Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Kicking Allies

 

President Trump’s behavior is unprecedented, but his decision to withdraw our troops from Syria, while unprecedentedly abrupt, is actually part of a tradition of unforced errors in American foreign policy.

Out of spite, or sometimes as a smokescreen to evade responsibility, Congress and past presidents have managed to lose wars that could have gone the other way. Seeking to make partisan points, we have cost ourselves dearly.

In June of 1973, with Richard Nixon wounded by Watergate, the Democratic-dominated Congress passed the Case-Church amendment, which forbade any further military action in Southeast Asia. We had withdrawn most of our troops the previous March. South Vietnam was attempting to fight the Vietcong and North Vietnam (both backed by the Soviet Union and China) by itself. Congress liked to tell itself that this was “Nixon’s war,” conveniently airbrushing out John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, not to mention that the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which passed the House with a vote of 416-0, and the Senate by 88-2. For 10 years, Congress had authorized the war through funding.

By 1973, however, most Democrats were endorsing a revisionist history that suggested that they had no role in the decision to fight; that it was forced on the nation by presidents. They passed the War Powers Resolution, and cut funds for our ally, South Vietnam.

Could South Vietnam have withstood the onslaught with only American money and equipment? It’s impossible to say. What is clear is that a combination of pique and score-settling caused Democrats to guarantee defeat. As Sen. Edward Kennedy explained, aid would “perpetuate involvement that should have ended long ago.”

President Barack Obama opposed the Iraq War. Fine. But when he took office in 2009, Iraq was largely pacified. Al Qaeda in Iraq had been defeated. ISIS did not exist. Iran was not pulling the strings in Baghdad, and no Americans were dying.

Obama could have said to the American people: “I opposed this war. I thought it was a mistake. But this is not 2003. More than 4,000 Americans have given their lives, and taxpayers have spent $757 billion to ensure a better future for this country and this region and to prevent the incubation of more terrorists to threaten us at home. A too hasty withdrawal could jeopardize what has been achieved. Accordingly, I plan to leave a residual force of 20,000 troops (fewer than we deploy to South Korea), to stabilize the situation.”

But Obama had a point to make. Instead of remaining to midwife a secure Iraq, he beat a retreat. Whatever you think of the decision to invade, at that moment in 2011, there was still a good possibility of stability. As Vali Nasr, a former State Department explained to The Atlantic: the “fragile power-sharing arrangement … required close American management. But the Obama administration had no time or energy for that. Instead, it anxiously eyed the exits, with its one thought to get out. It stopped protecting the political process just when talk of American withdrawal turned the heat back up under the long-simmering power struggle that pitted the Shias, Sunnis, and Kurds against one another.”

And so, we turned our backs on the Sunni tribes who had helped defeat Al Qaeda, as well as the moderate Shiites who sought to resist Iranian domination. The aftermath is well known: the rise of ISIS, the torment of the Yazidis and Iraqi Christians, the victory of Iran in controlling its neighbor, and the ongoing agony of Syria. At least Obama achieved one end – nearly everyone now says Iraq was a disaster. It needn’t have been.

Against the advice of everyone save Vladimir Putin, Bashar Assad, and Recep Erdogan, President Trump decided to pull all 2000 American troops from Syria. This is a gift to our enemies and a betrayal of our friends — especially the Kurds who fought ISIS when no one else would, and the Israelis, who will now have Iran more firmly on their doorstep. This is as foolish and short-sighted as Obama’s Iraq withdrawal, but with Trumpian flourishes, such as the claim that we have “defeated” ISIS (30,000 fighters remain) and that “Russia, Iran, Syria & others are the local enemy of ISIS. We were doing there work.” [sic] No, the greatest enemy ISIS faced were the Kurds, thousands of whom died fighting ISIS, and who currently hold 2000 ISIS prisoners. Turkey is threatening an offensive against the Kurds, which would be unthinkable with Americans in the way.

On April 30, 1975, the last helicopters lifted off the roof of the U.S. embassy in Saigon. This betrayal of an ally is equally shameful.

There are 37 comments.

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  1. Stina Member

    Moderator Note:

    Just noting that this comment was self-edited. Thanks, we appreciate it.

    [Deleted]

    • #1
    • December 20, 2018, at 1:57 PM PST
    • Like
  2. Stad Thatcher

    Stina (View Comment):

    [Deleted]

    I was going to post a comment, but decided not to in case it got deleted too . . .

