Will Turkey Invoke NATO’s Article 5 over Syria?

NATO members are meeting today to discuss Syria downing a Turkish fighter jet. Concern is rising that this incident could pull NATO into an armed conflict. Turkey has called the meeting under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty—just the second time this has been invoked in NATO history—which states:

The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.

The circumstances and facts of the incident are not clear. What is clear, however, is that Turkey is not taking this situation lightly . . .
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Arming the Syrian Rebels Is Not a Romantic Pursuit

Ben Hubbard of the Associated Press filed a fascinating yet sobering report last week after being embedded with Syrian opposition fighters for two weeks. The report provides great insight into the debate over arming the Syrian opposition. It paints a picture of groups that are disorganized and lacking in basic communication. As the fighting becomes bloodier and the chaos grows, it becomes more evident that a U.S. or NATO intervention would be subject to numerous unintended consequences. Specifically, arming the wrong opposition groups should be a main concern. But relying on the hope that the C.I.A. can acquire sufficient . . .
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Multipolarity, Syria and a New Concert

Dan Trombly had, as he often does, an interesting blog post the other day on the possibility of a new concert. Not one with Bruce Springsteen, but rather a global concert of great powers akin to the 19th century Concert of Europe, where nation-states acted by a set of unwritten rules to maintain peace (this came in response to a previous post by Dan Nexon over at the Duck of Minerva). The shadows of Libya and Syria veritably loom over the text as the discussions of intervention and R2P (Responsibility to Protect) have stirred up an interesting debate on . . .
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Five Meaningless Steps That Will Effect Nothing in Syria

About a year ago, my good friend and colleague Hans-Inge Longo told me about the “Overnight Brief”—a summary of each day’s foreign policy news delivered each morning via email—from the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI).  My initial reaction was “FPI? Bill Kristol’s group??”  Despite my visceral opposition to all things neoconservative, FPI offers a summary of the important news stories that is beyond useful for a foreign policy nerd like myself.  If anything, the “brief” is almost too thorough in summarizing the day’s news from various regions and on a variety of issues.  The only real downside to receiving the . . .
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Preventive Strikes Against Nuclear Programs: Successful Strategy or Delaying the Inevitable?

Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan recently commented on what he considers the “foolish” notion that a preventive military strike should be made on Iran’s nuclear program before it could produce weapons-grade uranium.  Jeffrey Goldberg quotes one Israeli official who says, “’Dagan thinks [Israeli Defense Minister Ehud] Barak is crazy enough to strike Iran.”  Goldberg, who notes that any decision to strike Iran would ultimately rest with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, interpreted Dagan’s statement to mean that an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities may be imminent.  That may or not be the case, but the question really is whether . . .
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