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Unread 2019-10-17, 15:43   #1
aarkieboy's Avatar

Feb 5 2003
86,030 posts
Age 63
Somewhere on this ball we call "Earth"

" President Donald Trump has a preferred approach to international diplomacy: Step 1. Turn a long-running problem into an acute crisis with his rhetoric. Step 2. Strike a deal that ends the crisis he caused but not the underlying problem. Step 3. Claim victory for solving the problem.

The most high-profile example of this was Trump’s summitry with Kim Jong-un. Trump and Kim’s “deal” reduced the risk of war with North Korea, but that risk was mainly present because Trump had continually threatened to go to war with North Korea, and now he doesn’t. Kim won a diplomatic victory and didn’t even have to give up his nuclear weapons.

The administration’s just-announced cease-fire deal with Turkey follows a similar pattern, but the actual deal may be even worse in this case.

Under the deal reached by Vice President Mike Pence and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday in Ankara, Turkey has agreed to pause its military operation in northern Syria for five days to “allow for the withdrawal of the YPG”—the previously U.S.-allied Kurdish militia that was previously in control of the area—from a safe zone running 20 miles south of the Turkish-Syrian border. The safe zone will be “primarily enforced by the Turkish Armed Forces.” The U.S., in turn, agreed to lift sanctions once the military offensive stops.

Turkey’s foreign minister was quick to reject the description of the deal as a “cease-fire,” saying it was only a “pause.” Nonetheless, Trump was quick to claim victory:
This deal could NEVER have been made 3 days ago. There needed to be some “tough” love in order to get it done. Great for everybody. Proud of all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2019
Trump is likely referring to “tough” love he displayed by applying sanctions and writing the “don’t be a tough guy” letter to Erdogan that was made public yesterday, and ignoring when he undercut whatever negotiating strength he had by saying that the whole situation “has nothing to do with us.” But the more important point is that this deal should not have been necessary at all. The Turkish offensive is only happening because Trump gave Erdogan the green light for it last week when he withdrew American military support for Kurdish forces. The president is once again “solving” a crisis of his own creation." (More)
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