    • #2
    • December 20, 2018, at 2:09 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. Sabrdance Member

    I don’t remember a debate about putting 2000 troops into Syria, let alone a Congressional authorization of this. I don’t remember it coming up in an election. I don’t even remember a formal announcement that 2000 troops were going to be in Syria.

    I do remember when air strikes were announced, and the public’s response to them was so negative, that Obama begged the Russians to bail him out by pretending to repossess Assad’s chemical weapons.

    Everything in American politics and government insists the troops shouldn’t be there. I have great fondness for the Kurds, at least by the standards of foreign allies I know basically nothing about. But it has been clear from the start that the US is not going to commit the resources necessary to do anything for them, and “making politicians look less ineffectual than they actually are” is not national security justification.

    I refuse to consider American honor implicated in this. This was Obama’s decision from the start -Congress and American public opinion made that clear. And I likewise refuse to honor commitments that were never actually made, but merely suggested strongly -in blatant disregard to the opinions of the Congress that has to declare war and the populace that has to fight and fund it.

    Bring them home. You want to fight a war in Syria, you convince Congress to commit real resources to flattening anything and everything up to and including Moscow that stands in the way of achieving whatever important gains there are to be had in Syria. Until then, I do not care.

    • #3
    • December 20, 2018, at 2:13 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  4. Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! Contributor

    The funny thing is that you can only betray people so many times before they stop believing that you actually have their interests at heart.

    Unless of course you’re Donald Trump, then no level of betrayal could ever convince people that he’s up to no good.

    • #4
    • December 20, 2018, at 2:15 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  5. Bob Thompson Member

    I think Israel has an interest in the region that they could do whatever it is that some think we would do if we were staying. Israel has the personnel and the technology.

    • #5
    • December 20, 2018, at 2:21 PM PST
    • 1 like
  6. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    My Question for Mona and all the neo-cons.

     

    What does victory look like? What are the winning conditions here?

    Seriously. I want an answer.

    My guess is she and all the neo-cons have none.

    I plan to write a much larger post on this.

    • #6
    • December 20, 2018, at 2:26 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  7. Joseph Stocks Member

    I got to disagree again with Mona on this one. This is classic mission creep; fighting ISIS in Iraq naturally led us to get into Syria with little public debate. 

    I don’t believe one can credibly say Trump has failed as Commander-In-Chief in the fight against ISIS. 

    Let’s not commit to another endless, ill-defined war in the Middle East. 

    Kudos for Trump in defying the conservatives that have never met a war they didn’t like. 

    • #7
    • December 20, 2018, at 2:26 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  8. Bob Thompson Member

    Joseph Stocks (View Comment):

    I got to disagree again with Mona on this one. This is classic mission creep; fighting ISIS in Iraq naturally led us to get into Syria with little public debate.

    I don’t believe one can credibly say Trump has failed as Commander-In-Chief in the fight against ISIS.

    Let’s not commit to another endless, ill-defined war in the Middle East.

    Kudos for Trump in defying the conservatives that have never met a war they didn’t like.

    I think Trump is close to perfect on this one. He campaigned on getting our troops out. All the involved allies know that. He then said we needed to defeat ISIS first and that has been accomplished. The allies that Mona says we are kicking have had two years to develop new options.

    • #8
    • December 20, 2018, at 2:30 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  9. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Declare victory and let the locals sort out the peace. That is all we can do. We cannot impose a pro-American democracy. Heck, we cannot do that in California! MAGA. 

    • #9
    • December 20, 2018, at 2:38 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  10. Jager Coolidge
    Jager Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) (View Comment):

    The funny thing is that you can only betray people so many times before they stop believing that you actually have their interests at heart.

    Unless of course you’re Donald Trump, then no level of betrayal could ever convince people that he’s up to no good.

    Trump Campaigned on getting our troops out of Syria. Trump was saying in March that we would be out very soon. It is kind of a weak betrayal if you tell people for months and years that they should prepare for you to leave. 

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/29/politics/trump-withdraw-syria-pentagon/index.html

    I am not sure that Trump is right about this. I am not sure that he is wrong either.

    If Congress wants troops to stay, let them pass a Declaration of War or Authorization for Force. Lay out why we are their, what we will do and what “winning” looks like. 

    • #10
    • December 20, 2018, at 2:40 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  11. Gary Robbins Reagan

    And now Mattis is leaving in February. It just gets worse and worse.

