Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

February 12: Turkey and the Kurds

We’ll turn our attention back to foreign policy tomorrow with a discussion focused on Turkey and the Kurds.

The US considers both to be our allies, but there is a huge amount of historical friction between them, with the Turkish government labeling Kurdish groups and individuals as “terrorists.” On the other hand, Peshmerga fighters have been some of the most effective local forces in combating ISIS.

Some of these frictions have driven Turkey closer to Russia, which has become a (more) significant presence in neighboring Syria. But they’re still members of NATO, and the US relies on Turkey for logistics, staging and assets in the region.

How should the US navigate the many issues arising out of our presence in Iraq, “Kurdistan,” Turkey and Syria?

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