TURKEY’S ACTIONS COULD LEAD TO NUCLEAR WAR
Russia and the U.S. have been jostling with one another for years. But ever since the “overthrow” of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych tucked his tail between his legs and headed back to Moscow in 2014, tensions have escalated. The Russian participation in bombing ISIS (and other rebel groups not so friendly to their ally Bashar al’Assad) ratcheted up the intensity further September 30 2015. Two months later, on November 24, 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian fighter for supposedly crossing into Turkish airspace. Nerves were on edge as the world watched Vladimir Putin to see what he would do. Would he respond in kind (militarily) to Turkey? Admittedly, there is no love loss between Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Mr. Putin. They’ve had words before. But what would happen after this incident?
Putin held it together and didn’t fire a shot. Still, the worry is that Turkey and Russia could get into a military conflict especially since Russia has its planes flying sorties against ISIS daily, right on Turkey’s border. The fact that Turkey is a NATO member and by treaty, NATO members are pledged to come to Turkey’s defense, keeps everyone on the edge of their seats. But is there really much of a nuclear threat? Based upon my research, there is. I talk about this in depth in my new book, THE NEXT GREAT WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST: Russia Prepares to Fulfill the Prophecy of Gog and Magog.
Today, journalist and researcher Brinda Banerjee posted an article on ValueWalk addressing some of the issues surrounding the disturbing prospect that nuclear war, not just between Turkey and Russia, but between NATO/U.S. and Russia.
She cited SecDef Aston Carter from a recent speech, “Speaking at the Reagan National Defence Forum in California in November 2015, Defence Secretary Carter said, ‘We do not seek a cold, let alone a hot, war with Russia. We do not seek to make Russia an enemy. But make no mistake, the United States will defend our interests, our allies, the principled international order, and the positive future it affords us all.'”
FAILURE TO WORK TOGETHER AGAINST ISIS ENDANGERS EVERYONE
Banerjee focuses a good portion of her article on U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard’s (D-Hawaii) concern that the U.S. may be using the conflict over ISIS to pick a fight with Russia rather than attempting to coordinate bombing efforts on the part of Russia and the U.S.-led coalition. Banerjee cites Gabbard: “Russia’s installation of their anti-aircraft missile-defense system increases that possibility of — whether it’s intentional or even an accidental event — where one side may shoot down the other side’s plane. And that’s really where the potential is for this devastating nuclear war — for something that could blow up into something much larger.”
U.S. testing of its new Triton V ballistic missile 7 November 2015 might have added some more fuel to the fire. Banerjee concludes her article with these words:
On November 06, 2015, NATO hosted its grandest military drill in 13 years, titled the “Trident Juncture”. The exercise involved the participation of 36,000 personnel, more than 140 aircraft, 60 naval vessels and 7 submarines. The drills were organized ostensibly for the purpose of enhancing preparedness to counter Russian aggression. Global security experts have taken note of the fact that NATO organized its largest military exercise in over a decade around the same time as tensions between the West and Russia have risen. Pavel Felgenhauer, a top Russian military expert, is of the opinion that a nuclear war arising out of the Russia-Turkey enmity involving NATO is “very likely.”
What is particularly worrisome is that Turkey’s Erdogan appears volatile and for several years has been at the forefront of clandestine efforts to see his rival (to his south) al-Assad, thrown out as Syria’s leader. Russia’s involvement in Syria today makes this regime change far less likely. Given that the U.S.’ priority has now been pushed back to fighting – and defeating – ISIS (instead of quietly supporting rebel groups to defeat Assad, as I document in my book), Erdogan will grow more frustrated. What will he do in the weeks and months ahead? Time will tell. What we have to fear if this doesn’t get sorted out promptly is that “going nuclear” can happen in minutes, even seconds, and so we will continue to live on the precipice of “the next great war” in the Middle East and potentially, globally. World War III has not been this probable since October 1962. It is time to pay attention.