    • #11
    • December 20, 2018, at 2:47 PM PST
    • 1 like
  12. Hoyacon Member

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    My Question for Mona and all the neo-cons.

    What does victory look like? What are the winning conditions here?

    Seriously. I want an answer.

    My guess is she and all the neo-cons have none.

    I plan to write a much larger post on this.

    If you do, may I suggest that you put aside the “neocon” moniker and discuss involvement/isolationism on the merits.

    • #12
    • December 20, 2018, at 2:50 PM PST
    • 1 like
  13. Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! Contributor

    Jager (View Comment):
    Trump Campaigned on getting our troops out of Syria. Trump was saying in March that we would be out very soon. It is kind of a weak betrayal if you tell people for months and years that they should prepare for you to leave. 

    If we roasted Obama for precipitously leaving the field in Iraq, which led directly to the rise of ISIS, then roasting Trump for doing a very similar thing (at a very small cost, mind you) in Syria doesn’t seem inconsistent.

    My issue is this: if we are going to pack up and leave from a battlefield which is hopeless and has no definable metrics for victory, Afghanistan seems like the prime candidate. Let them have their pile of rocks so long as they promise to never bother us again.

    Keep in mind as well, this is the same President Trump who had no issue with lobbing volleys of cruise missiles at Assad not that long ago, and it was our forces that scored a stunning and lopsided victory against Russian forces in Syria not long thereafter.

    Giving those people the ability to effectively counter Assad and the Russians seems like a low-cost alternative to engaging in a full-scale war there later.

    • #13
    • December 20, 2018, at 2:50 PM PST
    • Like
  14. Bob Thompson Member

    I have much more difficulty understanding the U.S. position with regard to Turkey in total than understanding Trump. It seems that sometimes they are supposed to be our ally and other times they are allied with our enemies. How does this work?

    • #14
    • December 20, 2018, at 2:57 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. Jager Coolidge
    Jager Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) (View Comment):

    Jager (View Comment):
    Trump Campaigned on getting our troops out of Syria. Trump was saying in March that we would be out very soon. It is kind of a weak betrayal if you tell people for months and years that they should prepare for you to leave.

    If we roasted Obama for precipitously leaving the field in Iraq, which led directly to the rise of ISIS, then roasting Trump for doing a very similar thing (at a very small cost, mind you) in Syria doesn’t seem inconsistent.

    My issue is this: if we are going to pack up and leave from a battlefield which is hopeless and has no definable metrics for victory, Afghanistan seems like the prime candidate. Let them have their pile of rocks so long as they promise to never bother us again.

    Keep in mind as well, this is the same President Trump who had no issue with lobbing volleys of cruise missiles at Assad not that long ago, and it was our forces that scored a stunning and lopsided victory against Russian forces in Syria not long thereafter.

    Giving those people the ability to effectively counter Assad and the Russians seems like a low-cost alternative to engaging in a full-scale war there later.

    We went into Syria to fight ISIS, not to fight the Russians or Assad. We can leave now or when ever. We can come back if we have to. 

    I agree lets leave both Syria and Afghanistan. 

    I am not a Pro-Russia guy. That said do we need to counter Assad or Russia? I do not see any reason for full-scale war, I am a little iffy on the need for a low-cost alternative. 

    What is our obligation here? Why is it us and not all of NATO or UN Peacekeepers. How is this an American only problem.

    We have been at war for a very long time. We need to wind down some of these things were we have no idea what victory means.

    • #15
    • December 20, 2018, at 3:00 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  16. Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! Contributor

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    I have much more difficulty understanding the U.S. position with regard to Turkey in total than understanding Trump. It seems that sometimes they are supposed to be our ally and other times they are allied with our enemies. How does this work?

    Erdogan views himself as being a potential Pan-Arab unifier, and his principal opponents in achieving that goal are the Saudis.

    • #16
    • December 20, 2018, at 3:00 PM PST
    • Like
  17. Joseph Stocks Member

    I also think Mona’s historical examples aren’t comparable. During Trump’s presidency we have reduced ISIS territory and influence considerably. 

    Withdrawing support for South Vietnam as the North was closing in is not comparable to reducing ISIS to a fraction of their territorial control. 

    And pulling out of Iraq as ISIS remained a real threat isn’t comparable to what we have done to ISIS since Trump took office. 

    This is just sloppy argumentation from Mona. 

