyor, çünkü bizim ülkemizde oynanan bir oyun değildir. Peki nedir bu Tavuk Oyunu ?

Eminim, izlediğiniz videolarda, okuduğunuz kitaplarda ve en sıklıkla Hollywood yapımı bir çok filmde rastladınız bu oyuna.

Aslında burada önce Pusu Kültürü ile Düello Kültürü arasındaki farktan bahsetmek gerekir. Pusu Kültürü daha çok doğu kaynaklı ve rakibini, düşmanını pusuya düşürerek alt etme prensibine dayanır. Hatta “Savaş Hilesi” de, doğal kabul edilir. Çünkü zaten birisi ile savaş içerisindeysen, hile yapmak artık mubahtır. Oysa Düello Kültüründe meydan okuma ve teke tek, çekişmeyi hemen çözmeye davet vardır. En eski batı yapımı filmlerde bolca görmüşsünüzdür, meseleyi halletmek ve sonlandırmak için birbirini çeşitli silahlarla düelloya davet edenleri.

 

İşte Chicken oynamak da bu kültürün ürünlerinden biridir.

 

İki oyuncu birbirine doğru, kafa kafaya doğrultuda, süratle yaklaşırlar, ki bu bir arabayla, bisikletle, hatta 1984 yapımı Footloose filminde Kevin Bacon ‘ın ve kovboy rakibinin kullandığı gibi Biçerdöver makinesiyle yapılabilir. Çarpışmaktan korkup da yönünü ilk değiştiren veya frene basan veya aracını terk eden Tavuk ünvanını alır. Yani korkak. Kaybeder.

Çok tipik, Amerikan kültürü ikonlarından biridir. Kimin daha cesur olduğunu ortaya çıkarmak için günümüzde bile hala değişik uygulamaları görülür.

Tabii bu işin oyun kısmı.

Uluslararası arenayı bir oyun alanı gibi görerek Chicken oynamak pek de akıllıca olmayabilir çünkü bu kültürel bir konu ve karşındaki farklı kültürden insanların, bu oyunun kurallarını bildiğini varsaymak ölümcül sonuçlara yol açabilir. Bu oyunda amaçlardan biri, diğerini korkutarak kararlarından vaz geçirmek, yön değiştirmek zorunda bırakmadır. Korkak görünmemek için sonuna kadar oynayan oyuncular, gururlarını korumaya çalışırken, aslında savaşmak istemediği diğer oyuncuyu savaştan vaz geçirmeye çalışırlar bu yolla.

ABD Dedeağaç bölgesinde çok ciddi bir askeri yığınak yapıyor. Ve bölgede dikine dikine bir çok hazırlık hareketleriyle de konumunu pekiştiriyor. Askeri tatbikatlar, Diplomatik teamüllere tamamen ters demeçler, ilginç ülkeleri aşırı silahlanmaya teşvikler…

Eğer ABD Chicken oynadığını düşünüyorsa ve bu organizasyonlarla, rakibinin karar değiştireceğini ve Tavukluk yapıp kaçacağını düşünüyorsa durum tehlikeli. Çünkü diğer taraf bu oyunu bilmiyor. Onlar farklı oyunlarla büyüdüler. Pentagon ‘daki bazı ağır rütbelere uyarı yapmak görevimiz. Allah korusun, rakip kuralları bilmediği için, yoldan kaçmaz ve fena bir çarpışma olabilir ve iki taraf ta ağır hasar görür. Dünyadaki diğer insanların da hayatı olumsuz etkilenir.

Henüz fırsat varken bu delice gelişmeleri, akl-ı selim ile masa görüşmelerine çevirmek acil hale gelmek üzere. Amerikalı iki gün Tavuksun der sonra unutur kültürü gereği ama diğerleri bunu efelenme diye adlandırıp tedbirini alır. Onur meselesi haline gelir. Bir kıvılcım da, dünya barışının aksak bile olsa sürdüğü bu günleri tüm halklara aratır.

Aytaç D. Erenler

21 Mart 2021

Visits: 190