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Posted June 29, 2022

Sean Ring

By Sean Ring

Turkey Relents; NATO Expands

  • Sweden and Finland asked to join NATO after Russia invaded Ukraine.
  • Turkey objected to their entry, as those countries harbor anti-Turkish groups.
  • A deal made at the NATO meeting in Madrid cleared the way for the Nordics to enter.

Happy Hump Day!

Its a gorgeous day here in northern Italy, and my coffee tastes delicious.

Just about 1,000 miles WSW of here, the NATO Summit has kicked off in Madrid.

There, politicians (read: warmongers) negotiate over taxpayer-funded caviar and champagne dinners about how to get more taxpayers dollars into the Russia-Ukraine War.

Heck, even if they cant beat the taxpayer, theyll just print the money theyll need.

Mere days before the summit kicked off, the warmongers were terrified Turkey would derail the summit.

As a NATO member, Turkey gets a veto on the expansion of the obsolete club.

Credit: The Wall Street Journal

So when Sweden and Finland asked to join the treehouse, Turkey made a fuss.

Sweden and Finland harbor groups the Turks consider to be terrorists.

Well, it was much ado about nothing.

Usually, Id be disappointed the Turks caved so quickly.

But really, Sweden and Finland caved, sacrificed the Kurds, and gave the Turks everything they wanted.

Bravo, Turkey. Bravo.

So lets have a look at the most egregious bit of kabuki theater in politics since, well, the J6 hearings.

Why the Nordics Wanted In

Almost immediately after Moscow invaded Ukraine, Sweden and Finland abandoned nearly eight decades of neutrality.

Ive never quite understood how Russia can be portrayed simultaneously as a gas station dressed up as a country, a kleptocracy, and the greatest threat on the planet.

Nevertheless, Sweden and Finland were worried that Moscow would set its sights on acquiring more frozen real estate.

They didnt seem to get why Russia had a beef with Ukraine.

The reason is that you can walk - really - into Russia through the eastern border of Ukraine.

So thats why Ukraine was a red line for Moscow.

Its that simple.

As Ive written about Mackinders World Island Theory in an earlier Rude:

Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland;

who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island;

who rules the World-Island commands the world.

Sweden and Finland arent a part of that picture.

But they felt threatened all the same.

But theres one thing to note here: neither Sweden nor Finland want any military bases or nuclear weapons placed on their territories.

Important.

Honestly, Russia put up less of a fuss about this than Turkey!

Now you know why.

Why the Turks Objected

The Turks had a legitimate right to question the Swedes and Finns about harboring what Turkey considers to be terrorist groups.

From The Guardian:

Turkey had said it would block the applications of Sweden and Finland unless it received satisfactory assurances that the Nordic countries were willing to address what it regards as support for Kurdish groups it designates as terrorist organizations, in particular, the Kurdistan Workers party (PKK).

The Kurds want to cut a piece of Turkey off and make it their own.

Its obvious why the Turks would object to that.

And Sweden and Finland mustve felt the same way in the end.

They signed a deal, giving the Turks everything they asked for.

Turkey wouldve been nuts not to sign it.

In fact, so accommodating were the Nordics, Turkey couldnt hold out for that order of F-16s the US has been stalling on giving them.

This allowed the US to say they didnt grant any concessions to the Turks. Nice one.

So whats in the trilateral agreement that Turkey, Sweden, and Finland signed?

There are 10 points, but Ill pick out the most salient (bolds mine):

4. As prospective NATO Allies, Finland and Sweden extend their full support to Turkiye against threats to its national security. To that effect, Finland and Sweden will not provide support to YPG/PYD, and the organization described as FETO in Turkiye.

5. Finland and Sweden confirm that the PKK is a proscribed terrorist organization. Finland and Sweden commit to prevent activities of the PKK and all other terrorist organizations and their extensions, as well as activities by individuals in affiliated and inspired groups or networks linked to these terrorist organizations. Turkiye, Finland, and Sweden have agreed to step up cooperation to prevent the activities of these terrorist groups. Finland and Sweden reject the goals of these terrorist organizations.

7. Turkiye, Finland, and Sweden confirm that now there are no national arms embargoes in place between them. Sweden is changing its national regulatory framework for arms exports in relation to NATO Allies. In the future, defense exports from Finland and Sweden will be conducted in line with Alliance solidarity and in accordance with the letter and spirit of article 3 of the Washington Treaty.

8c. Finland and Sweden will address Turkiye's pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thoroughly, taking into account information, evidence, and intelligence provided by Turkiye, and establish necessary bilateral legal frameworks to facilitate extradition and security cooperation with Turkiye, in accordance with the European Convention on Extradition.

Straight from the horses mouth, kiddies.

Anyway, no one really thought the Turks would block Sweden and Finlands accession.

From the May 17th Rude:

Most political commentators whose work Ive read agree that Erdogan is merely raising the price of membership.

Sweden suspended any arms sales to Turkey in 2019 over Ankaras military operation in neighboring Syria.

That suspension will likely be dropped. It was. See above - Sean

Joke Biden will probably be cajoled to call Erdogan to give him some love, as well.

In the end, I suspect Sweden and Finland will enter NATO.

And right on cue, from the White House, dated June 28th:

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke by phone today with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. President Biden noted he looks forward to seeing President Erdogan at the NATO Summit in Madrid where leaders will discuss the consequences of Russias invasion of Ukraine for Transatlantic security and other threats to the Alliance such as terrorism, as well as take historic decisions to strengthen the Alliances collective defense and security.

I bet those F-16s get delivered. Of course, it wouldnt be contingent on the newly signed deal.

So Biden looks magnanimous but not weak.

Shades of JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis, methinks.

Wrap Up

Honor is due.

The Turks played a blinder.

They got the Nordics to sell out the Kurds and drop their embargo.

Terrorist suspects in Sweden and Finland are probably already out of those countries. But those who held out hope are probably being arrested as you read this.

And perhaps most importantly, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan got a big promotion from dictator to partner.

What a big, happy family!

Credit: The Graunaid

And it was all too predictable.

Though I didnt think the Nordics would fold so quickly.

Man, they really want a seat at this table!

Lets see how the rest of the kabuki plays out this week.

Until tomorrow.

All the best,

Sean

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