    • #17
    • December 20, 2018, at 3:03 PM PST
    • 1 like
  18. Bob Thompson Member

    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    I have much more difficulty understanding the U.S. position with regard to Turkey in total than understanding Trump. It seems that sometimes they are supposed to be our ally and other times they are allied with our enemies. How does this work?

    Erdogan views himself as being a potential Pan-Arab unifier, and his principal opponents in achieving that goal are the Saudis.

    I don’t know what that means but I’m glad the Saudis oppose. The Saudis should be able to work with Israel such that we won’t be missed. Your comment said nothing about U.S./Turkey?

    • #18
    • December 20, 2018, at 3:06 PM PST
    • Like
  19. Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! Contributor

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    I have much more difficulty understanding the U.S. position with regard to Turkey in total than understanding Trump. It seems that sometimes they are supposed to be our ally and other times they are allied with our enemies. How does this work?

    Erdogan views himself as being a potential Pan-Arab unifier, and his principal opponents in achieving that goal are the Saudis.

    I don’t know what that means but I’m glad the Saudis oppose. The Saudis should be able to work with Israel such that we won’t be missed. Your comment said nothing about U.S./Turkey?

    You stated that you were confused about America’s attitude towards Turkey. Turkey has goals that are not necessarily consonant with our own. However, policy makers consider Turkey to be a reliable member of the West and NATO. I’m pretty sure this explains why there is epistemic confusion in our policy towards them.

    • #19
    • December 20, 2018, at 3:16 PM PST
    • Like
  20. Bob Thompson Member

    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    I have much more difficulty understanding the U.S. position with regard to Turkey in total than understanding Trump. It seems that sometimes they are supposed to be our ally and other times they are allied with our enemies. How does this work?

    Erdogan views himself as being a potential Pan-Arab unifier, and his principal opponents in achieving that goal are the Saudis.

    I don’t know what that means but I’m glad the Saudis oppose. The Saudis should be able to work with Israel such that we won’t be missed. Your comment said nothing about U.S./Turkey?

    You stated that you were confused about America’s attitude towards Turkey. Turkey has goals that are not necessarily consonant with our own. However, policy makers consider Turkey to be a reliable member of the West and NATO. I’m pretty sure this explains why there is epistemic confusion in our policy towards them.

    Why is a non-Arab country’s leader trying to be a Pan-Arab unifier? Are all of Turkey’s problems solved already? Why would our policy makers think Turkey is a reliable member of the West and NATO, are you kidding?

    • #20
    • December 20, 2018, at 3:22 PM PST
    • Like
  21. Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! Contributor

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Why is a non-Arab country’s leader trying to be a Pan-Arab unifier? Are all of Turkey’s problems solved already?

    You’d have to ask Erdogan that himself.

    Clearly, they aren’t. Since when has that stopped people with imperial ambitions?

    • #21
    • December 20, 2018, at 3:24 PM PST
    • Like
  22. Bob Thompson Member

    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Why is a non-Arab country’s leader trying to be a Pan-Arab unifier? Are all of Turkey’s problems solved already?

    You’d have to ask Erdogan that himself.

    Clearly, they aren’t. Since when has that stopped people with imperial ambitions?

    Why would our policy makers think Turkey is a reliable member of the West and NATO, are you kidding?

    • #22
    • December 20, 2018, at 3:26 PM PST
    • Like
  23. Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! Contributor

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Why would our policy makers think Turkey is a reliable member of the West and NATO, are you kidding?

    The reality is that they are still NATO members. If we start treating them as if they aren’t, that will only speed a potential exit, don’t you think?

    • #23
    • December 20, 2018, at 3:29 PM PST
    • Like
  24. Sabrdance Member

    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) (View Comment):

     

    If we roasted Obama for precipitously leaving the field in Iraq, which led directly to the rise of ISIS, then roasting Trump for doing a very similar thing (at a very small cost, mind you) in Syria doesn’t seem inconsistent.

     

    I don’t recall personally roasting Obama or not. For the sake of argument, though, I think the following distinction is important: Iraq and Afghanistan had Congressional approval. Iraq was an election issue in the 2002 midterms. For good or ill, the United States actually made a decision, with buy-in from the public, Congress, and the President, to launch those military operations. That Congress later washed its hands is irrelevant -that the public changed its mind is more relevant, but I think subject to the “never should have agreed to it if they weren’t willing to do it” critique/once committed to a fight you can’t call it back -you know, the Magnificent Seven Doctrine.

