Earlier today (11/24/2015) Turkey, a NATO ally, downed a jet that belonged to Russia. The plane reportedly was downed by Turkey after it violated the Turkish-Syrian border near the border town of Aleppo. Russia has called the downing, a stab in the back. Turkey continues to maintain that the fighter jet violated Turkish airspace, a claim that Russia denies. The President has maintained that the Turks should be able to defend their airspace. However, he has urged Russia and NATO not to escalate the ordeal.
Earlier I wrote that the United States should make an effort to convince the French President Francois Hollande that he should agree, during the news conference held earlier today, the Turks should sponsor a program that would arm the Kurds who are fighting ISIS. However after this incident it has become clear that the Turks wouldn’t allow for such a entreaty to take place. Since the dynamics of the paradigm have changed.
Since the G-20 and the simultaneous attack in Paris, it seems to be true that the United States and Russia are slowly returning from loggerheads, about the Syrian War. This has been evidenced not only from the French proposition of a “Grand” coalition, but also the unique closeness of the U.S. and Russian President during the G-20 meeting. If you listen to the U.S. media, the idea of the Russians supporting the eventual removal from power for President Assad of Syria seems to grow more and more each day. I’m following this line of logic and are in agreement, for the most part, completely.
However, I would take it one step further and advocate the further expansion of diplomatic liaisons between the two countries. The idea that Assad could be ushered out of the door by the Russian’s through elections has recently been bolstered by a meeting between Foreign Minister Lavrov, and Secretary of State Kerry, last week. The press conference at the conclusion of the meeting I deemed substantive since Minister Lavrov agreed with Secretary Kerry during the press conference when agreed to a U.S. cease fire. He also remarked that this cease fire should lead to elections which wouldn’t include President Assad as Syrians would vote for the future of their country.
With the Russians seemingly buying in to the idea of a political settlement to the Assad question, and the Turks and Russians as loggerheads, it seems to make sense that we should perhaps become an interlocutor, and offer up a solution to Russians concerning their recent falling out with NATO member Turkey. The following would also allow us to gain an upper hand in the ongoing struggle in the Global War on Terror (GWOT).
By engaging in liaisons with the Russians with the intent, ostensibly, of resolving the Turkish-Russian row, while in fact using the row simply as a precursor to the eventual annihilation of the Islamic State (ISIS), we may be able to turn the tide. If we therefore, act with good faith in diplomacy to resolve the row between Russia, and Turkey, by discussing and concluding in agreement with the Russians that the United States will protect the Russians from further incidents, or possible incidents, on the Turkey-Syria border, by creating a no-fly zone that all must obey and will be enforced by the United States. If, by offering it up as a solution to the threat of more shoot downs of Russian jets by Turkey, we may be able to yet accomplish our goals in Syria, without resorting to American ground troops being used.