Could Syria-Turkey Conflict Pull NATO In?

JuanCole
Informed Comment
6/26/2012

…By firing on the Turkish plane (more especially in international waters), Syria has presented Turkey with a legitimate casus belli, a legal cause for war. The news that Syria actually tried to shoot down a second Turkish plane underscores this legal point. Turkey may defend itself. (For the moment, Turkey is considering non-military responses such as cutting off electricity to Aleppo, Syria’s largest city.

Here is the kicker. Turkey is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. And the NATO charter’s article 5 declares that an attack on one member is an attack on all. NATO is duty-bound to defend Turkey if it is attacked and if it asks for help. Article 4 allows a country to call for consultations among the allies if it feels its territorial integrity is threatened.

Turkey is asking for help. It is asking that NATO be convened under Article 5 for only the second time in the organization’s history…

…I don’t think either Turkey or other NATO members will be at all happy to be drawn into military action in Syria. (Nor do I think that would be a good idea). But they might be drawn into creating a humanitarian corridor at Hatay in Turkey, and guarding it from Syrian attack.

By its unwise aggression against Turkey, Syria may have internationalized its civil war, something it and its allies had desperately been trying to avoid…

The entire article, with video, is at Informed Comment. In the comments section Professor Cole answers readers’ questions about the situation.

H/T Gulag Bound Naval & Air Movements Point to U.S. War Posture Aimed at Syria:

Within the last few hours, I received a tip from an anonymous source pointing out movements of U.S. Naval aircraft carriers which he and as he relayed, friends within the military believe, are of a kind that is posturing for war. They are speaking of a focus on Syria, or perhaps Iran.

This source was validated by another person. Personally, I am not a fan of journalism and blogging that often goes to the “unnamed sources” well and I try to do that very sparingly. The evidence may be seen here, in an ongoing though vague report of those deployments by the Navy, itself…

Read the whole thing.

Related: Hillary Clinton in 2011: Assad Is a Reformer… Hillary Clinton 2012: Killer Assad Must Go :

In March 2011 Hillary Clinton today told “Face the Nation” viewers that the US would not interfere in Syria because Assad was a “reformer.”

Later that week Assad ordered his army to open fire on innocent protesters.

To date opposition groups claim more than 14,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s authoritarian rule began in March 2011.

This weekend Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made clear that President Bashar al-Assad “will have to go.”

Gee, who could have seen this one coming?

Watch the videos here.

Related: Obama Threatens to Veto Defense Bill Unless It Hikes Healthcare Fees for Service Members.

…President Obama’s most recent budget proposal includes billions of dollars in higher fees for members of TRICARE, the military health care system, and is part of the administration’s plan to cut nearly $500 billion from the Pentagon’s budget.

Some fear the administration’s proposal is an effort to increase enrollment in the state-run insurance exchanges mandated under the president’s controversial health care law…

Read the whole thing.

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