Burak Kadercan Profile picture
Mar 11, 2018 25 tweets 13 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
What are strategic options for the US in Syria over Turkey-#YPG debacle? Only four, none perfect:
1) Strategic procrastination
2) Prefer Turkey over #YPG
3) Prefer YPG over Turkey
4) Play an active role in reconciling Turkey and YPG/#PKK

#thread +
+ First option is strategic procrastination: trying to put a bandaid on big problems with / between Turkey & YPG, hoping things will eventually work themselves out. They won’t, they’ll only get worse, & US will eventually be blamed by *both* Turkey & YPG +
+Strategic procrastination also includes “piecemeal concessions” to both Turkey and YPG to temporarily calm them down. This won’t work. Divide & conflict between TR & YPG is real, and deepening every day. No “smart, cheap, fast” solutions here. Big problem requires big solution +
+ Second option is: US can prefer Turkey over #YPG. Upsides: TR will be won over decisively, and if/when US decides to move against #Assad & Iran in Syria, it would have a willing/capable ally. TR can also offer to replace YPG as main anti-ISIS local force in SYR. But... +
+ But if US prefers Turkey over YPG, there’ll be costs. First, US will lose some street cred, as this would look like second time US hanged Kurds out to dry. Second, more importantly, #YPG/#PKK will instantly turn to Russia, perhaps even Iran (though this more complicated) +
+ So, what about the third option, US prefers #YPG over Turkey? This is an increasingly popular view, and requires some discussion. Upsides would be: no need to “deal with” Turkey as a problematic ally, #YPG’s secular/feminist image makes for great fanfare in the West... +
+ One popular idea is #YPG can offer a substitute for #Incirlik, critical US air base in southern TR. YPG will also make a very cooperative regional ally/partner, since its very survival will be dependent on US support. Without it, regional enemies (not only TR) will crush it +
+ US preferring #YPG over TR will have 3 major downsides:
1) US will not only "lose" TR, Ankara will turn against US as a rival
2) #YPG will be a perennially vulnerable ally, can drag US into unnecessary conflicts
3) Ethnic tensions (Arab-Kurd) will mesh with anti-Americanism +
+Downside 1 of US preferring YPG over TR. Main argument for this option: osts of TR alliance now outweigh benefits. Might be true, but if TR-US break up, TR will actively work against US interests in region, ally w/ Russia/Iran, perhaps try to go nuclear, or military clash w/ US+
+ Downside 2 of US preferring #YPG over TR: YPG may prove a strategic liability, given its vulnerability + unpopularity (among Arabs). Despite its performance against ISIs, as #Afrin shows, it is not all that invincible when fighting 1) regular forces 2) without US air support +
+ So, if US commits to #YPG as its chief regional partner, it may soon find itself facing a dilemma: allow YPG to be devoured by regional rivals (say, Assad or Turkey), or rush to its aid & become more embedded in the Syrian mess +
+ Downside 3 of US preferring #YPG over TR: while many in West overtaken by romantic & Orientalist [this brand of Middle Easterners are just like us!] visions, #YPG not that popular among Arabs due to a) expansionism; b) Marxist ideology; c) strictly hierarchical organization +
+ Accordingly, a renegade Turkey will do its best to fester anti-YPG sentiment among Arabs to its advantage, trying to suffocate YPG while also contributing to an ethnic Arab-Kurd dimension to the already messy Syrian Civil War. #Erdogan already hinted at this option +
+ So, what about the fourth strategic option, US spearheading reconciliation between Turkey & #YPG, or more essentially TR & YPG’s branch in Turkey, #PKK. This would be the most difficult-to-choose option out of 4, but if successfully executed, benefits will be tremendous +
+ So, what would be strategic benefits to follow from US spearheading reconciliation between Turkey-#PKK/#YPG? For the record, again and again, I am not talking about temporary bandaids or small concessions to each side. *Real* reconciliation... +
+ A working relationship between Turkey & #YPG would 1) guarantee that a version of #ISIS won’t take hold in Syria; 2) allow US to put serious pressure on #Assad/Iran when/it wants to 3) stabilize of N Syria (without reconciliation, don’t expect stability anytime soon) +
+ So, how can anyone make such reconciliation work? I’d rather not disclose details of my thoughts on twitter, but here are some basic ideas, here and there... +
+A counter to attempts at reconciling TR & #PKK/#YPG is: #Erdogan is such a bad person! This is #ReductioAdErdoganum. Paradoxically, Erdogan went further than any TR leader in addressing "Kurdish Question" & perhaps the only politician who can *still*npull it off at the moment+
+In contrast with the popular [sic] *wisdom*, it'd be easier to convince Turkey into peace than #PKK/#YPG. Why? Simple: since 2014, YPG came a very long way in establishing an expansive autonomous region in N Syria, in ways that likely far exceeded its wildest dreams as of 2013+
+Put differently, #YPG has been constantly on a winning streak since late-2014, building organizational & military capabilities as well as global fanfare/popularity. It adjusted its expectations & goals accordingly, would be reluctant to settle for less now. On the other hand..+
+ On the other hand, Turkey has long been on the losing end for a very long time and is now desperately trying to avoid further losses. Ankara has two options: i) gamble for resurrection (go all in); ii) take an acceptable deal accepting some sunk costs +
+ It is more difficult to guess what #YPG may ask from a US-spearheaded deal, and given my Turkish name, won't speculate further. Main thing relevant to the US strategy: US has considerable leverage over YPG, and can rather easily talk reason to them [me thinks]. On Turkey... +
+What would it take to convince Turkey into peace with #PKK/#YPG? If I have to speculate, Ankara would ask:
a) YPG move east of Euphrates
b) PKK completely de-militarize in TR (or move fighters to SYR)
c) US establish credible mechanism to punish YPG if it attacks TR unprovoked+
+ In return, what can Ankara offer?
a) Cooperation, or at least, "tolerating" YPG presence in SYR, limited to Kurdish-majority areas + #Afrin canton to never link up with others
b) A second & more comprehensive "solution process." I'd call plan I have in mind #CatalanALaTurca +
+ US strategic thinking over Turkey-#YPG debacle needs to grapple with a simple fact: you can’t have the cake and have it too. It’s either Turkey or #YPG. Only *real* alternative: make another cake, TR-YPG/#PKK reconciliation, so that all this strategic drama ends.

[The End]

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More from @BurakKadercan

Oct 5, 2018
Anlat bakalım o “ileri geri” şeyleri. Ben de merak ettim şimdi.
Mesela bunun gibi “ileri geri şeyler” mi?

Bak bu da olabilir. İngilizce, sövmüş olabilir miyim acaba?

Read 5 tweets
Oct 3, 2018
Stratejik çalışmalar 101: ilk olarak klasik kuramcılar okunur: Clausewitz & Sun Tzu, opsiyonel: Mao. Sun Tzu öneriler verir, fakat neden bu önerilere uyulması gerektiğini açıklamaz: “X Y Z yap, A B C yapma, zafer senin olacaktır.” Clausewitz çok daha farklıdır, okuması da zor. +
+ Sun Tzu kendini bir “usta” olarak tanımlar, bizdeki “hocaların hocası.” Ustanın bilgeliği sorgulanmamalıdır, dediklerini yapmanız yeterli. Clausewitz her söylediğinin altında yatan mantığı açıklama yoluna gider: “X yap, çünkü A, Y yapma, çünkü B.” Okuması neden zor? +
+ Clausewitz erken 19 yy Avrupa düşünsel bağlamında yaşar (rasyonel düşüncenin başlangıç/altın çağı), “Almanlığını” konuşturur (ağır dil). Aynı zamanda kitabı (On War) bitiremeden ölür, eşi tamamlar. Ölmeden şunu yazar: bitiremeden ölürsem karmaşık gelebilir, benim suçum değil +
Read 117 tweets
Oct 3, 2018
Unutturulmaya çalışılan: Osmanlı Devleti kendi kendine yıkılmamıştır. Osmanlı’yı İngiltere veya Fransa da yıkmamıştır, Sevr ile “kontrollü egemenlik” tanımışlardır. Osmanlı Devleti’ni yıkan #MustafaKemalAtatürk’tür. Yerine #TürkiyeCumhuriyeti’ni kurmuştur. Gerisi algı operasyonu.
+ #MustafaKemalAtatürk aynı zamanda Osmanlı’ya Müslüman dünyasında meşruiyet sağlayan Halifelik’i kaldırmıştır. Tekkeleri, zaviyeleri kapatmış, Ezan’ın Arapça okunmasını yasaklamıştır. Mustafa Kemal’i “Osmanlı’nın devamı” olarak görüyorsanız sadece hayal görüyorsunuz.
Kendinize bir sorun: “dedelerimizin mezar taşlarını neden okuyamıyoruz?” Dürüst olabilirseniz tek cevabı var: #MustafaKemalAtatürk. Mustafa Kemal’in harf devrimiyle amaçladıklarından *birisi* de Osmanlı’yı “gömmekti.” Peki, yasalar, kanunlar nereden geldi? Osmanlı mı, Batı mı?
Read 7 tweets
Sep 30, 2018
Algı operasyonu nedir, nasıl icra edilir. Örnek verelim. Burada 3 alt-mesaj var:
1) Türk-*Rus* dosttu
2) İnönü bir salaklık yaparak dostluğu bozdu
3) Sinsi Amerika büyük oyun kurdu

Fakat vasatlık kendini ele veriyor. Kronolojide saçmalanmış. Önce okuyun, sonra açalım & yayalım +
+ Vasatlık:
1) İnönü Almanlarla gizli anlaşma yaptı (tamam diyelim)
2) Sovyetler Berlin arşivlerine girince öğrendi, Türk-*Rus* dostluğu bozuldu. Berlin Muharebesi: 16 Nisan-2 Mayıs 1945
3) ABD dostluk bozulunca *Şubat* 1945’te TR’ye çöktü

Demek ki ABD’nin zaman makinesi varmış.
+ Bu kısım fazla açık olmamış. Kısaca: Sovyetler’in Berlin arşivlerine girmesi 1945 Nisan/Mayıs öncesinde imkansız. Anlatılan masala göre arşive giren Sovyetler “dost” Türkiye’ye “küsüyor,” sinsi ABD de *dostluk çökünce* TR’ye çöküyor. Fakat zamanda geri gidip 😂 Şubat 1945’de. +
Read 5 tweets
Sep 27, 2018
Ekonomide “yerli ve milli” dönemi: AKP yapısal reformlar için *Amerikan* danışma şirketi McKinsey ile anlaştı.

O sırada paralel evrende: McKinsey, Boston Group, Bain, Boaz-Allen vb‘de çalışmış yüzlerce Türk geri döndü, çözüm de “yerli ve milli.” gazeteduvar.com.tr/ekonomi/2018/0…
“O sırada paralel evrende: McKinsey, Boston Group, Bain, Boaz-Allen vb‘de çalışmış yüzlerce Türk geri döndü, çözüm de ‘yerli ve milli.’”

Tabi bizim evrende bu arkadaşlar dönse “zihinleri iğfal edilmiş Amerikan devşirmeleri/ajanları” olarak görülecekti.

Sonra neden #BeyinGöçü?
+ #McKinsey, McKinsey, neymiş bu McKinsey? Kısaca: özel şirketlere danışmanlık veren bir Amerikan firması. Boston Group ve Bain gibi firmalarla danışmanlık sektörünün önde gelenlerindendir. Genelde ne yapar? Zararını durdurmaya, karını arttırmaya çalışan şirketlere danışmanlık +
Read 10 tweets
Sep 25, 2018
#OperationRedSea is like an action Chinese buffet. So far, I watched naval combat, maritime rescue, full-scale urban warfare, desert fighting, hand-to-hand, tank-on-tank, drone strikes, #Fortnite-style village battle royale, #FastAndFurious car chase, and still 20 minutes to go.
I spoke too soon. #OperationRedSea also features wingsuit flight in lines of Transformers, Dark of the Moon. I also forgot to mention extended sniper duel, #AmericanSniper-style. And some might argue that the movie contains *some* Chinese propaganda, especially for the navy.
In retrospect, I find #OperationRedSea truly lacking in one department: there was no dog fight in lines of #TopGun. OK, there was a gunship sequence that got my hopes up about a #BlueThunder (or #AirWolf) gunship/chopper dog fight, but it didn’t happen.
Read 4 tweets

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