CFR supports Obama’s Turkish outreach

U.S. Needs to Deepen Ties with Turkey Despite Concerns, Says New CFR Task Force

May 8, 2012—Turkey is a rising regional and global power facing, as is the United States, the challenges of political transitions in the Middle East, bloodshed in Syria, and Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. As a result, it is incumbent upon the leaders of the United States and Turkey to define a new partnership “in order to make a strategic relationship a reality,” says a new Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)–sponsored Independent Task Force.

The bipartisan Task Force is chaired by former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright and former national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley, and is directed by Steven A. Cook, CFR’s Hasib J. Sabbagh senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies. The Task Force includes twenty-three prominent experts who represent a variety of perspectives and backgrounds.

“Turkey may not yet have the status of one of Washington’s traditional European allies,” the report explains, “but there is good strategic reason for the bilateral relationship to grow and mature into a mutually beneficial partnership that can manage a complex set of security, economic, humanitarian, and environmental problems.”

The relationship should reflect “not only common American-Turkish interests, but also Turkey’s new stature as an economically and politically successful country with a new role to play in a changing Middle East,” argues the Task Force in the report, U.S.-Turkey Relations: A New Partnership.

Turkey is more democratic, prosperous, and politically influential than ever before. Still there are worrying domestic developments that raise questions about Turkey’s democratic practices. According to the Task Force, these concerns include: “the prosecution and detention of journalists, the seemingly open-ended and at times questionable pursuit of military officers and other establishment figures for alleged conspiracy against the government, the apparent illiberal impulses of some Turkish leaders, the still-unresolved Kurdish issue, and the lack of progress on a new constitution.”

The Task Force finds that overall, Turkey is not well understood in the United States. The Task Force “seeks to promote a better understanding of the new Turkey—its strengths, vulnerabilities, and ambitions—in order to assess its regional and global role and make recommendations for a new partnership of improved and deepened U.S.-Turkey ties.”

To make the vision for a new U.S.-Turkey partnership a reality, Ankara and Washington should observe the following principles:

    – equality and mutual respect for each other’s interests;

    – confidentiality and trust;

    – close and intensive consultations to identify common goals and strategies on issues of critical importance;

    – avoidance of foreign policy surprises; and

    – recognition and management of inevitable differences between Washington and Ankara.

The report is available at

May 8, 2012 | 5 Comments »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

5 Comments / 5 Comments

  1. @ Bill Levinson:

    “Bibi has over-relied on Congress…”

    What else could he do? — even if the White House were cordial toward him, the Executive Branch is hostage to the State Dept. So what would’ve been the point in making overtures to them anyway?

    At least Congress is reasonably responsive to public sentiment — which is quite sympathetic to Israel.

    Where Turkey is concerned, I think Congress needs to REMIND the Executive Branch — and in a very loud & PUBLIC way — that Hamas is on the shit list of both the State Dept and the US Treasury

    — as a terrorist organization

    and that Erdogan has been taking up the Hamas funding slack that was created a year ago,

    when the mullahs in Tehran cut Hamas adrift financially after Khaled Mashaal & Co started deserting the sinking Syrian ship.

    The question that Congress needs to bluntly pose to the White House:

    How the Sam Hill can “United States and Turkey… define a new partnership ‘in order to make a strategic relationship a reality’…” as long as our proposed new ‘partner’ in Ankara is bankrolling an organization that our very own friggin’ State Dept flatly & formally designates TERRORIST?

    How does such a ‘strategic relationship’ work?

  2. Erdogan, unlike Netanyahu has played Obama & Co. like a fiddle. Bibi has over-relied on Congress and treated Obama, Biden, and Hillary like chumps. You can’t underestimate Eedogan and try to pretend he’s not a smart cookie because he is. And, Erdogan’s relations with Western leaders like Merkel, Cameron, and the French are excellent. Turkey under Erdogan is NOT hostile to the West. That’s a canard. They’re hostile TO ISRAEL. And, Israel and the West are not one and the same. Not anymore. I think Netanyahu has overplayed his hand and if Obama is re-elected he’ll amp up his antipathy to Bibi 1000 percent. So will Hillary. The CFR IS the Washington Establishment.

  3. To try to keep events concerning Turkey in perspective, I will repeat the end-times scenario that I see spelled out in the B.:

    (1) Turkey is Gog of Ezekiel 38. It will attack Israel AGAINST ITS BETTER JUDGMENT, being drawn by HOOKS IN ITS JAWS (It will be caught by its own proud words). Israel will win, and enjoy the fruits of its victory for seven years.

    (2) AFTER this, the Zechariah 14 coalition of “all the nations of the world” will attack Jerusalem. This coalition is identified variously as the “ten-headed beast”, the “ten toes” of the statue and the “ten horns” mentioned in parallel prophecies which I won’t cite for fear of being censored. The obvious leader of this coalition is the USA, as leader of NATO (which, incidentally, includes Turkey). This will end with a successful invasion of Israel and sacking and rape of Jerusalem, immediately followed by the appearance of Messiah.

    There also appears to be a triggering scenario, namely,

    (0) Iran & friends. In episode (1) above, Iran is a minor partner of Turkey; so we can assume that Iran will collapse before Turkey does.

    The net result is a 1-2-3 punch; which I think few will be able to comprehend at all, much less realize while it’s being delivered. Nevertheless, it is plainly presented in the B, and I have gone to some length to make it even plainer.

  4. Turkey is more democratic, prosperous, and politically influential than ever before.

    Turkey is more islamic than ever before. And it is more hostile to western interests than ever before.

    The Task Force finds that overall, Turkey is not well understood in the United States.

    Ain’t that the truth. And how ironic a statement coming from the CFR’s very own report revealing it to have absolutely no understanding of the current situation in Turkey.

    These foreign policy “experts” in reality are ignoramuses about foreign affairs.

  5. The Obama policy continues unabated which is to betray every friend and support every enemy and especially every enemy of Israel. As Turkey becomes more aggressively Islamic and more hostile to Israel Obama rewards them with closer relations and more support.
    Meanwhile Genesis 3:12 is unfolding before our eyes while the secular intelligentsia remains blindly smug. Of course Obama’s treachery towards Israel is assuring that America will face terrible consequences, far worse than anything experienced so far.