    I think you can critique Obama for an ill considered withdrawal due to public pressure under those conditions.

    Those conditions do not apply to Syria.

    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Why would our policy makers think Turkey is a reliable member of the West and NATO, are you kidding?

    The reality is that they are still NATO members. If we start treating them as if they aren’t, that will only speed a potential exit, don’t you think?

    And probably get us actually, and legitimately by treaty, embroiled in a Greece/Turkey fight.

    • #24
    • December 20, 2018, at 4:31 PM PST
    • Like
  25. Bob Thompson Member

    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Why would our policy makers think Turkey is a reliable member of the West and NATO, are you kidding?

    The reality is that they are still NATO members. If we start treating them as if they aren’t, that will only speed a potential exit, don’t you think?

    Would it not be reasonable to make an assessment of that rather than just an assumption? It looks as if we have a country , Turkey, that may be pretending to be an ally while not being tested as such. So, no, I don’t think we should ignore that. Is Turkey an ally the same as the United Kingdom or France? Are all allies in NATO equal?

    • #25
    • December 20, 2018, at 4:36 PM PST
    • 1 like
  26. Bob Thompson Member

    Sabrdance (View Comment):

    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) (View Comment):

     

    If we roasted Obama for precipitously leaving the field in Iraq, which led directly to the rise of ISIS, then roasting Trump for doing a very similar thing (at a very small cost, mind you) in Syria doesn’t seem inconsistent.

     

    I don’t recall personally roasting Obama or not. For the sake of argument, though, I think the following distinction is important: Iraq and Afghanistan had Congressional approval. Iraq was an election issue in the 2002 midterms. For good or ill, the United States actually made a decision, with buy-in from the public, Congress, and the President, to launch those military operations. That Congress later washed its hands is irrelevant -that the public changed its mind is more relevant, but I think subject to the “never should have agreed to it if they weren’t willing to do it” critique/once committed to a fight you can’t call it back -you know, the Magnificent Seven Doctrine.

    I think you can critique Obama for an ill considered withdrawal due to public pressure under those conditions.

    Those conditions do not apply to Syria.

    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Why would our policy makers think Turkey is a reliable member of the West and NATO, are you kidding?

    The reality is that they are still NATO members. If we start treating them as if they aren’t, that will only speed a potential exit, don’t you think?

    And probably get us actually, and legitimately by treaty, embroiled in a Greece/Turkey fight.

    Are Greece and Turkey not allies in the same way we have been discussing here? They are both members of NATO are they not? It sounds as if what you are suggesting is that they are allies on paper, but not really.

    • #26
    • December 20, 2018, at 4:44 PM PST
    • Like
  27. Sabrdance Member

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Sabrdance (View Comment):

    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) (View Comment):

    If we roasted Obama for precipitously leaving the field in Iraq, which led directly to the rise of ISIS, then roasting Trump for doing a very similar thing (at a very small cost, mind you) in Syria doesn’t seem inconsistent.

    I don’t recall personally roasting Obama or not. For the sake of argument, though, I think the following distinction is important: Iraq and Afghanistan had Congressional approval. Iraq was an election issue in the 2002 midterms. For good or ill, the United States actually made a decision, with buy-in from the public, Congress, and the President, to launch those military operations. That Congress later washed its hands is irrelevant -that the public changed its mind is more relevant, but I think subject to the “never should have agreed to it if they weren’t willing to do it” critique/once committed to a fight you can’t call it back -you know, the Magnificent Seven Doctrine.

    I think you can critique Obama for an ill considered withdrawal due to public pressure under those conditions.

    Those conditions do not apply to Syria.

    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Why would our policy makers think Turkey is a reliable member of the West and NATO, are you kidding?

    The reality is that they are still NATO members. If we start treating them as if they aren’t, that will only speed a potential exit, don’t you think?

    And probably get us actually, and legitimately by treaty, embroiled in a Greece/Turkey fight.

    Are Greece and Turkey not allies in the same way we have been discussing here? They are both members of NATO are they not? It sounds as if what you are suggesting is that they are allies on paper, but not really.

    Greece and Turkey are both in NATO, and were brought into NATO simultaneously (the only countries for this to have happened) precisely because it was important that Greece not fall to Communism, and if Turkey wasn’t in the alliance, too, NATO could get dragged into a Greco-Turkish war. (Greece gained independence from Turkey in 1829 and had fought a war with them as recently as 1937). If one country entered before the other, they could veto the entry of the other. To this day, Greece and Turkey still shoot at each other over Cyprus and some other contested islands in the Eastern Med.

