(…thanks to a misdirected American strategy for the region)

The latest suicide bombing attack at Turkey’s Istanbul airport (apparently an ISIS inspired one with a Chechen twist) is yet another blow against one of the few islands of relative stability remaining in the region. It’s the price it is paying now for being a staunch American ally, but, there’s no delight in Turkey these days…thanks to a misdirected American strategy for the region; and, there are several aspects driving it.

The first relates to American reluctance to intervene in the Syrian civil conflict. That lack of effective intervention there for the past five years has resulted in a chaotic situation as bad as the one in Libya. A situation where the Free Syrian opposition to the Assad regime has had no protected area there in which to consolidate and unite itself into a viable alternative entity to the Assad regime, making any so-called peace talks to replace that regime an impossibility; and, because of that, this has created the tsunami wave of refugees which has swept out in all directions, while also enabling the criminally inspired ISIS to become the menace to world peace it is today. Had both America and the international community helped to establish such a protected area, early on, there would hardly be refugees from there, and ISIS, would not have been able become what it is now.

The second relates to misplaced American efforts, beginning as far back as the Gulf War, to somehow reconcile the Sunni-Shia conflict and divide. A completely useless task because neither the Sunni nor the Shia have appreciated those efforts, since neither have any intention to abandon what amounts to a nine hundred year old family feud…despite such efforts.

As we’ve pointed out several times before during this time, the only two entities, besides Israel (which also has problems), in the entire region that are worth any American effort are the Turks and the Kurds. American interests would thus have been much better served had a more pro-active policy of reconciling the contentions between them been pursued instead. American efforts to that end would have had a much more likely positive outcome because, compared to the Sunni or the Shia, both the Turks and the Kurds have sufficiently more common elements of interest for that to become a reality…particularly if America not only was an honest broker for it, and, undertook to actively participate in and underwrite what would effectively be a tri-partite “alliance” with them.

The strategic benefits of such a tri-partite “alliance” between America, Turkey, and the Kurds of both Iraq and Syria would radically change the matrix of influence in the region by diminishing both Iranian aims at hegemony in it, and similar Islamist aims as well.

For America, it would benefit from having a strong and secure strategic base in the region, and, combined with its Israeli connection, thus better able to counter any Iranian or Islamist moves there, while protecting its own interests in the region.

For the Turks, such an alliance would convert a long standing antagonist into an ally providing a stable and secure “buffer” along its borders with Syria and Iraq, from their combined military capacities, while also establishing the foundations for an economically dynamic relationship with the Kurds, to their mutual benefit.

For the Kurds, besides eliminating their contentions with the Turks, such an alliance would allow them to further enhance their autonomous enclaves in Syria and Iraq, and more effectively focus on a future leading to a strong, prosperous, and viable nation-state of their own.

Such a strategic effort on the part of America to help combine the economic and military capacities of both would be unmatched by any other power, or combination of powers, in the region. More importantly, such a development would further attract its near neighbors of Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt to collaborate closely with it, further helping to stabilize the region as a whole.

From any perspective, such an effort, would do more than anything else done to date to resolve so many of the contentions and issues which are otherwise likely to continue to plague the region for a long time to come.