TGS Consulta


U.S arms Turkey's Enemies:
30th October 2015
By: David Otto
TGS Director of Counter Terrorism

Exactly one month after Russia carried out its first air strikes in Syria against all 'terrorist' groups on ground, the U.S today makes a U-turn against its promise to the world and Americans by sending about 50 Special Forces on ground to Syria with no return ticket. This reminds me of the 300 sent to Cameroon to combat Boko Haram with no return ticket too. Their mission, as always, is to 'advise, train and assist' moderates, some of whom, their current ally Turkey consider as too close to PKK, a threat to their national security and a designated terrorist organisation. I am sure these Special Forces will be making sure weapons from U.S do not end up in the hands of ISIL like most have in recent times.
This remarkable change of strategy by the U.S comes days after Tony Blair literally washed his hands and apologised on CNN against the policy of regime change that has devastated Iraq and Libya and as a consequence we have ISIL today. As expected, Tony Blair blamed intelligence and perhaps the U.S or George Bush will, if given the opportunity, blame the super forecasters for the same.
When I listened to the Vienna conference, the words and body language of John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov signalled the end of the beginning of peace in Syria and the Middle East in general. I am not a body language expert but I am open to any challenge to the contrary. The president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad is the most important part of the winning or losing the war against ISIL puzzle if history is any good. The bad news is that after long deliberations, both the U.S and Russia agree to disagree on the involvement of Assad in peace building or fighting the common enemy which is ISIL perhaps.
After today's conference in Vienna, there are so many unanswered questions that have popped up requiring deep and careful thoughts. To make it worse, new and complex ones have emerged. Let us retire from the Vienna conference ready to answer these questions some of which may appear or be better left as rhetoric’s.

Was Vienna another talking workshop for all parties involved including Iran while civilians continue to die in Syria and Iraq? Does the U.S and Russia have old scores to settle and Syria is the opportunity presented on a platter of blood? Is this new strategy of sending '50' special troops on ground have anything to do with Russia's recent position as the 'peace maker' in Syria or a new US strategy of boots on all grounds? Will the UK and David Cameroon follow Obama directly or indirectly as Tony Blair did in 2003 or will the UK jump ship or not board at all? What happens to Turkey's relation with the U.S? Will Turkey change lanes if the U.S insists on arming Kurdish fighters linked with PKK?
If we can answer these questions with comfort or discomfort, we shall have a good idea of whether Syria will be another success or failure story tomorrow. And by to tomorrow I refer to the old man saying to his son ' if you study hard you will be our leader tomorrow'.

David Otto.