Turkey Wants Syrian Jet Attack Seen as Attack on NATO

By: Monday June 25, 2012 12:27 pm

Turkey has requested that NATO consider the attack on one of their planes by Syria as an attack on the entire NATO alliance, which could lead to a major regional escalation. Syria downed the Turkish jet late last week, and while the Syrians reportedly apologized for their actions, today they reacted by denying that they [...]

Turkish PM Could Invoke NATO Right to Collective Self-Defense Against Syria

By: Thursday April 12, 2012 12:55 pm

This is pretty much what I expected when violence from Syria moved across the border to Turkey. I mentioned that Turkey was a NATO member. And now the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is hinting at NATO member obligations: “We have many options. A country has rights born out of international law against [...]

Syria Cease-Fire Nearly Dead, As Three Die in Cross-Border Violence

By: Monday April 9, 2012 8:55 am

The main point I wanted to get across in this post was that the idea that Syria would agree to a UN-brokered cease-fire was really wishful thinking. And sure enough, over the weekend, the Syrian regime figured out an excuse to stop implementation of the cease-fire. They simply added an additional demand, seeking written guarantees [...]

Obama Uses Turkey for Back Channel With Iran

By: Friday April 6, 2012 9:33 am

I think you have to take what David Ignatius writes with a grain of salt sometimes. But I will note that the war fever over Iran’s nuclear program has subsided somewhat. And now, this: President Obama has signaled Iran that the United States would accept an Iranian civilian nuclear program if Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei [...]

Obama Calls on Assad to Step Down

By: Thursday August 18, 2011 7:45 am

Earlier this week, Hillary Clinton made the case that the President calling for Bashar al-Assad to step down from power in Syria would be ineffectual: “It’s not going to be any news if the United States says, ‘Assad needs to go.’ Okay, fine, what’s next?” asked Clinton, who spoke before a room packed with service [...]

Hillary Clinton Makes Smart Power Case on Syria

By: Wednesday August 17, 2011 9:30 am

I actually agree with much of Hillary Clinton’s assessment of the Administration’s Syria policy. “It’s not just brute force, it’s not just unilateralism, it’s being smart enough to say: ‘You know what? We want a bunch of people singing out of the same hymn book,’ ” said Clinton, who appeared with Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta [...]

Libyan Rebels Backtrack on Promise to Allow Gadhafi to “Retire” Inside Country

By: Tuesday July 5, 2011 10:36 am

The Libyan rebels either are or are not engaged in talks with the Gadhafi regime, depending upon whether you believe their actions or their denials. The rebels started with support for the African Union plan to open negotiations Libya, without Gadhafi’s involvement. In exchange for the talks on Libya’s future, the AU asked that the [...]

Support for Arming Libyan Rebels Wanes, Rules of Engagement Unclear

By: Thursday March 31, 2011 2:57 pm

The debate over whether to arm rebels in Libya still rages, although given that we have CIA operatives on the ground coordinating airstrikes and a secret finding authorizing the President to provide covert support, including arms shipments, it seems like something of a red herring. But for what it’s worth, it’s incredibly unpopular. We knew [...]

Turkey’s Erdogan Calls on Mubarak to “Welcome the Will of the Nation for Change”

By: Tuesday February 1, 2011 11:01 am

We are seeing US policymakers moving ever closer to suggesting that Hosni Mubarak must relinquish power in Egypt. John Kerry, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made that case today in the New York Times, calling on Mubarak to “accept that the stability of his country hinges on his willingness to step aside gracefully [...]

Report: American Citizen Among Dead From Gaza Flotilla Incident

By: Thursday June 3, 2010 8:56 am

The New York Times quotes officials in Turkey and Washington in identifying one of the dead from the Gaza flotilla incident as an American citizen. The development added a new diplomatic complexity as Israel struggled to defuse rising international anger over its raid on six ships seeking to break its blockade of the Gaza Strip, [...]

Free Gaza Flotilla Affair Stumbles Toward Open War

By: Tuesday June 1, 2010 7:29 am

The massacre on a humanitarian aid boat sent toward Gaza to highlight the blockade which is slowly starving the 1.5 million residents of the Palestinian strip of land shows every sign of sparking a larger and more deadly set of incidents. The UN Security Council met in emergency session yesterday, and even the British Ambassador [...]

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