Turkey, the United States and the Delusion of Geopolitics
Turkey and Turkish-US relations have been prisoners of a narrow concept of geopolitics. The key questions are not geographic - whether Turkey is a bridge or a barrier, a flank or a front - but how Turkey will act, and whether Turkish and American policies are convergent or divergent. For decades, the relationship between Ankara and Washington has been described as ‘strategic'- sustained and supportive of the most important international objectives of both sides. Today, the strategic quality of the relationship can no longer be taken for granted, as a result of divergent perceptions of the Iraq War and, more significantly, new international priorities on both sides. As a result, a bilateral relationship of great geopolitical significance, but one that has operated without fundamental reassessment since the early years of the Cold War, is now in question. A reinvigorated strategic relationship is possible, and will be in the interest of both countries. But it is likely to have quite different contours, with new forms of engagement - and more realistic expectations.
Ian Lesser's Article, published in the autumn edition of Survival, is available in PDF form and can be viewed by clicking on the link below: