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    Turkish Politicians: Trump's Security Strategy's Contradictions Prompt Fears

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    The new US National Security Strategy unveiled by Donald Trump on December 18 has prompted a heated debate about Washington's foreign policy in the Middle East. Speaking to Sputnik, Turkish politicians shared their concerns with the US military presence in the region and pointed to America's waning global influence.

    Pursuing its own stability the United States can make steps to destabilize the situation in the Middle East, Hasan Bitmez, the deputy head of the opposition Turkish Saadet Party (Felicity Party), told Sputnik Turkey, commenting on the new American national security strategy, announced by US President Donald Trump on December 18.

    "In the document Iran is presented as the number one enemy for the United States," Bitmez pointed out. "Simultaneously, [the strategy] puts emphasis on the presence of terrorist groups in the region, but the paradox is that the United States is the source that feeds the so-called jihadist terrorist organizations' activities. [Washington] ensures the presence of terrorist organizations and radical groups in the region."

    According to the Turkish politician, this ambiguity of the US' objectives prompts serious concerns in Turkey as Washington's foreign policy may possibly envisage the use of new players in the region and military operations. If one takes a look at the details of the document one may find out that the US is seeking to exploit the energy potential of the Middle East under the guise of the maintenance of stability, Bitmez noted.

    To illustrate his point the Turkish politician referred to the fact that those militant groups that receive support from the US in their struggle against the legitimate government in Syria, fall within the definition of jihadi terrorist organizations.

    Additionally, Bitmez highlighted that the new strategy failed to directly mention the strategic partnership with Turkey, that has been pursued by the US administration since the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002.

    This Saturday, April. 29, 2017 still taken from video, shows Kurdish fighters of the People's Protection Units (YPG) standing guard as U.S. forces take up positions in the northern village of Darbasiyah, Syria
    © AP Photo / APTV
    This Saturday, April. 29, 2017 still taken from video, shows Kurdish fighters of the People's Protection Units (YPG) standing guard as U.S. forces take up positions in the northern village of Darbasiyah, Syria

    Obvious Contradictions in New US Security Strategy

    Ozturk Yilmaz, the Turkish opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy chair responsible for foreign relations, shares Bitmez' concerns.

    Like Bitmez he emphasized the US special focus on Iran, stressing that one should not delude oneself into believing that Washington statements will not be followed by certain actions toward Tehran.

    "America refers to sovereign states, but, on the other hand, we are well aware of its cooperation with some [military] factions on the territory of Syria and other areas that pose a threat to the sovereignty of these countries. There is a contradiction in the US position on this issue," Yilmaz told Sputnik.

    The politician pointed out Washington's intention to consider global political processes through the prism of the Cold War mindset, which places an emphasis on military, not diplomatic, tools and measures.

    With Its Dominance Waning 'US Seeking Its Own Place in Multi-Polar Word'

    For his part, Yunus Soner, deputy chairman of Turkey's left-wing Vatan Party (the Patriotic Party), believes that the US' new security strategy indicates that the it is losing its global dominance and risks finding itself in a vacuum.

    "Today, the United States is no longer the country that regulates the world order and exercises leadership as an arbiter in regional conflicts," Soner told Sputnik. "Trump calls America a strong power, which, meanwhile, competes with other powerful powers. One can say that by this document Trump has indirectly recognized the [global] transition to a multipolar world."

    He suggested that, apparently, Washington will seek to diminish its military presence in the Middle East in the near future. On the other hand, it is important that the document avoids critical remarks toward Turkey.

    "That means the US is now busy seeking its own place in the multipolar world," the Turkish politician concluded.

    On December 18, Trump unveiled the new US National Security Strategy (NSS) that emphasizes the president's "America First" approach.

    The strategy's four pillars include the protection of the US people and the homeland, the US prosperity promotion, pursuing "peace through strength" and a strong military, and boosting US influence worldwide.

    The document branded Iran and North Korea as "rogue regimes," while Russia and China are called the US' "rivals." According to the document jihadi terrorist organizations pose the biggest threat to the US.

    The views and opinions expressed by Hasan Bitmez, Ozturk Yilmaz, Yunus Soner are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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