With high chances of Russia unleashing a war with NATO, American experts are weighing in on whether the United States should or should not risk American lives for Turkey.
Last week, Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet, which triggered a furious response from the Kremlin. The Turkish military said it had issued ten warnings in five minutes prior to bringing down the Russian warplane. Experts are also wondering about Turkey’s reason for shooting down the Russian jet, especially considering the fact that Turkey violated Greek airspace over 1,400 times this year alone. A possible idea is that it could be Turkey’s revenge for Russian airstrikes on Turkmen rebels who share ethnic ties with Turkey, according to Zachary Yost of The Canal.
The incident with Turkey – a NATO member state – and the Russian jet has already been called the most dangerous military encounter between NATO and Russia’s armed forces in over 50 years. Whatever the reason, it has already triggered an uproar in geopolitics with many wondering if this is the beginning of a major military confrontation between Russia and NATO with the involvement of the U.S.
“The worse case being a conflict between the United States and fellow nuclear armed state, Russia,” Yost noted.
Then the author points out the root of the problem – U.S. membership in the NATO alliance. Even though the chances that the U.S. will withdraw from NATO are small, “at least in the current political environment, this should at least be discussed, given the many benefits that could result,” Yost wrote.
Benefits of the U.S. withdrawal from NATO = peace in the world?
Then the author states that a gradual withdrawal of the U.S. from NATO could put Russia at ease and deescalate the tense situation. And Russia, in turn, would most likely stop its “proactive actions” around the world, aimed at maintaining its sphere of influence, according to Yost.
And then there is the spending problem. “Because the United States spends an abnormally large amount of money on its military, it routinely takes the lion’s share of work in NATO operations,” the author notes. If the U.S. stops taking care of NATO member states, they will have to make their own efforts to ensure their safety. But the greatest benefit of the U.S. withdrawing from NATO would be to “discourage irresponsible behavior from current U.S. allies,” the author writes, directly hinting at Turkey.
“Without the vast armed might of the United States backing it up, it is unlikely that Turkey would have committed such a provocative act against Russia. Without the United States to ward off any retaliation, nations will think twice before engaging in risky confrontations,” Yost wrote.
The author also recalls George Washington’s farewell address, in which he warned about the risks of entangling alliances. It certainly helps to stay out of trouble if you do not get involved in alliances such as NATO, which is “exactly the kind of alliance that George Washington warned about,” according to Yost.
And by quitting NATO, it would not only reduce the likelihood of American troops getting involved in yet another conflict on the other side of the globe but also “help to ratchet down mounting world tensions, making a large-scale conflict less likely,” the author states. Then Yost continues by urging American citizens to “engage in a much-needed intellectual discourse on the pros and cons of continued involvement in NATO.”
He adds that the U.S. should withdraw now before “the unthinkable happens” and the world once again spirals into global warfare.
Turkey is Washington’s and NATO’s liability
With the Soviet Union having been “dead and gone” for a quarter of century and the Middle East being an “absolute mess,” 63 years after joining NATO, Turkey has turned into one of America’s and NATO’s “biggest liabilities” in the region, according to Michael Brendan Dougherty of The Week. With Turkish President Recep Erdogan slowly putting together a “more Islamic state in its place” and press freedom being destroyed, it’s clear evidence that Turkey cannot be much longer considered part of the free world, according to Dougherty.
Another big issue with Turkey being a NATO member state is that it creates a “moral hazard through its security guarantee” to Ankara, according to the author. Despite the fact that Turkey has not yet invoked NATO’s 5th Article, which states that an attack on one Ally shall be considered an attack on all NATO members, “our needy, unstable, and burgeoning dictatorship of an ally acts in increasingly provocative ways,” – such as by bringing down the Russian warplane, Dougherty wrote.
“No one on the Russian or NATO side really wants to put Article 5 to the test,” according to the author.
He then continues that if NATO does not come to Turkey’s protection this time, it will put into doubt the security of nations in the Baltics or even Poland.
Putin urged to start nuclear war with NATO
With Russian President Vladimir Putin warning NATO of “serious consequences,” deploying S-400 systems to Syria and equipping his Su-34 warplanes operating in Syria with air-to-air missiles, analysts have every reason to believe that Moscow is ready to unleash a nuclear war over the incident. Despite the fact that Turkey is backed by NATO’s 5th Article, the chances that the Kremlin is going to unleash a nuclear war against the Alliance are very “likely,” according to Pavel Felgengauer, Russia’s top military analyst, as reported by ValueWalk.
It seems that Russian officials are already feeding the Russian president with ideas on how to unleash a nuclear war with NATO. A Russian MP recently proposed a plan how easy it would be for Russia to destroy Turkey with a nuclear bomb.
“You just chuck one nuclear bomb into the straits, and there’d be a huge flood. The water would rise by 10-15 meters and the whole city would disappear,” said Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic party, as reported by ValueWalk.