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Coping with intertwined conflicts

Turkey's involvement in the Gulf War in 1991 paved the way for the country's acceptance into the European Union. This book traces that process, and in the first part looks at Turkey's foreign policy in the 1990s, considering the ability of the country to withstand the repercussions of the fall of communism. It focuses on Turkey's achievement in halting and minimising the effects of the temporary devaluation in its strategic importance that resulted from the waning of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union; the skilful way in which Turkey avoided becoming embroiled in the ethnic upheavals in Central Asia, the Balkans and the Middle East; and the development of a continued policy of closer integration into the European and western worlds. Internal politics are the focus of the second part of the book, addressing the curbing of the Kurdish revolt, the economic gains made and the strengthening of civil society. The book goes on to analyse the prospects for Turkey in the twenty-first century, in the light of the possible integration into Europe, which may leave the country's leadership free to deal effectively with domestic issues.

This chapter examines wars, attempts to create regional order, and how these have impacted on the structure of the Middle East regional system, which, in turn, has reshaped the states that make it up. The search for solutions to regional conflict, for a basis on which to create a secure order, has been ongoing since the founding of the Middle East states system. However, each of the major attempts to build regional order proved defective, in varying degrees ameliorating or containing conflict but also either failing to deal with its roots or sometimes actually exacerbating it. War has originated in domestic level dissatisfaction shaped by these struggles which, when institutionalised in rival states, is expressed in conflict at the states system level, frequently over territory. Everywhere, in a region afflicted with irredentism, domestic politics encourages nationalist outbidding.

in The international politics of the Middle East

The Washington summit was useful to Lyndon B. Johnson mainly because it allowed him to impress upon the British the need for them to retain their traditional 'great power' role and also to allow him to bring the multilateral force (MLF) to a conclusion. Harold Wilson accepted the American view that Britain should preserve its current position in defence, telling the Cabinet on 11 December that 'the most encouraging fact about the conference was America's emphasis on Britain's world wide role'. Johnson not only wanted Wilson to maintain Britain's defence commitments, but to extend them into South Vietnam. After Wilson's visit to Washington, most observers, including the President, anticipated that he would face a serious challenge in explaining what he had agreed to in Washington to the House of Commons in the foreign affairs debate scheduled for 16-17 December.

in A ‘special relationship’?

This chapter focuses on Turkey's relations with Greece. There are several factors that combine to explain the surprising turn for the better in Greek–Turkish relations, one of which is the political and strategic changes occurring around Turkey from the late 1980s, which have intensified since the Gulf War. Another is the violent earthquakes that both Turkey and Greece experienced in 1999, after which each sent humanitarian aid to help ease their neighbour's plight. However, the chapter suggests that, despite the improvement in Greek–Turkish relations, there remain several serious differences between the two countries, particularly over questions of sovereignty and flying rights over the Aegean Sea.

in Turkey: facing a new millennium
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A failed state on NATO’s frontline

This chapter first looks at how giving Kiev a veto over the two official investigations into the Malaysian Airlines Flight MHI7 disaster fundamentally compromised the outcomes. The final report of the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) entrusted with the technical investigation. The findings of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) tasked with the criminal prosecution do not depart from the claims made by the hardliners in the Ukrainian interior ministry and their Western backers directly after the disaster, although the JIT investigation did appear to be tugging at the leash at times. Next, the chapter explores the scorched-earth policy for Ukraine. It further deals with an account of how the neoliberal 'market democracy' experiment failed. Supervised by expatriate financiers, and apparently aimed at securing control of the country's energy infrastructure for the West, this deal contributed further to making Ukraine a social disaster zone and a failed state on the NATO frontline.

in Flight MH17, Ukraine and the new Cold War

The February 2014 regime change in Kiev placed state power in the hands of Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and anti-Russian billionaires intent on removing the country from the post-Soviet orbit and reorienting it to the West. The chapter relates how the stirrings of an anti-Maidan movement in the Russian-Ukrainian provinces was responded to, on the urgent advice of US and NATO officials and American advisers in the field, with an Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO). It then explains how the actual civil war in the east was decided and how it was covered by NATO. The chapter further discusses the circumstances of the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17. Excessive risk-taking is a key feature of the speculative mindset; as the crisis reduces the opportunities for compromise, violent options move into the foreground. This understanding frames the approach presented to the downing of MH17.