    NATO provides a framework for resolving their problems and opposing the Communists within the alliance. They have never liked each other.

    • #27
    • December 20, 2018, at 4:49 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. Bob Thompson Member

    Sabrdance (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Sabrdance (View Comment):

    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) (View Comment):

     

    If we roasted Obama for precipitously leaving the field in Iraq, which led directly to the rise of ISIS, then roasting Trump for doing a very similar thing (at a very small cost, mind you) in Syria doesn’t seem inconsistent.

     

    I don’t recall personally roasting Obama or not. For the sake of argument, though, I think the following distinction is important: Iraq and Afghanistan had Congressional approval. Iraq was an election issue in the 2002 midterms. For good or ill, the United States actually made a decision, with buy-in from the public, Congress, and the President, to launch those military operations. That Congress later washed its hands is irrelevant -that the public changed its mind is more relevant, but I think subject to the “never should have agreed to it if they weren’t willing to do it” critique/once committed to a fight you can’t call it back -you know, the Magnificent Seven Doctrine.

    I think you can critique Obama for an ill considered withdrawal due to public pressure under those conditions.

    Those conditions do not apply to Syria.

    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Why would our policy makers think Turkey is a reliable member of the West and NATO, are you kidding?

    The reality is that they are still NATO members. If we start treating them as if they aren’t, that will only speed a potential exit, don’t you think?

    And probably get us actually, and legitimately by treaty, embroiled in a Greece/Turkey fight.

    Are Greece and Turkey not allies in the same way we have been discussing here? They are both members of NATO are they not? It sounds as if what you are suggesting is that they are allies on paper, but not really.

    Greece and Turkey are both in NATO, and were brought into NATO simultaneously (the only countries for this to have happened) precisely because it was important that Greece not fall to Communism, and if Turkey wasn’t in the alliance, too, NATO could get dragged into a Greco-Turkish war. (Greece gained independence from Turkey in 1822). If one country entered before the other, they could veto the entry of the other. To this day, Greece and Turkey still shoot at each other over Cyprus and some other contested islands in the Eastern Med.

    NATO provides a framework for resolving their problems and opposing the Communists within the alliance. They have never liked each other.

    So Turkey got a really good deal, huh?

    • #28
    • December 20, 2018, at 4:53 PM PST
    • Like
  29. Sabrdance Member

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Sabrdance (View Comment):

    Greece and Turkey are both in NATO, and were brought into NATO simultaneously (the only countries for this to have happened) precisely because it was important that Greece not fall to Communism, and if Turkey wasn’t in the alliance, too, NATO could get dragged into a Greco-Turkish war. (Greece gained independence from Turkey in 1822). If one country entered before the other, they could veto the entry of the other. To this day, Greece and Turkey still shoot at each other over Cyprus and some other contested islands in the Eastern Med.

    NATO provides a framework for resolving their problems and opposing the Communists within the alliance. They have never liked each other.

    So Turkey got a really good deal, huh?

    Yes. It had benefits for us, too -bases for the Jupiter IIs, for example, and a choke point on the Dardenelles. Turkey in the 1950s was also not the same as Turkey today.

    • #29
    • December 20, 2018, at 5:29 PM PST
    • Like
  30. Bob Thompson Member

    Sabrdance (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Sabrdance (View Comment):

    Greece and Turkey are both in NATO, and were brought into NATO simultaneously (the only countries for this to have happened) precisely because it was important that Greece not fall to Communism, and if Turkey wasn’t in the alliance, too, NATO could get dragged into a Greco-Turkish war. (Greece gained independence from Turkey in 1822). If one country entered before the other, they could veto the entry of the other. To this day, Greece and Turkey still shoot at each other over Cyprus and some other contested islands in the Eastern Med.

    NATO provides a framework for resolving their problems and opposing the Communists within the alliance. They have never liked each other.

    So Turkey got a really good deal, huh?

    Yes. It had benefits for us, too -bases for the Jupiter IIs, for example, and a choke point on the Dardenelles. Turkey in the 1950s was also not the same as Turkey today.

    Isn’t Turkey chummy with Russia and Iran at times?

    • #30
    • December 20, 2018, at 5:31 PM PST
    • Like

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