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IPFS News Link • NATO

Turkey's Reluctance to Help Against ISIS Should Be a Red Flag


The alliance was originally supposed to defend NATO members against a Soviet attack but, in the post-Cold War era, has expanded in territory and mission (power projection to other parts of the globe). In the current "crisis," ISIS has been attacking close to Turkey in Kurdish areas along the Turkish-Syrian border and in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. Although the NATO allies, ever led by the United States, have pledged to defend Turkey against ISIS, as NATO's governing treaty requires for a member state, Turkey has done nothing to help the desperate Kurds fighting the group to keep the town of Kobani on the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border. As usual, the NATO alliance--which long ago became an end in itself to demonstrate U.S. power and prestige, rather than providing the United States any real security--seems rather one-sided. Of course, Turkey, with a huge and capable army deployed along its border with Syria, does not need much help in defending itself from the ragtag ISIS group with only 20,000 to 30,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria--and far fewer along Turkish borders.