in Flight MH17, Ukraine and the new Cold War
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This chapter explores the ultra-nationalist legacy with which post-1991 Ukrainian nation-building became conflated, setting its face against its real diversity. It then turns to the capitalist oligarchy that appropriated post-communist Ukraine's wealth by privatising old Soviet centres of power. The privatisation of the Ukrainian economy, like those of other post-Soviet republics, entailed the formation of an oligarchy of billionaires and multimillionaires dividing the country's wealth among themselves. The chapter further looks at how Ukraine is situated in the economic balance between the liberal West and the Eurasian/Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) contender bloc. An enduring orientation of Ukraine towards the BRICS and the Eurasian Union was a distinct possibility, on top of its heavy-industrial contribution to the former Soviet economy in exchange for gas. Finally, the chapter identifies the anti-Russian oligarchs who sought to align Ukraine with the European Union (EU) and NATO.

in Flight MH17, Ukraine and the new Cold War
Prism of disaster

This book analyses the MH17 catastrophe as a prism that refracts the broader historical context in which it occurred, arraying its distinct strands and their interrelations in a rare moment of clarity. It argues that in the new Cold War with Putin's Russia, the West operates from a perspective inspired by the mentality of extreme risk-taking that stems from the dominant role of finance in contemporary capitalism. The book also argues that the dividing lines established by the enlargement of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic in 1922 and the addition of Crimea to it in 1954, remained operational after independence. The armed seizure of power on 22 February 2014 occurred on the back of the demonstrations and put state power in the hands of Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and actual fascists. Based on the unpublished government and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) documents, the book offers an analysis of global political economy and contemporary debates about Russia and East-West relations. It reviews the results of the official investigations into the MH17 disaster, which Ukraine delegated to the Netherlands. Both were profoundly compromised by granting the coup government in Kiev a veto over any outcomes, a novelty in the history of aviation disaster investigation that was considered shameful even in Ukraine. The book investigates how the coup regime, encouraged by its backers in Washington and Brussels, responded to the anti-Maidan movement among Russian-Ukrainians with extreme violence.

This chapter discusses the Maidan revolt in Ukraine and its consequences. As in 2004, the revolt was an opportunity for the oligarchs marginalized by the ascendant Donetsk bloc to reclaim power. Viktor Yanukovych had won the presidency this time around without irregularities. The decision of President Yanukovych not to sign the European Union (EU) Association Agreement in 2013 sparked a round of demonstrations. Andriy Parubiy led the armed groups in the Maidan uprising and in that capacity was responsible for the shooting of demonstrators and riot police that in the West is routinely attributed to the authorities. The coup provoked the secession of Crimea and the uprising in the Donbass. Importantly, Parubiy, put in command of all military and intelligence operations as Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council (NSDC) after the coup, played a crucial role in the 'Anti-Terrorist Operation' to bring the rebellious provinces to heel.

in Flight MH17, Ukraine and the new Cold War

Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was brought down amid a new Cold War between the Atlantic bloc and Russia, and greatly exacerbated it. To understand the tragedy, this chapter contextualises it in the wider confrontation pitting the liberal West against a loose contender bloc composed of several relatively disjointed parts. It argues that in the current new Cold War with Russian President Vladimir Putin's Russia, the West operates from a perspective inspired by the mentality of extreme risk-taking that stems from the dominant role of finance in contemporary capitalism. The financial crisis of 2008 coincided with the first test of strength with Russia, when the George W. Bush Junior administration encouraged Georgia to try and recapture its breakaway province of South Ossetia by force. The European Union (EU) was simultaneously trying to commit former Soviet republics to an Eastern Partnership and EU Association.

in Flight MH17, Ukraine and the new Cold War