Decision Making on Security Issues

By Seyfi Taşhan

In this essay, we will look at the decision making mechanism in various countries, chiefly the United States, Russia.

United States

In the United States final decision making rests on the President himself provided his decisions are not against the US aims and traditions and interests. Which bodies contribute to the formation of security decisions and which bodies control their decisions taken? Contributor factors: Chief contributers are the National Security Council, Defense Department, State Department and other official bodies. In turn State Department, Defence Department and others are asisted by such official organizations as Armed Forces, CIA, Homeland Security Department and diplomatic missions abroad. These bodies use private organizations such as think thanks (like RAND Corp. for. Defence Department) Council of Foreign affairs, Middle East Institute as well as other regional study foundations or non-profit Organizations. Opposition parties also support and cooperate with such private organizations.

These also benefit from and train experts that provide executive power of the governments later when the opposition parties win the elections and become government themselves. Before Ronald Reagan became president his policies were developed by RAND Corporation, which was also supported by the Defence Department at the time, the hardliners that contributed to the information of policies under Reagen that caused the down fall of the SSCB.

Who controls?

Which boundries control the security decisions of the government? US Congress is the principal body that controls or negates President’s decision decrees and makes the defense budget. Congress itself is guided by the principals of political parties that its members belong and also by the lobby interests that support interests of war industries and regional electors, as well as foreign governments which aim at impressing the Congress for their interests. We should not forget the very important role of media in controling and/or supporting the activities of the government in a completely free manner.


During the Soviet era like many other countries that were firmly attached to political ideas, Soviet Union’s security decisions were aimed at furthering their ideological aims not only inside the union but globally. This policy had a very expensive cost for supporting Comunist Parties abroad and their revelant activities. During the Cold War, to support its idealism Russia had to enter into an arms race with the United States. This could not be maintained during the Cold War and eventually the regime collapsed. Now the Russian government’s interests are at the forefront and resist the aggressive policies of the US around the World, to resist U.S. that countinues a softer Cold War and a policy of pursuing Israel’s interests in the Middle East even at the cost of using armed forces.

Therefore, U.S.-Soviet Cold War relations still continue in a lesser mode and Russia must endure U.S embargos. Russia does not hesitate to use arms in such areas as Georgia and Ukraine, where, the aim is to support Russian interests.

Apperance of the Russian regime is democratic where there is a parliament elected by people and prime minister and the president also elected by people. However, this democratic appearance does not shadow the ultimate decision making authority of the president, unlike U.S, where there is and effectively controlling body of the decision making capacity. Currently, no one knows, if the current Russian President, who was a member of KGB is ever controlled.

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Cyprus: Situation Status Quo

Cyprus: Situation Status Quo

By: Seyfi Tashan

In his article that appeared in the Hürriyet Daily News of February 4th, 2020 columnist Yusuf Kanlı analyzes the pre-Presidential election programs of political parties in Northern Cyprus and informs us that a great majority of party leaders support federation as a solution to the Cyprus problem.

On the other hand, the Greek Cypriots also support a federal solution. But the contents of federation claims on both sides contrast each other. While Turkish Cypriot federation supporters demand a federation based on the principle of absolute equality, the Greek Cypriot side wants to put the role of the Turks to a minority status under the title of federation. Many countries in the world support the Greek interpretation while the UN’s attitude is unclear and shifting all the time, postponing a clear decision since the leaders of the two peoples in the Island began to negotiate a solution almost 70 years ago. Under these conditions and due to the firm attitude of Turkey on equality in Cyprus even though not clearly declared support of the Western World the current situation cannot be expected to change in the near future.

It is likely that hydrocarbon discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean have made it more lucrative for Greeks to not to change their position and a s a result this complex situation in Cyprus cannot be expected to change in the near future. Therefore, the current situation in Cyprus, a Turkish Cypriot State in the North and a Greek Cypriot State in the South, seems to have become the status quo and we must look at the future accordingly.

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by Seyfi Taşhan


In one of my contributions that appeared in the Herald Tribune I was answering a question about Turkey’s relations with Israel. My answer to the question was that Turkey has no problem with the Jews and owed empathy and support for their tragedy in Europe before and during WWII. But Turkey cannot be expected to support Israel’s expansionist policies, our hope for a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict ended after Israel first began to expand beyond the 1967 borders. My statement that Turkey cannot support Israel’s aggression was based on this Israeli expansionism. In a meeting with several Israeli think tank members, I said, Turks lost a multinational empire, but they established a state based on the national pact, which defines Turkey’s current borders. The Israeli participants said; you believe in Ataturk’s ideas but we firmly believe in Zionism.

This statement was my belief in that Israel would fulfill its Zionist tenets and aims. During brief of history since the foundation of Israel many attempts were made to contain Israel within the final borders. But all failed to moderate Israel’s obstinacy and narrow mindness buried in Zionism tenets. Palestine now looks like a panther skin. Palestinians map with all the dots at Israel settlements. Can US President Trump’s proposal provide sufficient map clean of Israel settlements? Can this settlement proposal plan home any references to millions of Palestinian refugees in camps in Lebanon and in Jordan? Can the plan guarantee secure borders for Palestine, despite Israelis persistence on Zionism.

Lastly, President Trump said that 20 billion dollars for Palestine would be collected from European Countries. But would any European country agree to pay more money than they already paid for reparations to Israel? I believe that these questions will demonstrate how baseless and ignorant is the proposed plan. Any person with knowledge of Israeli expansionism and mercy in their hearts for Arabs in Palestinian camps will keep themselves away from this play of U.S. and Israel elections.

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