Category Archives: NATO

The Perfect Alibi? – Syria & Turkey in Crisis

It has been reported that a Turkish fighter jet was shot down on Friday, June 23, 2012, by Syrian forces. The Syrian military forces had later confirmed the reports. Leaving aside the technical details about how the crash occurred, and who is to blame, this incident could significantly escalate the existing crisis between the two countries on the one hand, and offer the perfect alibi, as well as credibility, to Turkey and its western allies – namely, NATO – to actively and militarily intervene in Syria, on the other.
Importantly enough, the Turkish President, Abdullah Gul, said that Turkey will do “whatever necessary”. But what does “whatever necessary” means? In answering this question, one must take into account earlier reports saying that CIA officers have been helping Syrian rebels through Southern Turkey. Even though the Turkish government rejected this information, it raises concerns about the role of Turkey and other external actors in the Syrian conflict, as well as the near-future intentions of westerns powers. Furthermore, let us not forget that the Turkish Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, in April, 2012, threatened to invoke NATO’s self-defense article 5.

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Should Cyprus Flirt with NATO?

The dialogue surrounding the accession of Cyprus to programmes and security organisation seems endless. Yet much of the debate seems to be concentrated on whether Cyprus should apply for membership to NATO’s “Partnership for Peace” (PfP) programme However, the recent developments in the Middle East stress the parameters of security, and may give Cyprus pause before proceeding further.

Given that the “Partnership for Peace” is a programme of NATO, the questions that can be raised about the future that could follow Cyprus’ approval to a PfP are many. However, we should first remember NATO’s role in the international political chessboard, the wars it maintains and the fact that the U.S. is the main force behind this organization. The era we live in it is an era of dramatic fluidity, political and geopolitical upheaval. The US, although it is the greatest power, it is not the only global power. Its actions (and more generally of the West) in the Middle East and elsewhere cause asymmetric reactions that threaten not only the U.S. but the rest of the western world as well.

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Will Libya be the New Iraq?

The coalition military intervention in Libya that began on March 19th was an example of a well coordinated and organised operation, with a legitimate legal mandate in the form of UN Resolution 1973. Nonetheless, there are several debates regarding the intervention in question as well as the strategy that is being followed by the coalition.

There are two central questions that should be answered in order to understand the discourse regarding the intervention in Libya: (a) what do we want to achieve? (b) How far are we willing to go? If the operation has limited goals such as the maintenance of the no-fly zone it would probably be qualified as a success whereas if the plan is to intervene politically undertaking peace/state-building operations, it might result in a catastrophe or in a long-lasting, torturous situation like Iraq.

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