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Omer Taspinar

Ömer Taşpınar is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a professor of national-security strategy at the National Defense University in Washington. He is the author of two books: “Political Islam and Kurdish Nationalism in Turkey” and “Winning Turkey: How America, Europe and Turkey can Revive a Fading Partnership” (with Philip Gordon). His research focuses on the Middle East, Europe, Muslim minorities in the West, radicalization and the global political economy. He is a frequent commentator for major Turkish, American, European and Middle Eastern news outlets.

If America Leaves Syria, the Kurds Need a Plan B By Ömer Taşpınar - Apr 23, 2018

In front of cheering crowds at a political rally, Donald Trump once again managed to shock his own administration by declaring that the US would be leaving Syria “very soon.” Trump apparently had not discussed the timing of this crucially important decision with his military and foreign policy advisors. Needless to say, his statements also … Continue reading “If America Leaves Syria, the Kurds Need a Plan B”

Turkey’s Frustration with the US in Syria Is Driving a Tactical Partnership with Moscow By Ömer Taşpınar - Apr 15, 2018

Analysts who follow Turkey’s unexpected cooperation with Russia and Iran in Syria often ask whether Ankara has embarked on a new path in its foreign policy. Is Turkey’s recent partnership with Russia and Iran just a tactical plot because these two powers are the ones calling the shots in Syria, or is Ankara really looking … Continue reading “Turkey’s Frustration with the US in Syria Is Driving a Tactical Partnership with Moscow”

Turkish-Iranian Relations: Rivalry Without Hostility By Ömer Taşpınar - Apr 5, 2018

Scholars of real politik often say that countries don’t have friends, only shared interests. Given Turkey’s recent attempts at rapprochement with Iran, particularly in Syria, where the two countries are part of the Astana process led by Moscow, we might ask what drives Turkish-Iranian shared interest. The short answer is the Kurds. It is one … Continue reading “Turkish-Iranian Relations: Rivalry Without Hostility”

The Domestic Calculations Behind Turkey’s Foreign Adventure in Syria By Ömer Taşpınar - Mar 4, 2018

It is usually said that all politics is local. Foreign policy, however, is supposed to be different. Compared to daily domestic politics driven by special-interest groups and narrow political calculations, foreign policy is all about the “grand strategy” and national interest, right? Think again. There are many countries where foreign policy is even more local. … Continue reading “The Domestic Calculations Behind Turkey’s Foreign Adventure in Syria”

US Damage Control and Crisis Management with Turkey Does Not Amount to a Strategy in Syria By Ömer Taşpınar - Feb 20, 2018

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s much anticipated visit to Ankara last week seems to have achieved its modest mission of averting a military confrontation between the two countries. The fact that preventing a war between two Nato allies in northern Syria has become a measure of success in Turkish-American relations speaks volumes about what … Continue reading “US Damage Control and Crisis Management with Turkey Does Not Amount to a Strategy in Syria”