Moscow announced on Friday it would host leaders from Iran and Turkey next year so the three countries can discuss how they will manage the Syrian conflict once the United States withdraws its forces. There is no clearer evidence of why Turkey is no longer worthy of NATO membership.
Every Christmas, Aunt Maggie serves up her “famous” sweet mayonnaise carrot slaw; you pretend it is palatable, and dodge the circulating bowl, so you needn’t face the dreadfulness. Geopolitically, Ankara is carrot slaw. So America, here is the unsavory truth: Turkey is not an ally of the United States and should be expelled from NATO.
The increasingly snug relationship between Turkey, Iran and Russia has developed into an axis of rogue actors. On the surface, Tehran and Moscow are the main backers of the oppressive Syrian regime while Erdogan superficially backs the Syrian opposition. The budding and blossoming coziness was borne of their militant, virulent opposition to US involvement eastern Syria.
Turkey has long strived to annihilate the Kurds and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which the U.S. — until the recent Syria announcement — regarded as the only viable and reliable partner capable of defeating ISIL and Islamist terrorists. On the other side, Iran is an overt state sponsor of Islamist terrorism, while Russia openly supports Assad, Hezbollah and Iran with blood and treasure. That the so called “Triangle of Evil,” bitterly oppose U.S. interference in Syria should come as no surprise. The alliance will immediately fill the power vacuum left by America’s withdrawal from Syria.
A couple of years ago, the Obama administration was effusive. Recep Tayyip Erdogan would strengthen Turkey’s democratic system, open a “bridge to Asia,” and place the formidable Turkish military in lock step with NATO. Erdogan’s Turkey, it was claimed, would be a beacon of governance for more autocratic Islamic nations. Turkey would span the divide between Christian and Islamic cultures.
Then came the “coup” attempt against Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Turkish regime seeks to export religious revolution, openly supporting oppressive, authoritarian Islamist regimes, such Sudan’s Omar al Bashir and Hezbollah with money, weapons and jihadists. Erdogan’s “Justice and Development Party” has vocally buttressed the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, and directly sponsors the Islamic State.
Ankara’s membership of NATO affords tacit global approval of their unacceptable conduct. Turkey seeks to export revolution. There is a Trojan Horse inside the alliance gates, and Erdogan has his hand on the trap door. Having Turkey as part of the NATO alliance erodes moral and ethical credibility in the eyes of our allies and, more importantly, our adversaries.
It seems Erdogan is rebuilding the Ottoman Empire. By inflicting his version of Islam on the Turkish people, he has Islamized Turkey’s foreign policy. Erdogan halted anti-ISIL air operations at Incirlik airbase and willingly sides with the terrorist group Hamas against Israel. The Turkish military is viciously trying to destroy the American armed and supported Kurdish YPG as they battle ISIL. Along with Iran and Russia, Ankara has deliberately and systematically intensified the conflict in Syria. The U.S. withdrawal makes the unholy trinity’s job much simpler.
Turkey has cuddled up to Russia and Iran despite its NATO allies. Turkey demands access to in U.S. and NATO intelligence, yet has an intimate relationship with Moscow’s SVR and the Ayatollah’s MOIS. Ankara wants 100 U.S made, F35 stealth jets, yet will soon deploy an advanced Russian surface-to-air missile system, the s-400, despite heated protests from — NATO.
Now Ankara is negotiating to purchase U.S. Patriot Missiles. These moves will benefit Russia, NATO’s chief strategic competitor, and threaten to undermine the interoperability on which NATO’s military success depends. The F35 and Patriot System sales should be blocked by Congress.
Turkey was admitted to NATO as a bulwark to Soviet Union’s southwestern sphere of influence. Its geography on the Bosporus Strait allowed NATO to bottle up Soviet naval assets in the Black Sea. Turkey was a welcome and willing partner to NATO. No longer. It’s time for the United States to take a stand against Turkey’s undeserved status in the alliance.
Greg Keeley (@DreadnaughtUSA) is managing partner of Dreadnaught and retired lieutenant commander who served in both the U.S. and Australian Navies. LCDR Keeley also served as a NATO & ISAF spokesman, and as senior adviser to the vice chairman of the House Armed Service Committee and chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee in the U.S. Congress.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.