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Erdoğan is the only one not worried about the Kabul mission

9 14 0
08.07.2021

There is no way to sugar coat the 20-year occupation of Afghanistan as a success story. The Taliban, which was said to be ‘destroyed,’ is now returning right out in the open. American forces want to keep the Kabul airport secure as a gateway for diplomatic, military, and intelligence operations while handing over six military bases, including Bagram, to Afghan forces. Turkey is now eager to take control of this mission.

While President Erdoğan is offering to be NATO’s ‘soldier,’ he has expectations of military, financial, logistical and political support, as well as the closure of the S-400 file. The U.S. technical team has arrived in Ankara, held talks, but there are no results yet. Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who was recently in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, said, “There has been no decision made as of yet. We will continue to maintain contact.”

The Americans have no intention of including the S-400 issue in the deal and President Joe Biden has limited room to maneuver because the S-400s are subject to legal sanctions.

There are clear objections to Turkey’s increased role. There are those who would prefer to postpone such a decision until later and determine a position depending on what the mission will bring. Let us assume a deal has already been struck for the Kabul mission. What kind of internal and external environment awaits Turkey there?

Erdoğan is expecting military-logistical support, but the conditions for this have not been established. According to U.S. sources, up to 650 troops can be left behind with the mission to protect diplomats. In addition, several hundred U.S. troops can remain at the airport until the Turkish military mission is established. Black Hawk helicopters can be used to transport diplomats between Kabul and the airport. The Americans are also guaranteeing intelligence support. Afghan air control teams must also be trained to replace private operators at the airport.

Biden has pledged 266 million dollars in humanitarian aid and 3.3 million dollars in military aid to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, whom he hosted at the White House on June 25. These figures do not matter much. We do not know what kind of a package would be offered for the Turkish mission.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is looking for military bases in neighboring countries to protect its allies in Afghanistan, deter the Taliban, and guide the political process, regardless of Turkey’s expectations. Effective intervention requires bases in neighboring countries. Military bases located in the Gulf are too far, hampering effectiveness. Special representative Zalmay Khalilzad made initial contacts in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in early May, but no one has opened their door as of yet. Russia is not in favor of the Americans camping in their backyard. China is also agitated. They do not want the U.S. to make a bed in Asia for their strategic encircling policy. Both countries are pitting their friendly countries in Central Asia against the U.S.

Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan did not oppose U.S. demands for military bases in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The U.S. used Uzbekistan’s Karshi-Khanabad Air Base until 2005 and Kyrgyzstan’s Manas Base until 2014. At the time, Russia and Iran were on the side of the U.S. against the Taliban. When Iran was labeled ‘evil’ and added to “The Axis of Evil,” Russia, as interventions began in its backyard via ‘colorful revolutions, changed their policies from 2003-2004. Russia hosted the Taliban in Moscow several times as part of the inter-Afghan dialogue, while Iran has adopted a........

© Duvar English


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