Turkey

Best of 2019: Politics

A look back at some of the top political stories of the year.

Trump Just Ghosted NATO, But Here’s What He Said That Matters

The president was on a roll until he surrendered a final chance to lay out his concerns and priorities.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Ankara?

The question is not: “Can we live with a rogue Turkey?” but: “Do we have a choice?” said one U.S. official.

Erdogan Blasts US at White House. Was That Good for NATO?

Critics howled at Trump’s invitation to the Turkish autocrat. Others clench their teeth and say it’s paramount to keep Ankara in the anti-Russian alliance.

Erdoğan Defies Trump. So Why Do They Get Along?

The two have undeniable personal chemistry, but their countries are drifting apart.

The Mothers Who Fled the Turkish Incursion

Attacks by Turkish-backed forces shattered a hard-won pseudo-normalcy for Syrian women who had lived under ISIS.

The Mad Scramble for Syria

After weeks of chaos in the northeast, great powers redrew a small chunk of the map. And a bigger story is just beginning.

McConnell Asked White House For Sanctions Position, Dem Senator Says

The Senate majority leader is weighing the myriad sanctions proposals on the Hill, Sen. Van Hollen said at the Defense One Outlook 2020 conference. 

It’s Not All Trump’s Fault: Syria Shows the Danger of War on the Cheap

America’s surprise withdrawal is deeply destabilizing, but so is the proxy war that Western countries have fought for five years.

Pull the Nukes from Turkey — and Then Think Bigger

Removing America’s nuclear weapons from Incirlik Air Base doesn’t have to drive a permanent wedge between Washington and Turkey.

What Was the Point of the Syria ‘Withdrawal’?

Donald Trump, who vowed to get troops out of Syria altogether, incurred all the strategic costs without getting any of the political benefit.

US Troops, Armor Will ‘Secure’ Oil Fields in Syria, Says SecDef in New Reversal

The U.S. might also maintain “one of our two airfields that are there,” said America’s envoy to Syria to lawmakers.

10 Ways America’s Situation in the Middle East Will Get Worse

The Syrian pullout and the Iraqi instability are undermining U.S. national-security interests.

How to Protect America After the Syria Withdrawal

Fighting ISIS just got harder—but it’s still possible, and it’s necessary.

Top SDF Commander: Turkey Blocking Kurds’ Retreat; Urges Trump to ‘Stop This War’

“I am asking President Trump right now to fulfill his promise to us and stop this war,” Mazlum Abdi told Defense One by phone.

US Intel Aircraft to Remain Over Syria As Ground Forces Pull Out

SecDef Esper heads to Mideast, NATO to talk about the future fight against ISIS.

10 Hard Realities of America’s Next Syria Policy

The troops are leaving, but the U.S. still has regional and global interests in what happens there.