The U.S. needs to reconfigure its alliances. The old Cold War arrangements are simply not adequate to deal with the reality of the jihad threat. But since U.S. officialdom is itself in denial about the jihad threat, the needed change is not on the horizon.
“As ISIS Take Kobane, NATO’s Second Largest Army Sits on the Sidelines,” by Alexander Christie-Miller, Newsweek, October 7, 2014:
As the black flag of the Islamic State (ISIS) rose above the Syrian town of Kobane on Monday, the soldiers of NATO’s second largest army stood and watched only a few hundred metres away.
As gunfire and explosions echoed across the border, fears were voiced about the potentially devastating long-term price Turkey may pay for remaining ambivalent to the plight of the Kobane’s Kurdish defenders.
“We will do everything possible to help the people of Kobane because they are our brothers and sisters,” Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told CNN as the town was close to falling on Monday.
However, they would only do so, he added, if there was a broader military commitment by Turkey’s allies to create a no-fly-zone in northern Syria, a move the United States has so far refused to back.
In Kobane itself, one of the town’s Kurdish fighters complained bitterly about their fate.
“We, the Kurds of Kobane, urged the international community including Turkey to help our resistance against ISIS by sending us weapons, logistics and ammunitions,” Delila Azad, a commander of the Women’s Protection Units, part of the Kurdish militia force defending the city, told Newsweek.
“We pleaded for help because ISIS threatens not only the Kurds but also the entire Middle East and the rest of the world… However, our call for solidarity has since fell on deaf ears in the international community and in Turkey.”
Analysts fear Turkey’s willingness to sit on the sidelines as the West’s ‘Public Enemy Number One’ moves in next door could badly damage a country that has been something of a bastion of stability in a troubled region.
Watching the fate of Kobane with horror and anger were Turkey’s own 15 million-strong Kurdish minority—nearly 20 per cent of the country—whose long history of insurrection against the Turkish state appeared until recently to be drawing to a close.
Many now fear the growing risk of blowback represented by the ISIS jihadist group, which thrives on instability and whose long term goal is to erect a Caliphate encompassing all the Muslim lands of the region.
“Turkey has helped create an environment in which it is in the first stage of ‘Pakistan-ization’,” says Halil Karaveli of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, a security think tank, referring to Turkey’s alleged past toleration of the Islamic State, which Ankara denies.
He fears the next step is for the Islamic State, regardless of whether it is able to maintain its hold of the territory in Syria and Iraq, will be to turn its attention to Turkey in the same way as jihadists fighting in Afghanistan went on to wreak havoc in Pakistan….