Last Wednesday (November 13), Turkish President Recep Erdogan finally arrived at the White House in the United States and met with US President Trump. Considering that Turkey invaded Syria last month, it attacked the Kurdish, an important ally of the United States in the anti-ISIS war, and even purchased the anti-missile system S400 from Russia as NATO (NATO) ally. It is widely expected that this will be A very gunpowder meeting. How did you think that people still underestimated Trump as always.
A month ago, Trump sent a letter to Erdogan because of the situation in Syria, threatening that the United States could “destroy the Turkish economy” and advised Erdogan to “make a fool”; but now Trump announced “Turkey and The Kurdish relationship is very good.” I am Erdogan’s “big fan” and the meeting is “beautiful and constructive”.
Even though the exchange of interests is the most important criterion of international politics, this expression of “small eyes and swear words” is inevitably convincing to the extent of Trump’s shamelessness. This situation is also echoed by the recent statement by French President Mark Long about the relationship between Europe and the United States, which makes the discussion of Mark Long’s “NATO brain death” more and more urgent and real.
Erdogan and his “big fans”
The meeting between Trump and Erdogan was scheduled early, but because Turkey launched the “Peace of Peace” military operation in Syria in early October, the US Congress immediately passed two sanctions resolutions, and the meeting was also put on hold. . However, on November 6, after Erdogan and Trump called again, the visit was re-opened.
Just before the closed-door meeting, Trump invited a number of members of Congress who had severely criticized the White House’s Turkish policy to discuss with Erdogan. Among them, Senator Lindsey Graham said that “the purpose of this meeting is to give our Turkish friends an American civilization class.” However, this is obviously not the goal of Trump.
Trump repeatedly stressed that meeting Erdogan was his “honor” and touted the friendship between the two people, calling himself a “big fan” of Erdogan. He said that Turkey is a great NATO ally, a global partner of the United States, and thanked Erdogan for maintaining a ceasefire in Syria.
As for the reason why the White House continues to keep hundreds of US troops in Syria, Trump overthrew the statement of Defense Minister Mark Esper on November 8th, “Preventing the Resurgence of ISIS,” without hesitation saying, “We left the army only. For oil, I like oil, we will keep some oil.”
It is not surprising that on October 27th, Trump announced the relevant statement of the death of former ISIS leader Baghdadi. Trump said at the time that the United States “should be able to get some” Syrian oil. “Perhaps I will reach an agreement with Exxon Mobil or our other great companies to get them to go there.” .
Unknown is still intentional?
Why can Trump say such a mouthful? He is unclear, and he does not understand politics and diplomacy at all. Still intentionally?
The US soil has been inconsistent with the priesthood, the Syrian issue and related trade treatments for the past several years. In July 2016, after the attempted coup in Turkey, the Erdogan government launched a cleansing operation involving a large number of dissidents, including American pastor Andrew Brunson. In April last year, the Turkish government filed a complaint against Brunson in the name of terrorism. The Trump administration also mentioned the import tariff on Turkish steel to 50%.
After Brunson was released in October last year, the Trump administration further promoted trade negotiations with Turkey, and in May this year canceled the US GSP treatment enjoyed by Turkey, while also reducing steel tariffs to 25%. Until the beginning of October, the Turkish army launched an offensive against the Kurdish armed groups in Syria. The Trump administration once again mentioned the tariffs to 50% and wrote the “terrorist letter.”
On the other hand, Turkey announced on September 15 that the S400 anti-missile system imported from Russia is in place and will be put into use in April next year. Many American politicians believe that Turkey, as a member of NATO, deploying a Russian-made missile system will pose a security threat to NATO.
However, Trump said that Turkey’s deployment of the S400 is a “serious challenge”, but he always believes that the United States can finally solve the problem. He also wrote in the “terrorist letter” that although the US Congress passed the sanctions on the soil, as long as Turkey and the White House reached a $100 billion trade agreement, and sanctions may not be implemented. In fact, Trump has also postponed the implementation of the sanctions. The White House official explained that “the S400 has not been put into use” and waited for it to change.
As for the Kurdish issue, the presence of the US military in Syria has always been a shock to Turkey who wants to “get out of the Kurdish and then fast”. Trump said that he wanted to withdraw troops from Syria as early as last year. At that time, the storm also led to the then US Secretary of Defense. James Mattis resigned.
After Trump and Erdogan telephoned in October this year, Trump finally rushed to announce the withdrawal decision, and the Turkish army then marched eastward, and the “American abandoning allies” drama was staged again.
