Weekend Roundup: Now It’s NATO vs. NATO (New Anti-Terror Organization)
The Turkish downing of a Russian jet that crossed into its territory while bombing targets in Syria complicates even further the play of contraries in an already bewildering set of Mideast conflicts. The episode introduces a fresh tension that could well pit NATO, of which Turkey is a member, against what Gopalkrishna Gandhi calls a fledgling new NATO, or New Anti-Terror Organization, that French President François Hollande is trying to organize globally in the wake of the Paris attacks. Hollande meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow this week.
Oxford Chancellor Chris Patten endorses Hollande’s approach, calling for a broad effort that includes the U.S., Russia, China and the United Nations to fight the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Writing from Moscow, Fyodor Lukyanov argues that, after Paris, perhaps the West now sees the sense in Russia’s Mideast strategy to save the Syrian state and says in a separate article that the new clash between Turkey and Russia should not derail an “ad hoc coalition” against terrorism. From the Turkish side, a source closely involved at the top levels there over recent years tells the WorldPost: “Turkey is trying to say: you can’t simply ignore me. I am here, I am assuming a huge burden vis-à-vis the refugees and I have already paid a high cost for fighting this war, so I may create serious disturbances if and when I want to prevent a Russian-U.S. rapprochement over fighting ISIS that departs from the priority of ousting Assad.” WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones writes from Istanbul that Putin has charged Turkey with “supporting ISIS” by shooting down his warplane.