Friday, October 17, 2014

The Trouble With Turkey

One of the things that I love about blogging is the freedom to speculate on current events. Now I do not speculate capriciously. I read the news. I study the people and the situations involved. Then I use my life's experience to opine what may happen. On occasion I come close.

For some days now I have been thinking about Turkey's situation. Turkey has a definite problem. It could be a big problem, as problems in that part of the world often are. I think President Erdogan has made a mistake. I completely understand and am in sympathy with why he made this mistake. He is a proud man from a proud country and should have been treated with more respect.

He should have teamed up with the United States. I think if he were brought more into the fold, he may have. He is not a man to be dictated to nor to be taken for granted. But his position becomes more precarious every day.

The major problem is ISIS. They have proven that they are not a bunch of undisciplined rabble. They are, in fact, an army. Their leaders understand strategy, tactics, and military command. They have taken over parts of Kobani in the north and are almost into Baghdad in the south. They know how to "stretch the field" and fight on two fronts. 

As they refer to themselves as the Islamic Caliphate, they will want Baghdad above all else. That is the traditional capital of the Caliphate. But Turkey was also part of a traditional Caliphate. So there ISIS sits with Iran to the east and the Levant to the west. If they attack Israel or Jordan, in the Levant, they will force the hand of the United States. Bad move. If they were to attack Iran they would suffer serious damage and probably be defeated at this point. 

So we have Turkey. A secular Islamic country.  With an Islamic army. Some of those in the Turkish military will be torn between fighting for their secular government or for ISIS and Allah. My opinion. Many will cross the line. 

Looking at a map of Turkey, one sees that the area above Syria is fairly flat, ringed in by mountains. Once ISIS gains Baghdad they could commit to a push into Turkey and probably take the area up to the mountains. Once they do that they could go back to geographic incrementalism. Every victory is a recruiting poster. It appears that young jihadist wannabe soldiers are flocking to the call. 

Meanwhile the rest of the world sits by and discusses long term plans while tossing a dart or two here and there. How many pick up trucks need be sacrificed before we take these killers seriously.

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