Aaron David Miller, WSJ: What Would the U.S. Do If the Turkish Military’s Coup Attempt Had Succeeded?
Had Turkey’s military succeeded in toppling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last Friday, by seizing and consolidating power, and the public acquiesced, how would the U.S. have reacted?
Counterfactuals are, of course, impossible to game out. But that thought experiment shows the difficulty the U.S. might have faced trying to reconcile its interest in a stable Turkey with its commitment to a democratic one. The problem of reconciling U.S. values and interests isn’t limited to Turkey, though those issues might be at the fore this week; this pertains to several partners in the Middle East.
Turkey isn’t Egypt, where millions of citizens supported the military’s removal of President Mohammed Morsi in 2013–a situation about which the Obama administration managed to finesse the military’s action and outmaneuver congressional restrictions on U.S. aid to countries affected by military takeovers.
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