Trump Followed His Gut on Syria. Calamity Came Fast.
[MSN] Mr. Trump’s error, some aides concede in off-the-record conversations, was entering the Oct. 6 call underprepared,
...and whose job is it to make sure he is prepared? It seems to me these particular off-the-record aides do not have the right attitude for their current station in life...
and then failing to spell out for Mr. Erdogan the potential consequences ‐ from economic sanctions to a dimunition of The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...Qatar's satrapy in Asia Minor...
’s alliance with the United States and its standing in NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis....
. He has since threatened both, retroactively. But it is not clear Mr. Erdogan believes either is a real risk.The drama is nowhere near over. Out of necessity, the Kurds switched sides on Sunday, turning their backs on Washington and signing up with Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor. If he'd stuck with it he'd have had a good practice by now...
of Syria, a man the United States has called a war criminal for gassing his own people.
That would be President Obama, as I recall, who got us into this mess...
At the Pentagon, officials struggled with the right response if Ottoman Turkish forces ‐ NATO allies ‐ again opened fire on any of the 1,000 or so Americans now preparing to retreat from their positions inside Syria. Those troops are trapped for now, since Turkey has cut off the roads; removing them may require an airlift.
If the Turks can shoot as us, why can’t we give them a matching brushback?
And over the weekend, State and Energy Department officials were quietly reviewing plans for evacuating roughly 50 tactical nuclear weapons that the United States had long stored, under American control, at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, about 250 miles from the Syrian border, according to two American officials.
Those weapons, one bigwig said, were now essentially Erdogan’s hostages. To fly them out of Incirlik would be to mark the de facto end of the Ottoman Turkish-American alliance. To keep them there, though, is to perpetuate a nuclear vulnerability that should have been eliminated years ago.
First eliminate the vulnerability. Afterward the alliance can be renegotiated.
"I think this is a first ‐ a country with U.S. nuclear weapons stationed in it literally firing artillery at US forces," Jeffrey Lewis of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies wrote last week.

For his part, Mr. Erdogan claims nuclear ambitions of his own: Only a month ago, speaking to supporters, he said, he said he "cannot accept" rules that keep Turkey from possessing nuclear weapons of its own.
With what spare billion dollars? You go ahead with your temper tantrum while the grown ups put things to rights.

Posted by: Fred 2019-10-15