Monday, October 14, 2019

Did Turkey Decide To Invade Northern Syria To Call President Trump's Bluff?

President Donald Trump with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the UN General Assembly in New York City in September 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Axios: Behind the scenes of the Trump bluff that kicked off Turkey's invasion

President Trump had been calling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's bluff for more than 2 years, and some senior administration officials thought Erdoğan would never actually go through with his long-threatened Syria invasion, according to 6 sources with direct knowledge of the situation.

The big picture: Trump would tell Erdoğan that if he wanted to invade Syria he would have to own whatever mess ensued, according to these sources. Erdoğan would have to take care of ISIS and manage international condemnation, trouble from Capitol Hill, and the quagmire with the Kurds. And when Trump put it in such stark terms to Erdoğan, the Turkish leader would demur. Until last Sunday, that is, when he told Trump he was moving ahead with the invasion of northern Syria.

Read more ....

Update #1: Trump thought Turkey was bluffing and would never actually invade Syria, report says (Business Insider)
Update #2: Report: Trump administration officials didn't think Turkey would ever invade Syria (The Week)

WNU Editor: You do not invade a country because you want to call someone's bluff. Turkish President Erdogan has many faults, but he is not that stupid. Turkey has been for saying the past few weeks/monts that they wanted to create a "safe zone" along the border. Even threatening to send another refugee wave to Europe if their wishes were denied. The White House has been pushing back for the past month telling Turkey not to go ahead with this military operation. So what happened last week? President Erdogan had intensified his demands to create this border safe zone. He then had his conversation with President Trump where I suspect that he bluntly told President Trump that he was going ahead anyway. President Trump then offered an Oval Office visit to President Erdogan for next month .... probably to dissuade President Erdogan from going ahead with this military operation. It did not work, and we are where we are today. And as for that Oval trip/visit, we do not know if it is still on.


Anonymous said...

We are, where we are today, because Trump failed the Kurds. The fact he even made a suggestion that the Kurds were responsible for releasing hundreds/thousands of daesh members shows how little he knows of the Kurds or respects them.

This will probably go down as his greatest failure.

There is no denying that the US needed to pull out. Yet there's a time and place for everything. Trump chose the wrong time.

Bob Huntley said...

If you want a safe zone you should put it on your side of the border.

Anonymous said...

Here is an angle, seeing thou Erdogan has been getting chummy with Putin leading up to this. Did Putin and Erdogan collude to call Trumps bluff?

Knowing that the Kurds will be on their own, with only their past allegiance to the Syrian government as potential friends in the neighbourhood.

If the Syrian army takes control of the border, does that not achieve Erdogan's goal of pushing the Kurds away from the border? It also achieves Putin and Assad's goal of taking back all of the country.

The game could be much bigger than we think.

Roger Smith said...

Don't forget the Kurds' oil fields.
And like Bob says, use your own land for a buffer zone.
Turkey does have a bunch of refugees that aren't cheap to house. Send them to Assad. We'll supply the transport.

Too late now.

Anonymous said...

"There is no denying that the US needed to pull out. Yet there's a time and place for everything."

No one was making the conditions for the right time.

- One way would be to make a Kurdish state.

- Another way is to make a federated state or some state that would respect Kurdish language, traditions, religion and culture.

You see this situation in Quebec, Donbass, Alsace Lorraine, Cameroon, Northern Italy, and Catalonia and elsewhere.

No one really wants to spend the blood and treasure nor even the political capital.

Nowadays, when scions do go to war, they do so in the REMFiest of REMF positions, intel or JAG. If a politicians does have line experience, they are middle class climbing the ladder. That is they are equestrian class not senatorial class.

No one wants to revisit the Wilson's 14 points. The 14 points were 1/2 assed in Europe and applied not at all to the Middle East.

IMO if you do not want these succession movements to succeed, you have to have a good economy, no violation of language or cultural rights. I think all minorities should be bilingual. That is they should know their mother tongue and the tongue of the nation they live in. The majority population should be be bilingual. If all the minorities are bilingual and you are not then they have a business advantage.

If people can speak their language , the economy is good and the gov't. don't hassle them, then all they want is to do is work had and play hard.

jimbrown said...

perfectly reasonable to create buffer zone AND annoy Syria/Russia.

at no cost or threat to US personnel.

Wow. What a concept.

jimbrown said...

erdogan did some cornering by not.coordinating w us

Bob Huntley said...


The Kurds do seem to specialized at getting the short end of the "deal".

Anonymous said...

Bob does not understand deer, cougars,tribes, ...