The former Assistant Secretary of State of the Trump administration recently said in a talk with the Hong Kong 01 reporter about the topic of China-US trade agreements. “The Trump administration’s foreign affairs is in chaos. The president only wants one agreement, but the specific policy. It is dominated by the respective officials.”
This is the case with China and the United States, and perhaps the United States. A series of changes in the situation shows that on the issue of US-Turkey relations, Trump is only concerned with the “100 billion US dollar trade agreement.” In the final analysis, he still adheres to the merchant-style “balance sheet thinking”, which requires short-term gains that can be accurately calculated and boasted.
Therefore, Trump may not be ignorant of diplomacy and unclearness, and he is convinced that “Turkey has a good relationship with the Kurds.” Trump is more likely to be deliberate. He does not care about the life and death of Kurds who have fought for the strategic goals of the US military. They do not consider the strategic layout of the United States. They only care about whether they can withdraw their troops, thus saving money, avoiding casualties, and whether they can get Syria. Whether the oil can reach a “100 billion US dollar trade agreement” with Turkey.
In any case, no one can assert. But from the perspective of the United States, Trump’s decisions, even if they can save the country, bring short-term gains, but also cost. There are already more and more people starting to think about it: facing such a short-term interest. The US government, at the expense of the US’s decades-old global strategic layout, should re-adjust its relationship with the United States. At least, Mark Long, across the Atlantic, thinks so.
Last Monday (January 11th), the Foreign Affairs Committee meeting of the Council of Europe should have discussed the Iranian nuclear crisis, but just a few days before the meeting, The Economist announced an exclusive interview with Mark Long at the end of October, in which “NATO has already The expression of brain death has become a topic of quarreling.
NATO may not be “brain dead”
When discussing the NATO in the interview, Mark Long said that NATO was originally established to defend the Warsaw Pact. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO did not re-locate itself, so that today’s NATO has become “the United States provides security for Europe.” Europe should buy more US goods as compensation for the transatlantic partnership.
And France is not joining NATO for this relationship. “NATO has died in the brain. On the one hand, the United States has made strategic decisions alone and does not coordinate with its allies. On the other hand, Turkey has launched its own aggressive actions. Although NATO can still effectively command military operations, But in the strategic and political dimensions, we must recognize the current problems.”
The controversy surrounding the “NATO brain death” has not yet fallen in Europe, and the results of Trump and Erdogan’s meeting fulfilled Mark Long’s judgment. Perhaps the “brain death” remarks are too radical, but as Mark Long said, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO did not rethink what role it should play.
In the past three decades, what NATO has been doing is nothing more than two things. First, in the process of European integration, it plays an indispensable military pillar, and NATO’s eastward expansion process is basically consistent with the EU’s expansion process. But the problem is that NATO is not a pure European organization after all, but is dominated by the United States. This makes the eastward expansion of European integration mixed with too many US interests, such as treating Russia as an imaginary enemy. This is not necessarily the most favorable for the EU. .
Therefore, Mark Long will say, “We need to resume strategic dialogue with Russia, re-adjust our policies with our neighbors, and not allow third parties with different interests to make relevant decisions for us.”
Second, NATO’s European member states have participated in many US military operations in North Africa and the Middle East. Although these actions have strengthened the ability of combat coordination among member states, they have no benefit to the lack of NATO’s macro strategy. In the words of Mark Long, “the United States alone makes strategic decisions and does not coordinate with its allies”, so that there is The conclusion of NATO brain death.
Today, mistrust between North Atlantic members is growing and cooperation is declining. When Mark Long said that “the European policy of the United States has changed again and again, and this is not limited to the Trump administration,” it does not represent the EU’s overall opinion, but it shows Europeans’ understanding of transatlantic relations: Trump is no exception. The relationship between Europe and the United States may not be transferred by Trump’s re-election or not, and NATO has also reached a time when it will seriously review its role.
The EU and NATO are so, what about other areas? How much of the great change in US foreign policy today is due to Trump? Trump’s claim to win this election may not be an accident, perhaps just a reflection of the overall turn of the United States. American diplomacy is about the world, and this is also a question that the whole world needs to think about. At the G7 summit in France at the end of August, Trump and Mark Long changed their attitudes in the past, showing a new relationship of “same and different but different.”
The above is published in the 189th issue of “Hong Kong 01” Weekly (November 18, 2019). “The Mark Longyin has not yet fallen Trump’s proof that it is time to review NATO.”